Illustration: Kenzie Todd/The Olaf Messenger
This just in: Faye Webster rocked my world at the First Avenue venue in Minneapolis. Yet, concerts aren’t as fun as I remember them being. Why is this?
My first concert that I attended willingly was Two Door Cinema Club in 2017. It was then that I discovered my love for concerts; they were such an enjoyable experience. In the years following, I saw artists such as Tyler the Creator, Iyla, Kali Uchis, Vince Staples, and Blood Orange. However, at recent concerts, my experiences have gotten worse. When I saw artists such as Faye Webster, Clairo, Phoebe Bridgers, Boygenius, and Mitski, my experiences were much different.
Concert etiquette is something that seems to have been forgotten post-COVID-19. It died during lockdown and is yet to be reborn. With younger fans of artists entering the world of concert-going and social norms aftr they dissolved in 2020, we have seen an increase in the violation of concert-code. With love, this is my goodbye letter to concert etiquette. With more pushing, more disruption, and more impoliteness, there is less enjoyment for people at concerts.
During my time at the Faye Webster concert, much of it was spent enjoying hearing the amazing artist. It was such a great show. Yet, you can only enjoy a show so much when everyone is pushing to get to the front. Even the least threatening of fans can get a little rowdy. This behavior at concerts has caused problems. There has been an increase of videos of artists having to stop shows for injured fans turning up online. And the repercussions of artists not doing this, such as the Travis Scott Astroworld situation in 2021, have been distressing as well. If fans of artists are not respecting the upholding of safety, it risks the health of everyone.
With the loss of concert etiquette, we are seeing an increase of disrespect from fans to artists. When I saw Mitski in 2022, there were situations of people being disruptive. In the middle of the artist’s “Two Slow Dancers,” a fan from the crowd yelled, “Tell your boyfriend to shut the f*** up.” And on Clairo’s “Sling” tour, many fans were yelling at the artists things like “mommy” and “you’re so hot” during songs such as “Blouse,” which is about the artist’s personal experience with sexual assault.
We are also seeing the increasing disrespect of fans to each other. In my experience, when I was screaming at the end of Mitski’s “Drunk Walk Home,” my friend and I got strange stares, making the experience of my freedom less enjoyable. During my time at a Dua Lipa/Megan Thee Stallion/Caroline Polacheck concert, there were two couples in the crowd fist-fighting.
Concert etiquette has gone down since my earlier concert experiences and with this, so has my enjoyment of them. While many are joining the concert-going scene, it is important to prioritize the reviving of concert etiquette.