Concert Etiquette: 10 Things NOT to Do at a Concert

Concert Audience by Indie Grits
Concert Audience by Indie Grits

Breaking the seal of concert going at the early age of 14, I’ve been to my fair share of concerts. If you too have been to your fair share of concerts, I’m sure you have developed your own routine. Perhaps you arrive an hour and a half in because you’re not interested in the opening acts. Or, perhaps you attend right on time to expose yourself to some new artists. Overall, each person has their own method to the madness that is concert-going. Whether you do or you don’t, there are certain things no one should ever do in attending a concert.

#1. Watch the show through your phone.

Come on! This is a concert! If you wanted to scroll through Instagram, you could be streaming this band through Spotify in your room. The front row is most definitely not the place to update your Facebook status or check your Twitter. It’s not only rude to your fellow audience, but to the artist. It doesn’t hurt to capture your favorite song or a really great moment, but please, get involved in the show, that’s what we’re all here for!

#2. Stand in the very front when you are 3,000 feet tall.

To many concert-goers, catching that perfect view of the stage between heads is hard with people of equal height; don’t make it harder by getting as close as you can when you’re six feet tall. You have a vertical advantage, so use it! Let the shorties around you step in front of you, it literally will have zero impact on your experience, if not making it a better one. Set a good vibe for your music family that you’ve joined for those few hours, if you’re a giant take a few steps back!

#3. Drop your bar cups at your feet.

This is a music venue, not a garbage bin. You shouldn’t litter anywhere (first off) and while the cup from your Jack and coke is sticky and bothersome while I crush it under my feet, the ice cubes are also melting onto the floor, creating more of a mess. If you want to drink at a concert, hang out on the side or by the bar. Bringing your drink into the crowd is asking to a) spill it on yourself or b) spill it on anyone within radius of you. It’s not too much to ask for.

#4. Stand still, in utter silence, when you do decide to get up front.

Usually when I’m an arm’s length away from a band, I probably know their every song by heart along with their zodiac signs. There’s nothing more disheartening than when people are so close to a band and completely unfamiliar with their music. I understand getting close is an awesome experience, but if you’re not a huge fan, give that spot up to someone who is. If this music isn’t important to you, join those drinkers in the back standing on the railing near the bar, and get to know the music that way. If you don’t know the music, and you are up front, ENGAGE. You don’t need to memorize a band’s discography to really appreciate what they’re doing, but you do have to be open to them. Don’t get that close if you’re not!

#5. Yell obnoxious things in pockets of silence that only disrupt everyone around you.

When at a Manchester Orchestra concert at Terminal 5, a guy next to me yelled something distasteful while the band transitioned between songs. To my sincerest satisfaction, lead singer Andy Hull took the liberty of calling this guy a few choice words in front of hundreds of people.This is a concert, as participatory as it is, there’s a reason you don’t have the microphone in your hand. Yes, we are all here together, but yelling something obnoxious doesn’t solidify that camaraderie. If you’re going to yell something, yell your favorite lyrics, tell the artist you love them, you’ll get way more positive attention than making any rude comment.

#6. Treat this concert like your honeymoon suite.

Please, for the love of God or whomever you pray to, leave the PDA out of the sardine-dense crowd. When you’re passionately making out and gazing into each other’s eyes during a set, it’s uncomfortable for others and frankly odd in general. It’s okay if I can tell you’re fond of one another, but I don’t want a front row seat to your relationship, I want it for this concert.

#7. For the dancers, find your live pocket.

There are people who really only go to concerts to hear a live set. Not everyone likes getting sweaty and shoving each other, and that’s totally okay. If you are the sweaty head-banging type, find your fellow wild ones and park up there; don’t push and shove people who just aren’t about that.

#8. Get inebriated.

The music scene is interesting with its many different characters. While the lovers of music are tolerant and experimental, please don’t get too messed up at a show. Watch your limits, and if you’re using this event to experiment with questionable substances, don’t forget you are in public. If you get too messed up, you won’t remember the best parts of the show. People are here for that live experience, not to babysit.

#9. Shove through the crowd at inappropriate moments.

This is a concert. If you didn’t want to get pushed and shoved, it would be a better idea to stay home. It’s inevitable that people will push you to get up front and find their favorite spot, but wait for the right moment. Don’t do it at the slowest most emotional song, but do it at the most lively moment, when the audience as a whole is already in motion in some form. Move with the crowd, don’t disrupt it.

#10. Be shy.

Music is a community. Don’t be afraid to let loose and enjoy yourself. Although these few “dont’s” are simple ways to be considerate to your fellow fans, that doesn’t mean you have to totally restrain yourself. Sing loud even if the person next to you gives you a dirty look, dance when if feels right. Live in this moment that you absolutely cannot replicate. Live music is the time to feel alive. Don’t miss out on the chance while you’re there, who knows when this band will come to town again.

Did we miss anything? What are some of your pet peeves when catching a concert? Let’s us know in the comment section below.