Concert going is a big part of a lot of our lives, and whether you’re attending your first show ever or your 100th, we all know there are some unwritten rules to be followed. I threw out the question on Facebook a couple weeks ago and asked, “what are your unwritten rules of concert going?” I agree with a lot of them for the most part, but there are definitely a few that are subjective. These aren’t the gospel, but something you should consider when heading out to see your favorite band or artist.

You may be having the best time of your life but simultaneously causing someone else to have the worst time of theirs. One time, I was at a show at the Fillmore with a friend and a colleague who I barely knew. I had made the comment that this was one of my favorite bands, and I was really excited for the show. This colleague proceeded to talk to me during the ENTIRE show. You may be asking, “why didn’t you just go to a different spot in the theater?” I wanted to, but I felt like because this was someone I worked with that would somehow be more rude than what he was doing to me.

Either way, no one wants their concert ruined by someone else’s ignorant actions. Between the responses online and all of us here at the radio station, we’ve come up with what we are calling, “The Unwritten Rules of Concert Going.” You don’t have to agree to all of them or necessarily adhere to these rules, but maybe keep them in mind at your next show!

  • Practice Personal Hygiene

    In general, you want to make sure you are practicing personal hygiene, but it is truly essential when concert going. The last thing you want is to end up standing next to a big sweaty guy who smells like the leftovers in your fridge from two weeks ago or even worse…being that guy. To prevent yourself from being on either side of this problem, make sure to shower before you come and wear many layers of deodorant. Standing in a tight space with hundreds of people already makes breathing difficult, don’t add to the problem.

    England's Schools Prepare For Pupils Return From Coronavirus Lockdown

    (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

  • Don't Record The Entire Show

    Straight up, put your phone down! Do not record the entire show, no one wants you blocking their view because you decided to get in someone’s way with your phone or iPad. Live in the moment, and don’t spend your entire time at the show watching the event happen through a small screen. With that being said, sure, you can take a couple videos or pictures for the gram, but just be mindful because more than likely you will never go back and rewatch those videos. And if you do, you might want to wear headphones because no one will want to hear your loud scream singing.

    Global Citizen Festival 2022: New York

    (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Global Citizen)

  • Don't Block People

    This one is tough. In places like the Fillmore or St. Andrews, there are no seats. It’s not your fault you’re as tall as Shaq, and that shouldn’t stop you from being in the front row for your favorite band. That being said, in some theaters there are locations for handicap seating and standing directly in front of that is a total dick move. Those dedicated locations aren’t typically right at the front of the stage so there’s no reason you can’t go to another spot. Also, if you’re not as into it as some of the shorter people behind you, maybe let them stand in front of you. You’ll still be able to see over them, Jolly Green Giant. Oh, and don’t decide to wear your Cat In The Hat hat.

  • Help Someone Up If They Fall

    Whether you are in the pits or not, if you see someone fall or get injured, help them! You may not know the person, but you both have one thing in common, which is the love of music for the artist preforming. This has always been known in the world of rock n’ roll and metal, but apparently in some other genres of music they are unaware. We’ve seen it happen at shows more recently where people get trampled and unfortunately, this has caused injury and even death. Be kind to others, so that hopefully in return if you go down someone will be there to help you up!

    2023 NBA Finals - Game Two

    (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

  • Crowd Surfing

    I could probably have a whole sub-post on the art of crowd surfing, but let’s stick with the rules for now. First and foremost, if you want to go crowd surfing, make sure there’s a crowd. I was at a festival recently where a dude tried to go up right behind me. Unfortunately for him, there was about 6 feet of concrete in front of me and no crowd. He went down like a sack of bricks. You need a crowd to crowd surf. Secondly, if you’re planning to crowd surf, don’t wear steel-toed boots. Seriously, what concert are you at that would warrant that sort of shoe wear? The first time I saw the Offspring, I got kicked in the back of the head by a crowd surfer wearing steel-toed boots. GTFO.

    Voodoo Music Experience - Day One

    (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)

  • Don't Go In The Pit If You Can't Handle It

    I hate to tell people who love a band they can’t go all the way to the front row, but if you can’t handle it, that’s on you. Being in the front row or in the pit is a straight up job. You have to be looking out for crowd surfers, most pits and pushing and shoving. If you can’t handle it, you gotta go back further. Mosh pits are a part of concerts. You have to know your limits, and you can’t get mad when you get kicked in the back of the head by a steel-toed boot.

  • Keep Booze Out Of The Mosh Pits

    I find this controversial for a few reasons. First of all, if you want to spend $15 on a beer and take it into the pit, that’s on you. If you’re in the pit and something gets spilled on you, that’s on you. You’re probably all sweaty anyway, so what difference does it make? Venues never serve drinks in glass so there should be no issue there. Personally, I’m not taking my over-priced drink anywhere near where it could get spilled. I also feel like spilled drinks make things slippery and could cause injury, but that might just be me getting old. Think about your wallet before taking drinks into certain areas.

    Reading Music Festival - Day 2

    (Photo by Frantzesco Kangaris/Getty Images for Tuborg)

  • Don't Throw Things On The Stage Or At The Artist

    Back in the day, it used to be bras and underwear flying up on stage. Pretty rad, right? Now, it’s cell phones, shoes and beer cans. Not quite as sexy. Just last week, pop artist Bebe Rexha got clocked in the face by a fans cell phone, got a black eye and had to receive stitches! She had to cancel the rest of the show ruining the night for many fans. (Remember what we said about ruining other people’s experience.) Keep your personal items to yourself.

  • Let People Pass If They're Trying To Exit

    Be respectful of people trying to exit, especially if they’re in the pit or near the front. It gets HOT when you’re up close to the stage and the worse thing that can happen is you can’t make it out and you end up passing out or getting injured. Plus, no one wants to feel trapped up there. That being said, there’s a rule to exiting as well! If you’re trying to exit the pit or the front of the crowd, go to the side and then make your way back. Trust me, it’s much easier to go through the crowd on your left or right than directly back. Instead of fighting a crowd coming at you, your moving through a crowd that likely has a natural path out.

    Lollapalooza Chile 2023 - Day 3

    (Photo by Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images)

  • Don't Wear A T-Shirt Of The Artists You're Going To See

    A lot of people follow this rule but it’s definitely subjective. I’ve always personally thought it was kind of dumb. The only reason I would make it a point to not wear a shirt of the band I’m seeing is because I’m planning to buy a shirt as soon as I get there and put it on. Many people believe you shouldn’t wear these types of shirts because everyone already knows why you’re at the show, so wear something to show your individuality, and spark a conversation. If you’re one of these people, try being less judgmental. As far as I’m concerned wear whatever you want. I’ve also been told you can’t listen to the band you’re going to see on the way to the show. Stop.

    Slayer In Concert With Primus, Ministry And Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals - Las Vegas, NV

    (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Sign me up for the 101 WRIF Cybercrew email newsletter!

Join the 101 WRIF Cybercrew to get everything that rocks sent right to your inbox from The Riff! You’ll get updates on concerts and your favorite bands, along with exclusive chances to win. Plus news and stories from all around metro Detroit!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.