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Here's how to have a good time without ruining the night for others IMAGE: UNSPLASH

Rocking Out Responsibly: Concert Etiquette 101

So, you've snagged those coveted tickets for The Eras Tour. Before you unleash your inner Swiftie, it's crucial to brush up on some concert etiquette to ensure you're not the person everyone's side-eyeing. Here are some dos and don'ts of concert behaviour:

1. Thou shalt not be fashionably late:

Concerts are not known for starting on time like a strict dinner reservation. However, there's a fine line between fashionably late and "Did I miss the entire gig?" Arrive a little early and claim your spot in the crowd without stepping on toes or blocking views.

2. Dress for success (and comfort):

Leave the ball gown or three-piece suit at home – this is not a black-tie affair. Opt for a stylish yet comfortable ensemble. Remember, you might be jumping, dancing, and fist-pumping, so those stilettos might not be the best choice.

3. Show some respect for the opening act:

They may not be the headliners, but the opening act deserves your attention. Give them a chance, and who knows, you might discover your new favourite band. No loud conversations or bathroom breaks during their set – that's just rude.

4. The art of personal space:

Respect the personal space of your fellow concert-goers. You're all there for the music, not a wrestling match. Keep your elbows in check, and if someone looks uncomfortable, a polite step back might be in order.

5. Phone etiquette 101:

Sure, you want to capture the moment for your Instagram story, but no one wants to watch an entire concert through your phone screen. Snap a quick pic, then put that phone away and live in the moment. Plus, nobody wants to be blinded by your flash during a power ballad.

6. Dancing diplomacy:

Get your groove on, but be mindful of the space around you. Flailing limbs and impromptu breakdancing may not be appreciated by your neighbours. If you're planning a dance-off, save it for the after-party.

7. Singing (or shouting) along:

It's a concert, not a karaoke night. Singing along is encouraged, but screaming the lyrics in someone's ear is a definite faux pas. Find your vocal balance and belt it out with consideration for those around you.

8. Be hydrated, not inebriated:

Enjoy a drink or two beforehand, but nobody wants to be next to the overly enthusiastic beer-spiller. Moderation is key – remember, the person in front of you didn't sign up for a surprise beer shower. And remember, outside beverages are not allowed in the National Stadium. 

9. Navigating the mosh pit:

If you find yourself in the standing pen, embrace the chaos responsibly. Be aware of crowd surfers, help fallen comrades, and, most importantly, follow the unwritten mosh pit rules. Thrashing is encouraged; bodily harm is not.

10. Know when to move and when to stay:

If you need to leave your spot, do so between songs, not in the middle of a guitar solo. Similarly, if someone needs to pass, graciously step aside. It's all about timing.

11. Respect the quiet moments:

Not every song is a head-banger. Some are slow, soulful ballads that require a different kind of appreciation. Don't be the one shouting for "Cruel Summer" during a delicate performance of "Cardigan". 

12. Encore expectations:

Yes, we all want an encore, but chanting "one more song" for 10 minutes straight might not be the best strategy. If the band doesn't return, accept it gracefully and revel in the awesomeness you've already experienced.

13. Post-concert clean-up:

Leave the venue as you found it – or better. Don't be that person who leaves a sea of discarded cups, wrappers, and glow sticks in their wake. Mother Earth and the venue staff will thank you.

14. Safety first – yours and others':

Crowds can get rowdy, but safety should always come first. If someone falls, help them up. If someone looks distressed, alert security. We're all here to have a good time, so let's ensure everyone gets home in one piece.

15. Spread good vibes:

Above all, spread positivity. A concert is a shared experience, so radiate good vibes, make friends, and maybe even share a high-five with your neighbour. After all, you're all there for the love of the music.

16. Don't throw things at the stage:

Throwing stuffed toys or flowers at the artistes might be a time-honoured tradition, but it's at best distracting, and at worst, dangerous. In 2023, singer Bebe Rexha needed stitches after getting hit by a thrown iPhone. Also, remember the time someone threw their dead mother's ashes onstage at Pink's concert? 

17. Flex responsibly: 

While there's some skill involved in nabbing tickets, getting them is often a luck of the draw. Maybe your friend got a horrible Ticketmaster queue number. Or maybe they had to forgo seeing the concert to save money for other big-ticket expenses. Whatever the reason, have a heart: don't Facetime or send your pal videos on the night itself just so they can "experience it through you". Be like everyone else and post your videos on social media instead. 

Follow these rock-solid guidelines, and you'll not only have the time of your life but also earn the respect of your fellow concert-goers. Now, go forth and rock on responsibly!

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