This Friday I will be attending Van’s Warped Tour. Warped Tour is the largest and longest running music festival in the United States. Unfortunately, this year will be its final run.
This particular music festival has significant meaning to me. It was instrumental in helping me really figure out who I am, even if it was at the ripe age of 43, and it’s been my happy place for the last five years.
Most of the concerts that I go to are alternative bands and I’m usually immersed in a crowd much younger than myself. So here is some concert etiquette that I wish everyone would embrace.
Most of these rules apply to general admission audiences. If there are assigned seats, you don’t have as many potential issues.
Watch the Opening Act
Many of my favorite bands I first saw as opening acts for other bands, so pay attention. Over all the concerts I have been to, there was only one band that I did not enjoy at all. Most of the time if they are lacking in stage presence, their music is good. If their music isn’t that good, they are at least entertaining to watch.
And especially if you are at the front of the stage, get off your damn phone while they are playing. They deserve that much respect for putting themselves out there and chasing their dreams.
Speaking of that Damn Phone….
Put it AWAY!!! The artist that you admire and love is right there in front of you – watch them! You can take a picture or two or a short video to commemorate the occasion so that you can reference it later to take you back to that night. But you don’t need to have your phone out the entire time recording every fucking minute. You are NEVER going to sit down and watch that whole recording, so be present and enjoy the evening.
Closer to the Stage – Know What You are Getting Into
If you are close to the stage, expect to get pushed around and that people will be pressed right up against you. It’s going to be hot and sticky and sweaty, and you need to deal with it. Otherwise, move to the back of the venue. You can actually see better the farther back you stand.
If it happens to be a concert where there is crowdsurfing, you will get kicked in the head or bumped around by the occasional surfing enthusiast. This is part of the atmosphere, either you join them, you watch out for them or you get completely out of the way.
Mosh pits are harmless fun and a way for some music lovers to show their enthusiasm. If they scare you or you are afraid of being knocked down, then move back and admire from a distance.
Don’t shove your way to the front. If you want to be close to the stage, then get to the venue really early and wait in line. Great rewards require sacrifice.
if you notice someone shorter than you, be a decent person and let them stand in front of you. It’s very disheartening to just see arms, heads and fucking cell phones and not be able to see the stage.
Make sure to drink lots of liquids, even if you aren’t thirsty. You will dehydrate quickly, especially if it is during the summer or if you are doing a lot of dancing, screaming and cheering.
For more tips on staying safe in the heat, check out my post “Keep Yourself Safe This Summer”.
A Note to Parents
If you are a parent and you are unsure about letting your child go to a concert, let them go. I have found the “scarier” the band looks or sounds, the nicer they and their fans usually are. If you think about it, they all have an immediate bond because they all like the same artist, and this bond makes them look out for each other.
It’s not just the other fans, I’ve seen countless artists stop a concert if they see someone faint or get hurt. They will make sure they are okay before continuing the show.
Your son or daughter will be just fine and will probably have a memory that will last a lifetime and mean the absolute world to them.
If you are still unsure, go with them, and hang out in the back. You might surprise yourself and enjoy the evening.
“Where words fail, music speaks.” – Hans Christian Andersen