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Toronto, Canada

312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario - M5V 1R2
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The Do’s and Dont’s of Concert Etiquette

Written by Sabrina Lucey
Flaming Lips Hamster Ball

I just went to Riot Fest.

The name alone tells you that you’re going to have a blast. Ah, the lineup, way too good to comprehend: The Cure, Metric, The National, Tokyo Police Club, The Flaming Lips, Death Cab for Cutie, Dropkick Murphy’s, Rise Against, Billy Talent, Social Distortion, Death From Above 1979, and on and on.

Being excited for a concert is almost as good as actually going to one. This involves mandatory preparations: Knowing how to get to there, outfits, funds, food/drink, and finally (my favourite) music memorization. Not only do you want to memorize the music to sing along with an artist/band, but also because the lyrics mean everything to you. And let’s face it, sometimes you have to look up lyrics because you can’t understand what the artist is saying. *Cough, cough*… Pearl Jam. Don’t worry, I still love you, Eddie.

I prepared for Riot Fest for months.

To say the least, the festival was spectacular. Crowd surfing, beach balls deflecting off heads, music by moonlight, human-sized hamster ball, artists doing crowd work, lovely people pushing their way through to the front gates, and super annoyed kids wearing earplugs. To each their own.

If you’re a first time concert/festivalgoer or a seasoned concertgoer, there are some things you should know in order to have the best time possible.

Here are the Do’s and Dont’s of Concerts:

Do look up the rules and regulations. Know the items that you’re not allowed to bring. It always sucks bringing something that is prohibited and having security throw it in a corner with everyone else’s stuff.

Do be absolutely sure how to get there. It’s a bad sign if you’re thinking, “Where am I going?” “Are we lost?” Get on the right buses, at the right times. Look it up online and schedule. Getting on one wrong subway can screw your whole day up. In doing so, it could take hours to get to the show. Never hurts to ask someone to double/triple check.

Do hydrate. I had water at Riot fest, but definitely not enough. By the end of it my lips were chapped as if I just went on a desert journey.

Don’t film or take pictures of everything. Sure it’s nice to look back at the moment, but what happened to living in the moment? You’re not fully experiencing something by filming or taking pictures of it. In a way you’re at home, on the couch, watching another episode of Friends. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t sound half-bad, but trust me you will remember it better. Plus you’re blocking the view of the people behind you. What if you were behind you? Wait, what? You know what I mean.

Do bring only the necessities. Bring a light load; water, phone, cash, sweater, and a little comb and makeup if need be. If you’re going to a festival, certain ones will search your bags and pat you down so make sure everything on you is easily accessible. It’s best to make everything easy for security.

“Dance a little, no one cares if you do the Chandler!”

Do think about your shoes. If it’s outdoors, wear some shoes or boots you don’t care about. You don’t want to get your vintage black vans all muddy.

Do schedule. If you are at a festival and there are a lot of great bands playing, chances are some of them will be playing at the same time on different stages. E.g. The National played from 7:40 p.m.-8:40 p.m. on the Riot stage then Metric at 8:40 p.m.-9:40 p.m. on The Roots stage. I was stuck in a predicament, but I really wanted to see both of them, so I left a half an hour before The National ended and before Metric began. Doing that definitely enabled me to have a pretty good spot.

Do be respectful. Please try to be respectful of others around you. Pretty please.

Don’t be stupid. Don’t start a fight or mosh pit. Think before you act. Waking up the next morning knowing that you have acted like an idiot is always a horrible feeling.

Do get into the music. Have fun. Don’t just stand there like a statue. Dance a little, no one cares if you do the Chandler!

Do be open to others. You could meet some really cool people and end up going to more concerts with them. Concert buddies!

Don’t get too hammered. For the 19-plusers don’t get too intoxicated, you want to enjoy the performance/s and remember what you paid good money for.

Lastly, enjoy yourself. If someone pushes you, gives you a dirty look, knocks your beer over; don’t let it ruin your whole night. Salvage and appreciate the rest of it.

Photo courtesy: The Cosmopolitan

Got concert etiquette tips and tricks? Pass them on in the comments!

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.