How to Not Be an Asshole at Gigs

We’ve all been there. You’re at a show, you’re about to see your favourite band, you’ve waited for ages for this and then some asshole comes along and seems to be determined to make the experience as shit as possible. Now, I’ve been to a fair few gigs in my time, and as such I’ve encountered a few assholes, which is what inspired me to write this – Katie’s guide on how to not be an asshole at gigs:

  1. Don’t talk during the support act. Especially not if you’re in the pit. Whether their music is your cup of tea or someone else’s horribly diluted instant coffee, it doesn’t matter. Someone is standing on a stage, in front of a crowd of people, showing you something they created. Respect that. Support that.
  2. Even worse than talking during the support act is talking during the main act. Maybe they’re performing a song you don’t know too well, maybe it’s one of their older ones that you never really got into, maybe you’re only there because your mate dragged you with them – I don’t care. Because that song you just chatted your way through means a lot to a lot of people in that room. And if I’m crying over Tyler Joseph singing Addict With a Pen then I damn well don’t want to hear about whether you catch the 10:35 or the 11:35 train.
  3. Don’t make fun of people that are having a good time. Top tip; hating everything and thinking expressing emotion is embarrassing just makes you really, really boring. Have fun. That’s what we’re all here for. Stop focusing on the girl belting out the lyrics and throwing her arms in the air and focus on why it is you’re too insecure to do the same.
  4. Don’t watch the entire damn show through your phone screen. No one on your Snapchat gives nearly as much of a fuck about that moment as you do, so live it. Live it for you, not them.
  5. If the band does something that involves audience participation, like coming into the crowd, then, please, remember they’re human. Put your phones away if you need to hold them up rather than trying to get a photo for the Retweets, don’t be disgusting and grope them or try to take something off them, and don’t just desperately claw at and grab them like you’re in a pit of lions and they’re the escape rope.
  6. Don’t go into the pit or near the front and then spend the whole time complaining about being pushed, or being crowded. That’s what happens. It’s part of the experience. If you leave the show without at least five bruises and a cracked rib did you even go to the show? But seriously, embrace the crush. Remember you’re all there because you have one thing in common – your love for this band. And that’s pretty cool.
  7. Don’t be rude to security. Listen, I have met some shitty security guys in my time, but nine times out of ten, they are just doing their job. And their job is fucking difficult. Not to mention it generally is better for you to have them on your side, rather than not.
  8. Don’t try and shove your way onto the barrier when you turned up to a 10,000 capacity show ten minutes before doors. Don’t be that dick. Because I can promise you the people on that barrier spent a really long time queuing up for that barrier, and it’s plain rude to then barge your way through the crowd and try to pull them off it. You want barrier at a big show? Queue for it.
  9. Don’t be salty about the people that did queue up for the show. Yes, camping out on the streets of London for two nights is a bit extreme. Yes, it’s reckless of them to have abandoned their school work/degree/job/life in order to do so. But the difference is that they made the decision to take those risks, and you didn’t.
  10. Don’t ever use a show as an opportunity to harass, grope or assault someone. You don’t get to touch another person inappropriately in the street so why would you think a gig is different? The fact is it’s not different, but far too many people – especially women – experience some kind of sexual harassment or assault at a show. It needs to stop.

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