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Gig Etiquette


5pints
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Is it wrong to kick off at a group (3) of lads who decided it was a good idea to push through to the front and completely disrupt everyone around them? Saw Black Stone Cherry tonight and I was standing third row from the front when this group of lads, whom I initially thought were with man in front of me barge through and stand next to him and cause a drunken scene, forcing those around them to back off or get knocked around. Long story short, it almost turned physical but thankfully cooled down. I was greatful there were a few large lads near me that would have helped me out had fists been thrown! All one of the lads could say to me was "you're at a gig". What annoyed me is that everyone was respecting each other's space up to that point and with corona still around I wasn't prepared to put up with that kind of behaviour. Has anyone else had similar issues, or seen arguments/fights at gigs? 

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7 hours ago, 5pints said:

Has anyone else had similar issues, or seen arguments/fights at gigs? 

I have but always just people who can't handle their sherbert. 

And usually the sort of people that kick off anywhere, gig or otherwise. Most of the gigs I've been to in the last few years have been pretty easy going, but then these days I usually stand at the back tapping my toe, rather than in the mosh or pit. 

But even then I can see the pit, and everyone always makes sure everyone is picked up and ok, despite them looking like hell on earth. The last Turnstile one was particularly ridiculous. 

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What did they actually do to 'cause a scene'? Sounds like they just wanted to be at the front so that's where they went. It's always busy down the front at a gig. It's impossible to tell from your story whether they did anything wrong at all even though you're desperate for us to be on your side.

Edited by Chest Rockwell
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While referring to pubs/nightclubs in general and not specific to gigs, I will defer to Coventry's finest Geoff Thompson, martial arts instructor and former doorman with plenty of experience of violence.
 

Quote

If you sense menace in a drinking place, leave and go somewhere else, that’s the easy and simple solution. Someone once asked me at a seminar on self-defence what he should do if someone stared menacingly at him in the pub and they felt that there may be an attack. ‘Put your drink down and go somewhere else,’ I said. ‘For the price of a pint you’ve saved yourself a hell of a lot of trouble.’

Again, this is not about defending your ego, it is about possibly defending your life or your liberty and if a pub or club is so threatening that I think I might be attacked ‘just for being there’ then I sure as hell don’t want to drink there any more. There are dozens of drinking holes in every town or city; choose one where you will be sharing the company of people a little less barbarous. Often people feel that they have to fight for their territory. Don’t bother if that territory is a spot by the bar at the ‘Egg and Chip’, because it just isn’t worth it. What you also have to remember is that, trained or not, the consequences of fighting, especially when it is for something that does not need fighting for, can be a life-changing event. People have died and others gone to prison for fighting over nothing.

Is your spot in the third row worth defending to the point of violence? Why not just go and stand somewhere else instead? Some people may not want to be walked all over and decide that's where they are going to draw their line in the sand. But the sensible people will be ones that decide starting trouble when outnumbered three to one isn't the best idea, no matter how many big lads might jump in on your side. There tend to be a few arseholes no matter where you go, I find the best option is giving them a wide berth not confronting them.

Edited by Tamura
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2 hours ago, Chest Rockwell said:

What did they actually do to 'cause a scene'? Sounds like they just wanted to be at the front so that's where they went. It's always busy down the front at a gig. It's impossible to tell from your story whether they did anything wrong at all even though you're desperate for us to be on your side.

Yeah, the lines blur a bit here for me. A lot of it can depend on the gig, but to be honest I think when it comes to anything where the music assumes a bit of kinetic energy, then the front rows belong to the people who are going to give the performers back something. If you want to have a chat with your mate or record the whole thing then pop down to the back and do it from there.

My glasses aren't too rose tinted when it comes to crowds - I'm a-okay with spitting, bottling and hostile environments for women not being the norm at mainstream gigs anymore - but I do quite like the idea that the front is for whoever wants it the most. Especially at a rock and roll show. That's why open air metal and dance festivals are a paradise for people like me who can't abide by the stiff elbows brigade, and why - and I've had this discussion before with friends - the "Worst gig crowds" question always throws up some surprising answers. 

Slayer? Limp Bizkit? No problem. Whereas I found Depeche Mode to be full of insufferable arseholes who are obsessive and wealthy enough to follow them around on tour, who balk when you start moving too much. Everybody protecting their little space around them. I can't do concerts like that. 

Along similar lines, the guy who runs the record store I frequent swears blindly from hearsay that the Nolan sisters used to frequently have the most brittle, aggro crowds around. 

Edited by Gay as FOOK
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Very disappointed that 5 Pints didn’t knock them all out, get a round of applause, get off with all their girlfriends and say that was 15 years ago and we’re still together now. 

I’m off to the YouTube comments section for some real satisfaction.

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Everyone was required to provide an up to date covid pass from the NHS app to get in so that did relieve some of the concerns I had. The issues I had was that we were all there for over three hours watching the support and a good hour of BSC before the group decided to push their way to the front. If they had of done it from the start then that's a different story but they were drunk, getting handsy with people. Putting their arms around people and trying to shake hands. They were right up in people's faces and almost headbutted my sister. Someone said about any concerns about not going to a gig. They were not respecting anybody's boundaries and were out of order. 

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2 hours ago, Gay as FOOK said:

Slayer? Limp Bizkit? No problem. Whereas I found Depeche Mode to be full of insufferable arseholes who are obsessive and wealthy enough to follow them around on tour, who balk when you start moving too much. Everybody protecting their little space around them. I can't do concerts like that. 

Along similar lines, the guy who runs the record store I frequent swears blindly from hearsay that the Nolan sisters used to frequently have the most brittle, aggro crowds around. 

This reminds me of when we went to see Paul Simon and found a place to stand, fairly far back but still able to see everything. Until a woman got up from her nearby picnic chair, took my wife by each arm, and physically moved her along because "I'm here". (She wasn't).

Town where I grew up used to do an annual concert with the likes of Jools Holland, Status Quo, that sort of thing. It attracted thousands of people for whom this was the only gig they would go to all year and they just had no idea of the etiquette. Talk at full volume throughout? Sure? Give yourself armspan's distance in every direction so you can do your middle-aged dancing? Absolutely, this show is just for you. I'm sure they all had a lovely time but they were odd evenings.

Edited by HarmonicGenerator
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Mentioned it before I think but the worst gig I have ever been to (and likely ever will) was Bob Dylan at Hammersmith, and I've seen Alient Ant Farm!!!

Firstly, he was fucking shit, and secondly we were sat upstairs and got scolded every time we whispered to each other (not at inappropriate moments either). I spent the second half of the gig in the bar (the cunt had an hour intermission it was that long) as I couldn't face being stared at every time I moved because the obsessives couldn't hear his whiney "HHHUUUURRRRR"s in their entirety.

My mate was a Dylan devotee as well and was devastated at how awful it all was. 

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I've not been to many gigs but in the few I have I've only seen tension between people that made me uncomfortable twice. One was a bloke who let two women get to the front and then spent the rest of the wait desperately trying to impress them with some clear frustration they didn't want to talk to him in a "I've just bought you a coke-a-cola in good faith" type way because he'd let them in while he pitched a tent and reeked of desperation, which made me feel uncomfortable and clearly wasn't a fun hour for the ladies in question.

Second was someone pushing to the front after the warm-up act finished, which got some tutting but nothing more until they opened an incredibly pungent sandwich they had smuggled in and proceed to eat it as clumsyly as possible. I watched as blue words and threats filled the air before a fight was defused when he stuffed the sandwich in his pocket and retreated.

 

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