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Gig 101: The Gig Goer’s Guide to Etiquette

We all go watch bands perform live to have a good time, so try not to spoil it for anyone else. Here’s a guide to etiquette when it comes to gigs.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnake

Source: Gemma Bell

The chance to catch your favourite bands live are always good fun, but every now and again there’s that one person doing that one annoying thing, and it ruins the entire experience for you. Don’t be that person, nobody likes that person, and I’m sure you don’t either. So we’ve come up with a little compilation of golden rules on how not to be an ass, so to say.

Be Mindful.
This sounds like common sense, but please be mindful of your surroundings. If there ever were a golden rule, it’d be this. Respect the strangers standing around you, they’re all there to have a good time; the same as you are. Believe it or not, if someone has never met you before, they may not enjoy having their face fall victim to repeated hair swishes. Nobody can tell you to put your hair up in a ponytail or bun but it really isn’t hard trying to keep it out people’s faces.

Have you got a really big bag pack with you? It happens to the best of us – maybe you’re sleeping over at your friend’s after the show or have just come straight from work and don’t want to fork out an outrageous £3 at the cloakroom. That’s not a problem, as long as you keep it out of everyone’s way and don’t spoil the experience for them. I’ve personally had bag packs that felt like a tonne of bricks forcefully slammed into my ribs and let me tell you it’s a pain that lasts a few days.

Position Yourself.
Okay, but what is the point of standing dead centre of the pit just to sulk the entire way through because everyone around you is jumping/screaming/flailing, whatever it may be. Not everybody sees gig-going as a daily/weekly/monthly workout routine and that’s absolutely fine, but then please position yourself a little to the side or back where all these things won’t bother you. Also vice versa, if you’re standing between the parents who are now a little horrified about all the screaming vocals, maybe try not to mosh all over them.

Enter Shikari

Source: Kennerdeigh Scott

Latecomers Don’t Get Front Row.
While I definitely understand that that is *insert attractive frontman/woman’s name here* standing right on that stage, it’s in bad taste to think you can arrive 5 minutes before the band’s set and try to shuffle your way all the way to the front. You’re not a cat, stop attempting to fit into small spaces you obviously will not fit into. Also, if you’re in a massive group of friends and think it’s a good idea for all five of you to form a human chain and attempt to shuffle your way forward, it’s not.

“Ugh, But You’re So Tall.”
Oh is there a really tall person standing in front of you? Are you surprised at their unwillingness to find another spot despite you asking? Well, if they had been queuing in the freezing cold for longer than you have, they’re actually quite entitled to wherever it is they chose to stand. Apparently everyone thinks if you’re tall it automatically means you should stand to the side, but honestly tall people would like to be able to see the show too, especially if they’ve lined up long enough to deserve a good view.

Beer Is For Drinking.
Hey, that overpriced beer you just paid for? Here’s an idea, maybe try drinking it? What is everyone’s obsession with throwing around beer? Not only did you pay at least three times the amount you really should have, but that stuff is sticky as hell. Your hair clumps together, your shirt sticks to your skin; automatically giving you that boozey smell. All because some idiot thought it was a good idea to toss his drink over your head.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnake

Source: Gemma Bell

Wear What You Like.
“You absolutely cannot wear merch of the band you’re seeing.” “Ew, why is he wearing a The 1975 shirt at a Pierce The Veil show?” “Where does she think she is dressed like that?” Blablabla, it’s all just pointless chatter. Who bloody cares if you’re wearing the band’s merch, not wearing the band’s merch, wearing a velvet dress, or even bare-chested; that’s all very much personal choice. It’s evident we all have a different idea of what appropriate gig attire is, but as long as you’re comfortable stop worrying about what everyone else is wearing.

Please, For The Love Of God, Put The Phone Away.
If you’d prefer to watch the show through a tiny screen zooming in to the point of pixelation, then you may as well stay at home and turn HD off on YouTube. I promise it’ll be the exact same thing, the only difference being you can lounge on the couch with nobody’s sweat sticking on you. If you’ve actually made the effort to physically get yourself to a gig, put the screen away and enjoy the moment. The odd snap is fine, and if you want to record that amazing bridge in your favourite song by all means go ahead, but don’t spend the entire set staring at a screen. When the band asks you to put the phone away, take that as a hint and don’t continue filming anyway. There are also the people who think bringing selfie sticks to gigs is a good idea, which really is a joke. It looks ridiculous and is plain annoying – just please don’t do it.

Stop With The Vaping.
“Do you even vape, bro?” No, but seriously, we get it, you’re really cool, you’re on that vape bandwagon. You’re in a room, shoulder to shoulder with some strangers who want to enjoy seeing a really rad band. They didn’t pay to spend the duration of the gig inhaling the scent of whatever hip flavour you happen to be vaping. If you really absolutely cannot resist, step outside for a second. If you’re at a venue with a no re-entry policy, then tough luck but I’m sure you can survive 2-3 hours without the precious vape.

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