Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Concert etiquette: 6 rules for a killer concert

A younger generation of music fans has arrived yet again and with that comes a learning experience. With the amount of concert footage circulating on TikTok, it’s understandable that some people may be confused about how to act since the majority of footage only showcases the band or audience members making a show of themselves. With that said, here are ten rules about how to present yourself at a show. 

  1. Try to Stay for everyone on the bill. 

You bought the ticket for one specific band and promoters always make the best effort to ensure that everyone on the bill will appeal to the audience and even if they don’t, the other bands will make every effort to put on the best show they can. 

The latest footage of concert goers leaving the recent I Prevail shows after Pierce the Veil finished their set is really disheartening for PTV, I Prevail, the promoters, the venue and everyone in the scene. 

You can find so much amazing music if you just try to get there early for the support or stay for the headliner, they may even become the next big thing. 


Sold out and super crowded show turned into this after Pierce The Veil got off. So sad tbh. ☹️ #TruePowerTour #PierceTheVeil #PTV #IPrevail #IP #Concert #SanJose #California

♬ King For A Day – Pierce The Veil

2. Be nice to the support

Back in 2011, Machine Head went on The Eighth Plague tour in support of Unto the Locust, a critically acclaimed album at the time, and they brought along Darkest Hour, Devidriver and a third band. 

This band was booed, sworn at, bottled and heckled their entire set before the frontman got sick of it and just started screaming at the audience in a battle of wills that just left everybody uncomfortable and frustrated. 

While this was probably not the right move for anyone, it’s the perfect time to go for a beer, go to the bathroom or go for a smoke. 

The band is here for the people that want to see them, not to be lambasted by obnoxious cellar dwellers that need to make it clear that they don’t like the band instead of just playing Adventure Capitalist on their phone for half an hour. 

Also don’t throw things especially if you pee in a cup. This may not be a thing that a lot of people need to hear but it happens enough to be a talking point. I don’t know much about Motley Crue but they don’t need your bodily fluids when they’re on stage… save it for after the show. 

For anyone wondering who the third band was, they’re headlining Download this year. 

Leave your guesses in the comments.


3. Buy official merch

Merch is one of the best ways to help support your favourite bands considering they make peanuts through streaming, album sales and the cost of touring is only going up. 

It may be tempting to spend £6 on that Coheed and Cambria shirt that just has the album cover on from a strange website (or those people who sell unofficial merch outside venues), but it’ll be low quality and inevitably shrink in the wash and the artwork will fade almost instantly because of the low-quality materials and that’s even if they give you the right size in the first place. Most merch also ends up on the band’s website afterwards too.

Merch booths inside the show may be expensive but if you make a mistake, it can always be corrected before the show ends and will almost always be of high quality.

4. Be safe in the pit – crowd killers suck

Pit etiquette is its own thing and there’s a lot of nuance in how you handle yourself. Movies and TV may have led you to believe that it’s just a circle where people hurt each other but it’s actually a rather fragile ecosystem that relies on trust amongst the audience. 

A mosh pit is a deceptively safe place to be, the second you fall down, someone will pick you up and send you on your way. If you end up getting dragged into the pit, someone will help you get out and if you get hurt and the band notices, the show could stop until you get the help you need. 

First of all, know what kind of pit you’re going into. Deathcore and Hardcore pits are typically the most dangerous and that’s due to the crowd killers and these people are to be avoided at all cost. 

A crowd killer or two stepper will wildly swing their fists and kick wildly and a lot of them operate under the apprehension that a show is where you’re supposed to get hurt and hurt people and this is probably because of how the scene didn’t have many safety protocols back in the 80s and people maintained a lot of injuries. 

The older crowd have since grown up and seen people get hurt and make genuine efforts to ensure everyone has a good time and nobody goes home with any injuries besides whiplash. 

The pit is a sacred place to get aggression out in a healthy way, not a battle royale where only the strongest survive. 

Remember what Exodus said; “good friendly violent fun”. Songs about mosh pits being war zones are exaggerations designed to make people feel tough, they aren’t excuses to put people in the hospital. 

5. You already have something in common with everyone

This is for people going alone. 

Not everyone has a group of friends who want to go Xanthrochroid or whatever other obscure second wave of melodic black gaze band you’re into and that’s okay, you have hundreds of friends at the venue just waiting to talk to you. 

Almost everyone there is wearing a band shirt and some people even have battle jackets that are designed to attract attention and start conversations and most people will make every effort to tell about the bands they’ve seen and the places they’ve been. 

Music is an amazing and powerful subject that brings people together in a way that few other things can do and if you just forget that voice in the back of your head telling you to leave people alone then you’ll end up meeting some of the best people you’ll ever meet. 

  1. Drinking too much is a bad time

If you can afford the drink at concerts then you’re already living a good life, not many people can justify that £7 pint but it’s good every now and again. 

It loosens you up and, for a lot of people, helps you feel less insecure about how they look because lets be honest; you’re gonna look a mess in that sweaty venue banging your head and running around like the absolute psycho you are. 

This is all well and good but if you’re going to the bar between songs with the effort of getting absolute Phil Mitchelled and staggering around the show wildly, perhaps even trying to start fights and generally just being a nuisance then you should probably have gone to the pub instead of to a Lamb of God concert. 

There’s every chance security will remove you anyway so if an incredibly expensive ticket going to waste is enough to get you to drink responsibly then do that.

A metal show is a place to have fun and get some aggression but not at the expense of someone else’s experience.
All these rules can be summarised in one simple statement: don’t be a dick.

Would you add anything else? Let us know below!

Lamestream Lydia
Lamestream Lydia
Self-proclaimed journalist, Progressive rock enthusiast and the most American sounding person you're ever likely to meet in the North of England

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  1. Not sure if this would count but also to wear ear plugs. The saying of not hearing the sound and enjoying it more without earplugs is a myth because it’s painful and you won’t enjoy it wherever you stand. If you want to continue going to gigs until old age and enjoy hearing what the band plays then wear protection. It’s not difficult.

    • Hi Pedro, yes I certainly agree with you on that! I ofter wear ear plugs at gigs, and if anything enjoy it more! It does take some getting used to, but it’s worth it to save your hearing, as you say.


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