Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

We need to work on our concert etiquette

Concertgoers are getting rude
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Summer is the best time to go to concerts. The weather is nice, your nights are free and your favorite artists are touring. Like many people, I went to several concerts this summer, but I began to notice something. Other attendees, throughout the duration of the show, kept throwing things on stage. Sometimes, it was bracelets or beach balls that were brought specifically to throw. Other times, it was random trash.

At one concert, the opener acknowledged the things being thrown, putting on the bracelets and interacting with the audience. Soon, however, the artist began to ignore them as the items being thrown became numerous enough that they started to distract from the performance. Some of the band members kicked things off the stage to prevent slipping on them.

When the lead performer finally came on stage, he did not entertain things being thrown on stage. He flipped off the audience when the first thing was tossed, and I don’t blame him.

Of course, every concert is bound to have a few obnoxious attendees. But it seems to me — both from my experiences and the experiences I’ve heard from others — that concertgoers are getting ruder. One example from earlier this month occurred when the band Death Grips had to cut their show short because of fan behavior.

Even when rude behavior doesn’t lead to performers walking off the stage, it’s still obnoxious. Being rude means that you are taking away from the experience of the other concertgoers. It’s also incredibly disrespectful to the artist.

“Have you noticed how people are like, forgetting show etiquette at the moment? People just throwing s*** on stage, have you seen them?” artist Adele said before one of her shows. “Dare you to throw something at me and I’ll kill you.”

One explanation for the increase in rudeness is the pandemic, when we couldn’t go to concerts at all. Lockdown could have made many of us forget how to behave in high-energy public settings like a concert. The isolation also meant that many people grew to concert-going age without the opportunity to learn appropriate behavior.

Another possible cause of this behavior is social media. With a growing number of viral videos of people’s antics at concerts, many people have been encouraged to try and be the funniest attendee. They go to concerts not only to watch the performance but to be “part of the show,” Dr. Lucy Bennett, a professor at Cardiff University, said.

There is also the possibility of being noticed by the performer, which can cause people to throw things or shout at them. Even negative attention is still attention, so people try to get their favorite artists to see them in any way possible.

The important thing to remember is that, even if they may seem larger-than-life, musicians are still people who don’t want to be harassed. The other attendees at the concert also don’t want the performance to be worsened or even cut short by bad behavior. A concert is a fun, high-energy environment where you can be loud and connect with other fans, but it’s still important not to forget basic social etiquette.

Grace Jungmann can be reached at [email protected]

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