The live music landscape has been undergoing a striking transformation, marked by a slew of unusual and unexpected incidents at concerts worldwide. As these incidents pose a threat to the enjoyment of live music, a reiteration of the etiquette of concert-going seems to be in order. The decorum that once guided audiences seems to be wavering, leading to circumstances that can be unsettling for artists and concertgoers alike. This article delves into the recent changes in concert behavior, detailing some notable instances, and sets forth some much-needed guidelines for audience conduct.
A Shift in Concert Atmosphere
A disturbing new trend has emerged in concerts, from a fan interrupting P!nk’s show at BST Hyde Park in London by throwing a sandwich bag full of ambiguous powder onstage, presumed to be their mother’s ashes, to objects and even phones being hurled at artists. One incident involved a fan hitting Bebe Rexha with a cell phone at a Manhattan concert, leaving her with stitches. Kelsea Ballerini had to pause a show in Idaho after someone threw an object at her face. Drake also fell victim to this new trend when a phone was thrown at him during a concert in Chicago. Additionally, the violation of personal boundaries of artists has been rampant, with incidents ranging from fans forcibly kissing Alicia Keys during one of her shows to an audience member assaulting Ava Max to the extent of scratching her inner eye. However, there have been instances of courteous conduct as well, such as when a fan respectfully handed P!nk a wrapped wheel of Brie during one of her performances at BST Hyde Park. These instances lead us to believe that a revised guide to concert behavior is sorely needed. Here are some points for concertgoers to keep in mind:
Guidelines for Concertgoers
- Avoid throwing phones or other projectiles at the performer or fellow concert-goers.
- Respect the personal space of the performers. Refrain from physical contact unless invited.
- Under no circumstance is it acceptable to slap or otherwise assault the performer or fellow concert-goers
- Purchasing tickets, drinks, artist merchandise, and tipping bartenders are all encouraged ways of supporting the artists and venues.
Phone Usage and Disruption
Industry experts have been pushing for concert-goers to keep phone usage to a minimum. The charm of live music lies in experiencing it in the moment rather than viewing it through a screen. Overuse of phones during concerts can cheapen the experience and interfere with the enjoyment of those around you.
Respecting Other Concertgoers and Artists
It is crucial to show respect to both the artists performing and fellow concertgoers. This means avoiding disruptive behavior such as talking over the performance, singing or screaming excessively, standing or dancing while the majority are sitting, and spilling anything on others. Jake Garcia, co-owner of The 13th Floor venue in Austin, emphasizes that disrespect to the artist, staff, or other concertgoers is unacceptable.
Shared Responsibility in Concert Experience
Meredith Corning, a veteran of event management, suggests that the public collectively has the power to ensure the safety of concerts. Concertgoers need to be patient with their environment and respect the artists performing. After all, live music’s magic lies in sharing the experience with others.
Supporting the Live Music Industry
Live music experience is not a one-way street; it involves active participation from the audience, the artists, and the hosting venue. If you appreciate the art and the effort put into programming, experts suggest that spending your money is a simple yet effective way to show support. This includes buying tickets, ordering drinks, purchasing artist merchandise, and tipping the bartenders. All these actions add up and contribute towards keeping the live music industry afloat, especially smaller, independently-owned venues such as Gold-Diggers.
Awareness of Personal Volume and Conduct
One of the most important aspects of live concert etiquette is personal volume and conduct awareness. Concertgoers often forget that they are part of a collective experience, and their behavior can affect those around them. Industry professionals have noted a disturbing trend of people talking over the band, sometimes to the point of being louder than the performance itself. This disrupts the immersive experience live music is supposed to offer. Jodi RR Smith, an etiquette expert, explains that while enthusiasm is encouraged, it is equally important to match the tone of the crowd. Singing or screaming while others are not, or standing and dancing when the majority of the crowd is seated, can be considered disruptive. Spilling drinks or food on others is another act of rudeness that should be avoided at all costs.
Remembering the Collective Responsibility
Live music is a shared experience, and everyone present in the concert – the artists, the staff, and the audience – has a collective responsibility to maintain a safe, enjoyable, and respectful atmosphere. With 20 years of experience in event management, Meredith Corning stresses that the public holds the power to ensure that concerts remain largely safe and enjoyable for all.
The essence of live music is the collective experience it offers, and to preserve this, it is essential that concertgoers understand and respect the unspoken rules of concert decorum. By adhering to these guidelines, not only can concertgoers enhance their own experience, but they also contribute to a better concert atmosphere for all. Whether it’s maintaining a respectful volume level, refraining from disruptive behaviors, or supporting the venue and artist through purchases, every action counts in shaping the live music landscape. For more detailed tips and guidelines, click here.