Everyone loves going to see live music, but what can we do to make the experience of going to see a band the best it can be? Follow our guide and be a responsible gig goer.
You’ve payed good money to go and see an act, the last thing they want to see is a sea of people who are watching through the screen of their phone. Mobile phones and gigs are incompatible. The second you take out your phone to start taking pictures or even worse filming at a gig you instantly become the worst person in the crowd. You’ve paid money to see an act, why do you want to view it through a four inch screen? Do you really hate yourself so much that you don’t want to see the gig and want to view it back with terrible sound and shaky picture. Make the most of actually seeing the band. Don’t film, and especially not in portrait. PORTRAIT!!!!
One of my worst experiences recently at a gig was when the band brought it down, the lights dimmed, you could hear a pin drop in the audience and then about two feet behind me and over my shoulder there was suddenly a blinding white light. Was it a steward attending to an emergency? Was someone with a bomb spotted that they had to instantly take down? No. It was a man with the empathy of Charles Manson and the social etiquette of a bull. His phone was up above his head and his flash was on. What type of masochist wants to inflict this type of torture on people at gigs. Was it Patrick Bateman? No. After about two minutes I asked the guy if he would care to stop filming, or at least turn his flash off. He was instantly offended, but soon and grudgingly put his phone in his pocket. A couple of songs later he put his phone up again to film. At least this time he had the social awareness to keep his flash off this time. I hope that that intervention has saved people from the torture he put me through.
Another gig, this time in a larger venue. A guy in front of me took his phone out, again it was during possibly the quietest bit of the set. I shuddered as I realised what was coming, though I’m used to watching gigs through other people’s phone screens now. Did he start filming. No. Worse….
As the phone came out he put started dialling and put it up to his ear. I really didn’t want to know that he wanted a cider this time, but as he proclaimed this to everyone within earshot (and given he was shouting full voice, it was a pretty large area) he was told by pretty much everyone to STFU or get out. Outstanding crowd policing. He quietly disappeared and I didn’t see him again. Hopefully lesson learned.
I understand that people like to keep a couple of mementos from going to see gigs. Use your phone responsibly. Take a couple of pictures, tweet that the gig is amazing, reply to that urgent text, but please allow the people around you to have an enjoyable time. Switch the flash off, don’t live tweet the entire gig, don’t take endless selfies and if you have to take an important call, go to the back or outside the room. No-one wants to hear you taking a business call in the middle of their favourite song.