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Boygenius at PNE Ampitheatre from barricade
Boygenius at PNE Ampitheatre from barricade
Original photo by Aleisha Woodman

Barricade Barbarians: What happened to concert etiquette?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Vic chapter.

Concerts can be an amazing experience, but many music lovers can agree that concert etiquette has SUCKED in the last few years and, unfortunately, I can attest to that. 

This past summer, I had the incredible opportunity to see one of my favourite bands, boygenius, and stand at the barricade of the pit just a few feet from the stage. While it should have been an all around amazing experience for me, it ended up being incredibly stressful.

I arrived at the venue at 7:00 am and there was already a line forming. The venue staff couldn’t effectively organize us and kept changing their plans for getting us into the amphitheater. Even though I was one of the first people through the metal detectors, I had to speed walk to enter another line. Even though we were instructed not to run, it was evident that many fans were not interested in following the rules. 

From the second line, we were told to make multiple lines which turned into a huge crowd pushing and shoving each other in order to be first into the pit. Security was very clear that once the amphitheater opened, running would result in being kicked out, but as soon as the gates opened, it was madness. People were running, pushing and yelling. I was lucky enough to reach the barricade, but by the time the concert started my anxiety and stress was so high that I couldn’t fully enjoy my favourite artists right in front of me. 

Unfortunately, my experience is not unique. Across the world, people are being trampled on their way to the barricade, suffocated in the pit and waiting for hours (even days) to be as close to their favourite artists as possible. The pits themselves also tend to be dangerous with people fainting from dehydration, being squeezed in like sardines and pushed (both physically and metaphorically) to their limits. 

So what has changed in these past few years that’s resulted in these awful concert experiences? The COVID-19 pandemic gave us almost 2 years without any live events, and it seems that now the culture has changed completely. It seems as though we as concertgoers are forgetting about the other people who are also trying to enjoy the show. We’ve forgotten how to take care of each other. 

While there doesn’t seem to be a clear solution to this issue, we can start by being more aware of everyone else around us. Give people space if they need, don’t push and don’t try to get to the front just because you feel you deserve it more. We all want to be as close as possible to the artists we love, but we also must be respectful of those who were there first. Additionally and most importantly, listen to the staff and security at the venue. They are there to keep us safe, and the best way to make sure everyone makes it out unscathed we must obey their rules. 

As concerts continue to pick back up after the pandemic, let’s all make sure we’re being safe, kind and respectful to everyone around us. Everyone’s there for the same reason and we all want to have a good time. We all deserve a good concert experience and that starts with each of us doing our part, so happy concert-going everyone and stay safe!

Aleisha Woodman is the Social Media Director at the University of Victoria chapter of Her Campus. She is in charge of generating and overseeing posts on the Her Campus @ UVic Instagram and TikTok pages, as well as writing and editing articles. Aleisha is currently in her third year at the University of Victoria, majoring in Gender Studies and minoring in Journalism. She has received numerous scholarships and accolades for her academic achievement both before and during her time at UVic. Aleisha has been with Her Campus since 2022, working as a writer and editor before moving up to be the Social Media Director. While her published writing experience is limited to Her Campus at the moment, she hopes to expand her portfolio in the coming years with publications such as The Martlet here at UVic. Aleisha specializes in writing on topics surrounding music, pop culture, as well as global issues and social justice. When she’s not writing, Aleisha is a barista and a huge coffee nerd always practicing her latte art. She’s also a pop-culture fanatic (a fangirl, if you will) who will often be found listening to 5 Seconds of Summer and Phoebe Bridgers, as well as reading her favourite romance novels.