Alternative Press recently put up an article titled The 10 Commandments of Show Going, but concert etiquette is a tricky subject and is always up to interpretation. Everyone expresses themselves in different ways at shows. Whether it be moshing, crowd surfing, or whatever but a broken nose is doesn’t sound to fun to this writer.
The following list comes from experiences of fans not experts, but we’ve been there. We were the ones with broken noses, scrunched and blistered feet, busted lips, and plenty of scars. We’ve fallen on our faces while crowd surfing, and we’ve earned our stripes going to more concerts than the average Joe. Some of the By the Barricade team put their heads together and wrote down some pointers for concert newbies and veterans alike. Here are 10 ways to make your show experience better, and to improve your overall concert etiquette.
- Wear shoes that lace up.
- Flip flops, Toms, and slip-ons in general are not your friend in an active crowd because slip off as easily as they slip on. Slap on a pair of socks and shoes that lace up, especially at festivals. Your feet will thank you.
- Only bring what you absolutely need.
- Purses, jackets, and even house keys can easily be lost if you’re headed for the mosh pit. After seeing fans lose everything they brought in after getting into the song it’s become almost second nature for the team to only bring their car key into the venue and throw everything else in the trunk.
- Skip the hats.
- It doesn’t matter if it looks cool, if a crowd surfer ends up on top of you odds are you’ll lose it. If it’s a daytime show and you’re actually trying to block your face from the sun, bring a pair of cheap sunglasses. They are a lot easier to hang onto and are a lot less expensive than hats.
- Crowd surfers should steer clear of spikes.
- If you plan on crowd surfing keep your support system in mind and skip the spikes. Nobody wants a ton of pointy studs, chains, or spikes scrapping the top of their head. Same goes for keys. If you bring any keys into the venue put them in your pockets. This writer has seen several crowd surfers get their keys tangled with earrings, and can confidently say it’s not a pretty sight.
- Avoid salty and greasy foods.
- Those roach coach burritos may sound good before the show, but your stomach might not agree in the middle of the pit halfway through your favorite band’s set. If you are holding down a prime viewing spot, you can’t leave to hit the bathroom or porta-potty. Fellow fans may move to let you out, but they are not as eager to let you back in.
- Know your drinking limits.
- Everyone is there to have a good time, but try not to overdo it. Acting stupid isn’t cute, it’s stupid. Also, you’ve already paid those crazy expensive ticket fees. Do you really want to give the venue more money for those ten drinks?
- Drop by the merch booth before the show starts.
- The bands might run out of your size if it’s far into the tour so hit them up beforehand. You will also avoid the long lines after the show. Note: Poster and vinyl purchases are the exception if you want them to remain in good condition.
- Don’t start a fight.
- It should be obvious but we are putting this one in anyway. If you are anywhere near the front during a show try to make friends with those around you. Nobody likes people who randomly start throwing punches to get to the barricade. Also, don’t push back. There are literally thousands of people who can easily slam the strongest man into the barricade so just ease up. Side note: if you’re going to be up front, bend your legs to keep blood circulating so you can stand in one place for longer.
- If you’re in the first five rows of the pit, you’re not a photographer.
- We get it. You want to tell your friends about how close you were and how you almost touched the lead singer. But holding your phone up the entire show to snag photos or video just gets obnoxious and in the way. If you really want a picture up close convince one of the photographers on the other side of the barricade to snag a picture of you. Your blurry close up picture of the lead singer isn’t worth your safety or breaking your phone. If you are really interested in being a photographer email us and we’ll see what we can do about putting you on the other side of the barricade.
- The band doesn’t care about what you’re yelling.
- Fans paid for a ticket to hear a band sing, not you scream. Do you think the lead singer of any band who is probably already married wants to hear someone yelling “HAVE MY BABIES”? If it’s not Blink-182, probably not so either sing along or shut up and stop pissing off fans around you.
Did we miss anything? Let us know what pisses you off at concerts in the comments below or on the By the Barricade Facebook page.