You’ve been waiting to see your favourite band in concert for months now! The night’s finally here and the headline set is about to start. But wait, there’s a drunken idiot pushing their way through the crowd, spilling drinks on everyone and speaking loudly through each song. You try your best to ignore them, but that won’t stop them from taking a bit of the magic away from you’re well-anticipated concert. In this article, we will take a close look at concert etiquette and the general rules for performers and gig-goers!
If you’re a seasoned concert-goer, you likely don’t need a lesson on concert etiquette. Still, if you’re not so familiar with concerts, or worse, you regularly go to concerts but have no idea what concert etiquette is, pay close attention! There’s nothing worse than getting dirty looks for not abiding by rules you didn’t even know existed.
Here we will take a comprehensive look at what concert etiquette is and the unspoken do’s and don’ts for both performers and audience members. Make sure to stay till the end to ensure you are respectful and considerate at your next concert.
What Is Concert Etiquette?
Before we get into the rules, what is concert etiquette?
Concert etiquette is in place to ensure everyone has an equally good time. It reminds people not only of the things to avoid doing at concerts, but the things you should be encouraged to do. They make sure you are a respectful concert-goer as well as inspiring people to do the same.
However, no matter if you are prolific in concert etiquette, you can always guarantee there will be that one person who completely disregards anyone else around them. Maybe after reading this, you can school them yourself instead of just throwing dirty looks.
Why Is Concert Etiquette Important?
Concert etiquette is much more than just keeping individuals in check. If followed correctly, you should have a unifying audience that is respectful whilst also being the best possible audience to play to. They don’t just tell you what actions to avoid, but what you should be doing at a concert too. It encourages everyone to have an amazing time and be the best possible audience member you can be. This benefits other fans around you, and the musicians playing.
One obvious reason for concert etiquette is to ensure the night runs smoothly. Say you typically play to a rowdy audience, the etiquette should ensure they are all respectful and come together as an audience. Without this etiquette, there is no benchmark for behaviour. People can start to upset others, and next thing you know hell breaks loose!
10 Rules Of Concert Etiquette For Performers
Firstly, there are some concert etiquette rules for performers. Even if you’re a hardcore rocker, you still need to be respectable and presentable
Be Prepared & Organised
You need to be as prepared and organised as possible. As soon as your set starts, you can’t be practising and tuning your instrument. You need to be ready to put on an amazing performance from the get go.
Audience members might have been waiting months to see your act, don’t let them down by showing you haven’t even rehearsed properly.
Members might talk a little or make a funny comment, but keep this to the minimum. If you are talking, you remove the audience from the fantasy and distract them from the music. They’re here to see you perform, not listen to a chat show.
You’re probably already on your dress sense. Sometimes, however, trying to look your best for performance after performance can be challenging. Still, you always want to look presentable and on-brand.
If you usually dress extravagantly and then turn up in sweats, audiences will get the impression you don’t care about this specific show.
Don’t Get Wasted
You will most likely be having a few drinks before your set. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of dutch courage. Still, being a drunken mess on stage isn’t a pretty sight. You’ll embarrass yourself, your other members and will be unable to deliver the performance you promised to your fans. Make sure you’re not that band member who gets booed off stage for not even being able to stand up straight.
Acknowledge The Audience
The audience wants you to acknowledge them. This will depend on your genre and style, but give audiences a chance to applaud you and then respond to that praise.
If you’ve just performed one of your most popular songs, don’t dive straight into the next. Audiences will applaud you and without a pause and acknowledging them, they will feel you don’t actually care if they are enjoying the night or not.
Don’t React To Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes, don’t stress! If you mess up, just continue like nothing has happened. Audiences might have not even noticed, but they will if you point it out.
There’s nothing more cringy than a member going “oops” during the middle of a performance if they make a mistake. Never draw extra attention to these hiccups! Continue as if nothing happened and don’t make a big deal out of it.
Face The Audience
Make sure you face the audience. As much as they’ve come to listen to your music, they want to see you perform too. Give them the show that they’ve paid for!
Facing the audience allows them to connect to you, and vice versa, which makes a performance more personal.
Thank The Audience
At the end of your set, don’t just leave the stage because the job is done. Audiences have paid to see you and made the effort to support your music, thank them for it!
If you put on a good night, you will hopefully end up with a standing ovation. Show them your appreciation for their support! SImply a bow will do.
Don’t Argue With Staff
This isn’t necessarily to do with pleasing the audience but is important nonetheless.
Sometimes, things go wrong. Often, the people around you running the venue will have no influence when these things happen. Don’t take it out on them. They are working just as hard, if not harder than you to put on an amazing show. They are just doing their job, don’t make it harder for them.
You may be performing on a huge stage with thousands of adoring fans, but there’s no need to be arrogant. There’s nothing that will change audiences opinion of you or your group like acting above everyone else.
The audience also already knows you are talented, there’s no need to boast about it, show them through your music.
10 Rules Of Concert Etiquette For Gig-Goers
Now it’s time to look at 10 rules of concert etiquette!
Firstly and foremost, don’t push!
If the headline has just come on and you’re at the back, that’s your issue for not getting there early. Other listeners at the front will have made sure they get to the venue early enough to get a good spot. They have earnt that spot, it’s not your place to try take it.
Even if you’re just trying to return to your friends after a toilet break, don’t barge through the cowed to get there. Be respected and ask nicely.
Don’t Talk Over Songs
You’re probably going to talk at some point during the night. Even if its just a quick comment to your mates about how good that last song was. This is welcomed of course, but don’t take it too far.
There’s nothing more annoying than trying to listen to your favourite songs and someones is constantly talking over it. You’re here to listen to music, not to have a catch-up.
Put Down Your Phone!
Depending on who you are going to see and what the general audience is like, you might end up surrounded by a sea of recording phones with the flash on. Unfortunately, this is all too common today. Some audience members, often younger listeners, care more about showing the world they were at the concert rather than simply enjoying it. Don’t be that person.
If you’re going to spend the whole night with your phone out, you may as well just stay at home and watch a live recording of the show. You’ll save a lot of money!
We’re not saying strictly no photos or videos, but be sensible. You’re there to enjoy the night, not document it.
You’re in a room surrounded by people who you can relate with on some level with enjoying the same music. Be nice to them! Part of a concert is vibing with the other people watching, join in with the community spirit!
Chat with people, make some new friends, interact with the people around you. Being a boring grinch hidden away in some corner isn’t a good look.
Unfortunately, we tall people have to be respectful of others and take our height into consideration. It’s not our fault, but if you’re 6’3 and standing in front of a small person, they’re not going to be able to enjoy the night very much.
We’re not saying keep to the very back of the room, but just be aware of who’s behind you. They will really appreciate your consideration.
Gauge The Vibe
Not all concerts are meant to be booming with moshpits and audience members shouting towards the stage. Judge the vibe of the night and act accordingly. See how others are acting around you and ensure you’re not sticking out like a sore thumb.
This is an extreme example, but if you’re going to see an orchestra but are used to rock concerts, resist whistling and standing up to applaud after every song.
Check Your Seat Number
If you’re going to a seated performance, never sit in someone else’s seat. People are issued with seat numbers for a reason, find yours and stick to it.
Even worse, if you didn’t buy a seated ticket, do not try to steal someone else’s seat. People will have paid good money for their seats, if you don’t have a good one, that’s your problem.
Think Before You Sing
We really shouldn’t have to remind you of this, but unfortunately, we do. We all love to sing along to our favourite songs, but be aware of what words you are singing.
Say you’re going to see a rapper who is black. You, as a white person, cannot in any circumstances say the N-word. There is no dispute over this, just don’t do it.
You’re going to celebrate a black artist. Don’t be that white person who completely disregards any respect for them by using a racial slur that has been reclaimed by that community. If you can’t sing a song without saying that word, then do not sing the song at all, period. This is maybe the most important concert etiquette rule.
Support The Support
We know you will be eager to see the main act, but give the support a chance.
The support is there to warm you up and usually have some amazing talent on offer. Be respectful and show them your support. This is probably one of the biggest nights they’ve ever played!
Dance, But Be Sensible
Dance all you want but just be aware of the people around you.
Dancing is one of the most enjoyable parts of a concert. You take all that excitement and joy and express it through movement. As long as it’s not a sit-down concert, dancing will be encouraged! Just be aware you’re not annoying people around you. If you’re shoving into them and spilling drinks, they’re going to struggle to have as good of a time as you!
Now You Know All About Concert Etiquette
We hope these concert etiquette tips will help you have the best time possible at your future gigs! The main thing is for you to have fun!
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