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Let’s face it: Concert etiquette has gone down the drain

Why the ticket war has stopped being worth it in recent years
Caroline Pirsch
With people packed together in recent concerts like Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, it’s important that people maintain respect for others.

You’ve been looking forward to this concert for months. Granted, it cost an arm and a leg for the ticket, but you’re excited and you’ve meticulously planned out your outfit. Now imagine your surprise when the person next to you screams like a banshee, shoves their poster in your face and throws elbows like a WWE wrestler to get to the front. That would ruin your experience, right? It would run anyone’s and it didn’t used to be like this. It’s clear the concert etiquette has gone down the drain in recent years and it’s time to find the source so we can trim this at the root.

Along with general behavior standards dropping, posters have become a common trend with upcoming artists, yet they also have the power to ruin someone’s concert experience. Some artists have taken steps to ban posters and items that may block people’s view in recent years. 

Madison Square Garden released a statement preceding Harry Styles’s residency in 2022 about signs, stating that, “Per the artist’s request, flags, signs and banners are permitted for Harry Styles’ shows at MSG through September 21. We ask that all guests be mindful of flag, sign and banner size so as not to interfere with other guests’ enjoyment of the show”. 

United Center in Chicago also placed a limit on poster size for Styles’s concerts, with a sentence on the flier mentioning that “only paper signs that are 8.5” X 11” and under (with no sticks attached ) are allowed”.

However, it’s not just posters blocking your view that can impact your concert experience, it’s the people around you too. A conflict has emerged in recent years over whether or not you can basically do whatever you want during the concert, whether it’s sing/scream loudly, stand up in your seat, do loud chants, etc.

At a Taylor Swift concert I went to recently, there was a teenage girl and her mom behind us. She was sweet enough before the concert, telling us it was her first time seeing Taylor and she was extremely excited. However, during the concert, she proceeded to screech louder than I’d ever heard, flail, and scream “I love you Taylor” at the top of her lungs at any opportunity. This continued through every song, including an extremely emotional song about Taylor’s dead grandmother, that was punctuated by unintelligible screaming from the girl behind us. My sister was directly below her and it was clear that she was constantly distracted by the noise behind her to the point she had to switch seats with my mom to the end of the row. Somebody confronted the girl politely, asking her to keep it down, and her mom immediately jumped in to say, “She’s at a concert, she’s allowed to dance and sing!”

It’s true that you’re allowed to dance and sing and have fun at a concert, but sometimes it goes too far. When you’re actively impacting someone’s ability to enjoy an event they’ve been looking forward to, it moves from normal behavior to just selfishness.

Tiktok user @jessilynnsta made a video about her concert experience at Allstate Arena, captioning it, “When the concert hasn’t even started and the people behind you already tapped your friend on the shoulder to sit down and you know shit’s gonna go down when the drinks start flowing.”

She later mentioned in the caption that “If you don’t want to be around people go home…we come for the vibes, you could have watched it on your phone.”

Concerts are supposed to be a fun experience where fans are able to come together to enjoy an artist they all have in common. However, this kind of thinking is why there’s been such a drop in concert etiquette and why people have started to not enjoy going anymore. It’s important to reconcile that being considerate of other people can exist alongside making sure you have fun. It’s human decency to keep other people’s experience in mind and people need to recognize that.

To sum it up, yes, you can prioritize your own experience. No, that doesn’t mean you can ignore how your actions affect others. Although this dip seems inevitable, there are ways for people who are more inclined to enjoy the concert peacefully to still have a good experience. Whether it’s finding a higher-up seat, buying earplugs just in case or ensuring you buy seats in a sitting area rather than floor, it’s possible for people to enjoy the music they love without being annoyed by wild screaming. 

However, you should be able to make the decision about your concert experience for yourself. People need to take it upon themselves to keep basic respect for others during concerts or sooner rather than later, these events we love so much may not be the same again.

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About the Contributor
Caroline Pirsch
Caroline Pirsch, Editor-in-Chief
Caroline Pirsch is a senior at San Domenico and the co-editor-in-chief of The Panther Press. She loves theater, lacrosse, and hanging out with friends and family.

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