Photo By: Colin Lloys from Unsplash

With COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, concerts are finally coming back. One thing that a lot of people have been quick to point out, is that a lot of folks seem to have lost (or never learned in the first place) their concert-going etiquette over the past two years. 

Concerts can be an incredibly entertaining and fulfilling experience, but all it takes are a few people with bad manners to ruin it for everybody, including the artists. So with that being said, I’ve decided to put together a handful of behaviours that you should be sure to avoid, as well as some things you ought to know before you head to your next concert. 

Respect performers

I get that our social skills might be a bit rusty after two years of minimal and intermittent use. Still, there’s no excuse to be downright disrespectful of the act putting on a show for you. Generally speaking, you should listen to the performer(s) and respect their wishes. If they say no flash photography, then there should be no flash photography. Performers often use live shows as a platform to perform new material, so if they ask you not to record, respect that request. There’s an element of trust between a performer and a live audience, don’t violate it. It’s okay to sing and dance and have fun, but if a performer asks for a moment of silence or is clearly in the middle of a serious moment, it’s common courtesy to pipe down. 

Know where to sit or stand

Okay, hear me out on this one. Different parts of a concert venue are appropriate locations for different activities. If you want to stand as close to the stage as possible, you’re going to have to accept that you might get bumped into, pushed, or swept into a mosh pit. If you want to have a chill laid back night, then you should plan for that too. If you’re at a venue that’s just general admission, resist the urge to get closer to the stage and hang out near the back or the side of the crowds. If you’re buying specific tickets, get seats rather than floor tickets. 

Respect the people around you

Remember that you’re sharing an experience with the people around you and your behaviour can positively or negatively impact that experience. Respect other people’s space, and don’t invade it unnecessarily. Context is key here though. For instance, it’s unreasonable to expect that no one’s going to bump into you, especially if you’re close to the stage. 

I mentioned mosh pits earlier, and those too come with their own set of rules. If you don’t want to get pulled into a mosh pit, avoid the areas closest to the stage. If you want to jump in, however, there’s definitely some stuff to know. Most of it is about common sense and taking care of yourself and the people around you. If someone falls, the correct thing to do is to stop what you’re doing and help them up. If someone calls out for help, it’s generally correct etiquette for the people around them to help them find a route out. Finally, although pushing and dancing with one another is the goal, never ever intend to hurt someone.

Know where you are

Concert etiquette is subjective depending on what kind of performance you’re going to. For example, it might not be acceptable to sing, or even talk during a performance of classical orchestral music, while that very same behaviour would be encouraged at a rock show. If you’re not sure what’s acceptable, observe the people around you, and you should be safe. 

Live music is great and going to concerts can be a fun experience, one that a lot of people are looking forward to having back now that restrictions are lifted. Just remember that you’re not the only one there, and your behaviour could ruin someone else’s nice. So long as we all choose to be respectful, we can all go back to having a good time.