Gig etiquette ranges from individual to individual, and with the development of technology and the increased spread of global tours, there are certainly many traits which could be considered unlikeable. We at The Edge have put together a list of traits which are probably best avoided if you do not want to upset anyone at a gig.
Today, gig etiquette is filming songs, livestreaming shows and posting throwbacks. I am partially guilty of this, but I believe it is ruining the gig experience. At my first concert, I forgot my phone. I didn’t even know the band, but it was one of the best gigs I’ve been to because I lived in the moment. I find that after posting a video on my story, I never watch it again. So why do we film gigs? Whole concerts are uploaded to YouTube to watch for free, maybe discouraging people from buying tickets? Should this be a form of piracy? If you uploaded a recorded film, people would watch it for free instead of buying a ticket, so surely uploading a concert to YouTube is the same thing? I think that gig etiquette should mean not going on your phone and living in the moment. How often do you watch those videos?
Don’t get me wrong, going to a gig with your significant other is a perfectly lovely thing to do – but I am asking from the bottom of my heart, if you choose this kind of date please do not spend the whole set making out with your partner. Call me bitter all you want, no one likes standing behind that sight when their favourite artist is killing it on stage. There’s always a strange solidarity between music fans who are witnessing this kind of behaviour, as if everyone is united in their collective discomfort.
Dance together all you wish, that’s totally fine. There’s plenty of ways to have fun at a gig. But the only thing worse than a PDA is a PDA in the most crowded space you can imagine. Believe me, no one wants to get that involved with your relationship. So let’s all just have a nice time in the crowd, without making each other deeply uncomfortable!
Gigs should be great fun for everyone involved, and most of the time, they are. However, it only takes one particularly bad person to sometimes spoil the whole experience. This is DEFINITELY the case for heavier shows, namely mosh pits, wall of death, you name it. Don’t get me wrong, moshing can be great fun! Usually everyone looks out for one another, if someone falls down they get picked back up, and most of the time, people aren’t in it to hurt you, they’re just in it to have a good time. The real issue with moshing, from my experience, is when you don’t want to get involved. There’s no obligation to get into the pit at a heavier show, especially if that’s not really your scene, but to those people out there who pull you in, or shove into you on purpose when you’ve deliberately stood away from the crowd; quit it. Enjoy yourselves, be safe, have fun, and let other people do the same!
Why, I ask myself at every single gig I attend, do some individuals feel the need to talk during the entire set? My ultimate rule for proper, respectable gig etiquette is to limit the amount of chatter during the performance, as much as you can. Shows like Amber Run and Fleet Foxes, where quieter songs are a major part of the set, can be entirely ruined by those selfish enough to think this is the perfect time to have a conversation. Let me make this clear – gigs are not places to have a little catch up with your friends. They are a place to listen to live music, discover new favourite artists and appreciate the power that live music has over a crowd. This also links to the issue of drunkenness at gigs – having one or two drinks is perfectly fine, but when your drinking inspires drunken disruption and loud shouting, maybe it’s time you left.