Unfortunately, there is a clear height bias when it comes to concerts. While there are certainly downsides to being tall, being short confers many challenges that, if ignored, can ruin the concert-viewing experience.
So, what can you do if you’ve been handed the short end of the concert stick? Arriving early or purchasing front-row tickets are among the best solutions. Alternatively, wearing shoes with elevated heels, bringing extra water, and being assertive (without being aggressive) can enhance your enjoyment.
Fortunately, you’ve shown above-average preparation skills by entering the Google search that brought you here. Thus, you’re on track to minimize some of the most common issues using the tips we’ll now discuss in greater detail.
Downsides of Being a Short Concertgoer
Why are we talking about short people versus tall people in the first place? If you’ve ever been to a concert as someone below 5 foot 4 inches, chances are high that you’ve encountered some problems that you wouldn’t have had if you stood just a bit taller.
The most prominent issue is poor visibility. The farther back from the stage you are, the more tall people there are in front of you to obscure your view. If you have the misfortune of being stuck directly behind a 6’5 tree person oblivious of your presence, your enjoyment is all but ruined.
Secondly, some short people worry about being trampled or smothered – especially if the show features a mosh pit. Fortunately, the likelihood of this is actually quite low. As far as concerts go, the last major incident involving “compression asphyxiation” was Astroworld, in which 10 fatalities were reported. As tragic as these deaths are, they represent a tiny percentage of the millions that go to concerts every year.
Plus, being tall doesn’t save you from being trampled, either. We’re all relatively the same height once prone and practicing concert safety tips is vital for everyone.
Finally, it’s easier to overheat if you’re short. This statement is grounded in scientific truth.
While the wind can cool the upper halves of taller people, shorter people do not have this advantage. Body heat collects around continuously moving concertgoers (who act as wind blocks). Dense crowds trap this heat, leaving shorter folks much sweatier than their taller friends.
There are other problems that short people encounter during concerts, but the big three – visibility, safety, and overheating – are of top concern. Tackling these will allow you to enjoy your next concert regardless of height.
Top Concert Tips for Short People
There’s plenty of stress when it comes to viewing your next (or first concert). Taking time off of work, dealing with scalper bots and outrageous fees, and figuring out how to get there before all the parking spots are taken provide more than enough stress.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) being short is the least of your worries. This is, of course, if you go equipped with the right tricks and tips.
Tip One: Arrive Early
The single best bit of advice for short concertgoers is to get there as early as possible. If you can beat the crowd, you have your pick of where to stand. Thus, you can get close to the stage before any tree people get a chance to block your view.
You’ll also have the freedom to move left and right if any taller folks do show up in front. Once others flood in, you can chill where you are and enjoy the show.
How early is early? At least two hours before the show starts. Ideally as soon as the doors open. Remember that set length and concert length are vastly different. A concert lasts much longer than the main act. If you’re determined to get an excellent view, you need to arrive earlier than you think is necessary.
Tip Two: Bring Water
As we’ve mentioned, shorter folks are more likely to get hot in a crowded concert. Without your head breaching the top of the crowd, you’ll have to endure the furnace of body heat.
If the concert is outdoors, consider the weather forecast and add ten degrees. Bring more water than you think you need to avoid dehydration. If it’s over 80 degrees, consider bringing a fan. It’s hard to get help if you have a heatstroke in the middle of a Coachella festival.
Honestly, you should always ensure you’re well-hydrated — short or not. Nevertheless, being short can certainly compound the issue in a warm concert environment.
Tip Three: Bring a Seat Cushion (if there are seats)
Seated concerts can really help mitigate the height disparity problems of standing concerts. Consider yourself lucky if this describes your next show.
In this case, the solution is simple — bring a seat cushion (that doesn’t elevate you so much that you block the row behind you). This will help elevate you and provide a better view if you otherwise cannot see over the row in front of you.
Thankfully, this is a simple solution to a simple problem.
Tip Four: Ask Politely to Get Up Front
While not ideal for those less confident, sometimes a few polite requests can get you closer to a good view. This doesn’t mean to mercilessly shove through taller patrons to get to the front row. Politeness is far more effective than aggression when it comes to negotiating in a live music environment.
Even though you might try your best to arrive early, it’s hard to predict what others will plan. Chances are, you aren’t the only person who’d like to be close to the stage. Nevertheless, you’ll have much more persuasive sway if there are still opportunities for taller people to find other great spots.
Some people might deny your request. That’s okay. Move left or right and if necessary, ask someone else. Eventually someone will be kind enough to let you pass.
Tip Five: Wear Heels
We leave the least desirable option for last. Wearing heels might not be the most comfortable solution, although some pairs are more tolerable than others. However, consider the alternative of standing on your tiptoes and weigh the pros and cons.
Many men may not feel comfortable with the idea of wearing stilettos, though. Alternatives include thick-soled shoes that provide an extra inch or two. Such a solution might work better for those who are only slightly below average height. But every inch counts, especially when you combine this one with the previous techniques we’ve mentioned.
What Not to Do as a Short Concertgoer
People do crazy things out of desperation — especially when alcohol is involved.
We’ll go over what not to do at your next concert if you find yourself frustrated. If you wouldn’t do any of these things, you can at least take a moment to enjoy the absurdity. Otherwise, you might learn a thing or two.
Here are the top things short concertgoers do that don’t help anyone.
Bad Tip One: Arriving Late and Cutting Everyone
“Short person coming through. Out of my way!”
Don’t be this person who screams such a line. If you don’t take the time to prepare and arrive early, it is unreasonable to expect others to expect others who paid and prepared to get a decent spot to bow their heads and move to the back. This is also a grossly literal misinterpretation of the term, “short king.”
Humility is the key to getting what you want. Behaving like a monarch is not.
It is true that things happen and you might arrive later than you expected. Nevertheless, you’ll have much better luck kindly explaining your situation to others and settling for the best view you can — even if it’s not the front row.
Bad Tip Two: Picking Fights with Tall People
Believe it or not, there are people who like to get drunk and get unnecessarily angry at folks who are bigger than them.
Also believe it or not, tall people are not challenging you to a fight by being tall. Height is based on genetics, not on a malicious desire to ruin concerts for people by blocking their view.
Tall person blocking your view? Chances are they are aware that their height might be problematic to the people behind them. If you need them to move, ask — don’t demand. If they say no, it is what it is. Move on to a different spot until you have some better luck.
It’s true that concerts may favor the tall. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t overcome the limitations of your height and enjoy a beloved artist with a great view. But you may need to plan a little bit more than others.
The best solution is to get to the concert as early as your schedule allows to get a spot up front. The fewer people in front of you, the lower the chances of a tall person obstructing your view.
If you’re a woman (or a man who doesn’t mind), you can wear heels to elevate your eye level by several inches. Otherwise, thick-soled shoes can help.
And do not forget to bring water. And maybe a fan.
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