Don’t Be That Person: The importance of concert etiquette


Lena Pearson

Beach House concert, July of 2022

Lena Pearson, Opinion Writer

The idea of being in a cramped space surrounded by thousands of obnoxious fans for two hours doesn’t sound like the most enjoyable experience for anyone, but live music doesn’t have to be that way. Proper audience etiquette can improve the show environment greatly and is valued by concert goers everywhere.

Common Decency: Live music is an amazing opportunity for artists to connect with their supporters, but the extreme desire for a performer’s attention often goes too far. Desperate for acknowledgement in a tightly packed crowd, audience members will occasionally resort to the dangerous tactic of throwing things on stage. Not only is it a threat to the musician’s safety, but it puts other’s experiences in jeopardy as many artists will not hesitate to leave the stage due to poor treatment. While some items such as flags or stuffed animals are generally harmless when thrown, it is still a blatant sign of disrespect towards the performer. From Skittles pelted at Harry Styles to a disposable camera thrown at Steve Lacy, it’s a miracle that some artists still have as much patience as they do.

Camping Culture: The feeling of reaching the front row at a concert is unexplainably exciting, but the process of obtaining such a spot has tremendous downsides. As artists begin to gain traction, the competition for concert tickets becomes increasingly more intense, but it doesn’t stop there. Even those who are lucky enough to score a general admission ticket aren’t guaranteed a good spot, as die-hard fans will camp outside of the venue days before the show even takes place. Not only is this strategy ridiculous and extreme, but it contributes to a great amount of waste once the show is over. Due to venue restrictions of outside items, countless tents, coolers and piles of trash are left littering the streets after singular use in line. The competition of getting as close to the stage as possible brings nothing but unnecessary stress and waste to what should be an enjoyable experience for everyone.

Phone Usage: Finally seeing your favorite artist after months of anticipation is definitely something you’ll want to remember, but memories are often more special than digital mementos. In February of 2022, indie musician Mitski tweeted a simple statement in regards to phone usage at her shows, “Sometimes when I see people filming entire songs or whole sets, it makes me feel as though we are not here together,” the artist said. This request inevitably started a debate on the internet of whether phones should be used at shows and if their presence truly affects the experience. There is nothing wrong with snapping a few pictures, but watching the entire show through a screen diminishes the magic of live music, simultaneously affecting the artist’s performance. Although it’s tempting to film everything to remember the fun, concerts are significantly more memorable for both parties when the audience is fully present.

Respecting the Opening Artist: The formula for a perfect concert requires three things: an energetic audience, an awesome headliner and most importantly, a unique opening act. The artists chosen to tour alongside headliners deserve the same amount of attention and energy as the main artist, as they are giving their all to prepare the audience for a great show. It’s helpful to have an open mind when not knowing the opener, as you could potentially be introduced to a new favorite artist or style of music. Even if their sound isn’t your jam, it’s important to show equal excitement and interest to both musicians.

Awareness and Safety: If there’s anywhere to scream and dance your heart out, a concert is the perfect place. However, it’s crucial to be aware of your surroundings in the midst of all the fun. In typical concert fashion, the crowd naturally shifts throughout the show, but forceful pushing to the front can create a “crowd surge” which ultimately causes the audience to collapse. Waiting until it’s clear to move to an opening in the front of the crowd creates an organized, safe system that helps prevent the dangers of the surge. Enjoying yourself while simultaneously being considerate of other people’s safety allows for a welcoming atmosphere in a seemingly chaotic environment.

Although respecting those around you may seem like standard protocol in any social situation, it is crucial in keeping the live music scene an enjoyable, safe place for everyone.

Concerts Coming to North Carolina in 2023:

Greta Van Fleet- 3/13

Bruce Springsteen- 3/25

Kenny Chesney- 4/29

Paramore- 5/23

The Backseat Lovers- 5/27

Noah Kahan- 6/13, 6/14

Shania Twain- 6/28

Louis Tomlinson- 7/19, 7/21

Tyler Childers- 8/13, 8/15, 8/16