Alright kids! We’re all music fans here, and hopefully everyone has actually been to a show before but you may not be familiar with a certain set of guidelines that should be applied to every live show experience. The point of this little etiquette lesson is to enhance your experience, and that of those around you, maximizing pleasure and minimizing frustration during your next musical outing. Remember, these rules apply to everyone and should followed at every show you attend.
1. If your tickets say GA, get there on time
General admission shows were designed to pack out venues, not to make your life as an audience member more pleasant. Granted, this form of equal opportunity admission can also give the most dedicated fans the best standing room in the house, but it also requires an earlier arrival time. So, If your tickets say GA, you better get there with enough time to park, order a drink and shuffle your way to the front of the house. If you show up two hours after doors and expect to nab a prime spot front and center, think again. Of course anything is possible, but you’ll be pushing through the crowd at your own risk. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
2. Leave your slut gear at home
Stilettos, backless dresses, flurescent stockings, micro-minis, polyester, and spandex are unnecessary. Granted, quirky fashion has always had it’s place in rock ‘n roll, but if you can see your nipples through your shirt, or your ass crack is hanging out of your skirt change your clothes….PLEASE!
3. Stand UP!
When you’re at a show, you’re at a show. You’re not at home, you’re not at school, and you’re not at the office. Hopefully, you’re exactly where you want to be. So why are you sitting on the floor? Stand the FUCK up! You look like an idiot sitting on the floor in between sets, not to mention all the nastiness that’s probably all over that floor. If you feel like sitting go find a seat by the bar, sit in your car, or take your ass home because you’re about to get stepped on or doused in that drunk guy’s beer…take your pick.
4. Keep your bullshit to yourself
No one came to listen to you. You’re not onstage for a reason so keep your comments, questions, and random outbursts to yourself because no matter what you might think, no one wants to hear anything you have to say. This is especially important if you’ve been drinking. Just remember you paid to hear someone else’s voice, not your own.
5. Watch your drinks
Especially if it’s a packed house, there’s going to be some bodily contact. Keep your beverages close to your body to minimize spills. Watch for crowd surfers, mosh pits and developing circles if you’d like to keep your drink, and please, please, please try not to spill it on someone you don’t know. That’s recipe for a knuckle sandwich.
6. Keep an eye on security
7. For the most part security is there to make things easier on you, but everyone knows rules are made to be broken. If you’ve smuggled contraband of any kind into the venue, these guys are your worst enemy. They’ll confiscate your cameras, snatch your stash for themselves, and bully you around if you piss them off, so steering clear of security/bouncers in general is your best bet. Smaller venues are notorious for being sticklers about underage drinking so security at those venues will most-likely be looking for wristbands or stamps…or giant X’s depending on their policy if you’ve got a drink in hand. Underage drinkers should store beers in an oversized pocket or down by their feet and take a swig only when the coast is clear. A personal flask or water bottle will also do the trick, but abstinence is the only way to ensure you don’t get caught.
8. Music is not a contact sport…keep all appendages to yourself
There will be some bodily contact…there always is, but unnecessary pushing, shoving, elbowing, kicking, pinching, and other two-year-old bullshit is unacceptable. Act your age and treat your fellow concertgoers with respect and you’ll escape any live-show experience unscathed. If you happen to be in the pit/circle these rules do not apply, so don’t come crying to me about it when you break a rib or take a fist to the face. If you don’t want to get physical stay away from the pit…it’s that simple.
9. No one came to hear your ringtones
Put your phones on silent…vibrate at the least. I know you’ve got some bad ass bootleg uploaded to your phone, but you’re not at a party and no one cares that “Stacy’s Mom” plays when your mom calls, even if your name is Stacy.
10. Spread the word
If you see a good show…TELL YOUR FRIENDS! Tell everyone you see until you’re blue in the face because that’s how good music gets around. The best thing about a good act is a great live show so help your favorites out and spread the word!