Okay, so I go to a lot of concerts. I spend basically all my money on concerts (or food). Rock, hip hop, pop, rap, jazz, classical, world—it doesn’t matter. I’ve been to concerts in big groups; I’ve been by myself. I’ve been first row, last row, to big festivals and tiny venues. There’s something so special and indescribable about listening to your favorite songs live. But, there’s nothing worse than having your experience affected or ruined by the people around you. I feel like a lot of these things below or common sense, but it never hurts to go over some refreshers:
Be considerate/be aware of your space. I’m all for dancing, but keep your limbs to yourself, pls. I’ve been whacked enough times to know it’s not an enjoyable experience. Help make the space a physically and emotionally safe for everyone, not just those who want to mosh.
Don’t push your way to the front. I feel like this one should be obvious, but concert after concert that I go to, some entitled individual inevitably bowls me down in their quest to the barricade. From the brazen “excuse me” to the clearly untrue “my friend/brother/nephew’s roommate’s fiancé is up there,” you’re still a bad person, dude. People waited in line, sometimes for hours, for their spots. Have the decency to respect that. Or at least, get there early yourself next time, you lazy bum.
Let short people in front of you. Maybe this is just a personal one, but if your genetics blessed you, take pity on me and my vertically-challenged peers, please. One time at a show, a man well over six feet asked me if I wanted to switch places and I was actually able to see the performer! Without jumping or standing on my tiptoes! It was a big day for me, and I’m forever indebted to this hometown hero. That could be you.
Don’t talk during the opener. Ok, we get it. You came for the headliner. So did most people. But, I’m sure there are still fans of the opener here! Let them have their time. Also, it’s rude to the performer lol. They’re working hard and their moms are proud. Let them have this moment.
Talk to the people around you. Chances are, they’re pretty cool! At the very least, you have similar taste in music, so if they seem friendly, give it a shot. I’m notoriously antisocial, especially in public, but for some reason, I always find it fun to talk to people at concerts and festivals. I’ve met some super fascinating people this way, and sharing the experience of the music together can be uniquely powerful.
Don’t wear open toed shoes. Your toes will thank you. Also, no one wants soggy feet from all the spilled drinks.
Be in the moment. You already have recordings of the songs… They’re gonna sound better than your crappy phone speaker quality. None of your Snapchat contacts care that much about your play-by-play. Text your roommate later. Close your eyes and just take in the experience. Listening to live music can be raw, emotional, unforgettable… So try not to let those around you affect the experience. Just enjoy yourself!
Photo by author.