10 Concert Etiquette Tips For Live Music Shows

Live music and events had to go behind closed doors for a while there in 2020 and beyond, but with concerts of all shapes and sizes now back with a vengeance, you might find that concertgoers seem a little wilder than they did before the pandemic.

Alternatively, you might have never gone to a gig before and you’re not sure what to expect.

With loads of people in a small space, loud music playing live in front of you, and a whole host of other situations to consider, we’ve put together a list of tips, how you should act to make sure you are following good concert etiquette.

Concert Etiquette

1. Have Your Ticket Ready

Most concerts these days will have a digital ticket policy, so you’ll be sent your ticket via email for you to store on your phone in your mobile wallet, be in a specific ticket app, or to just save the email for entry.

Sometimes, you might have a physical ticket. Either way, when you are joining the queue outside the venue, be prepared as you never know how fast or slow the queue will move.

Have your ticket loaded and ready to be scanned, so that you are not slowing down the queue and making the people behind you wait longer to get in.

The same can be said for bag searches at security if you are carrying a bag with you.

having your ticket ready concert

2. Don’t Cut In Front Of People

Be courteous and respectful of the other people attending the gig. If you are queuing outside, don’t cut in line where people have been waiting before you, as this is rude.

The same can be said within the venue. Don’t push in front of people who are queuing at the bar, for the toilets, or at the merchandise stall.

You don’t have more of a right than any other person to be there.

concert etiquette tips

3. Take Care Of Your Personal Hygiene

A concert is most likely going to be full of people.

The more popular the band, the more people will attend a gig, and you might find that you are stood or sat quite close to complete strangers for a few hours.

Personal hygiene is always important but think about the other people at the gig and make sure your personal hygiene is at a good level.

This is even more important when going to a festival and camping over a long weekend.

taking care of your personal hygiene

4. Don’t Stand Directly In Front Of People During The Show

Obviously, you can stand closer to the front than people who are choosing to stand further back but be aware of people around you and don’t go and stand right in front of someone who has been stood there for a while. It just comes across as rude and a little entitled.

We’d say the same goes for having people on your shoulders or going on someone’s shoulders, this is okay if it’s for one song, but you’re blocking people’s views behind you so don’t spend the whole concert doing it.

There is an unspoken rule about concert etiquette that every person finds their own spot whilst being mindful of everyone around them.

Obviously, not every person does this, but it will make for a more enjoyable experience.

concert etiquette on someone's shoulders

5. Dance Within Your Own Space

Most people want to dance at a gig, that is human nature as the whole point is to have fun and enjoy your favourite artist or band.

You should go and dance to your hearts content at the next concert you go to, but we would say that you should always be aware of everyone around you.

Dance away, but don’t encroach in another person’s space, so they have the room to dance and enjoy themselves as much as you do.

dancing at a concert

6. Don’t Throw Drinks In The Air

There are certain types of bands (we’re looking at your Indie guitar bands) that welcome a certain type of crowd.

Sometimes, you’ll be mid chorus singing along to the band’s anthem and you’ll feel the thud of a plastic glass on the top of your head and some remnants of lager all over you.

It’s gross, it’s sticky, disgusting, and more than anything else drinks are way too expensive at gig venues these days to be lashing half of it up in the air during your favourite song. Don’t be an idiot, actually drink your drink.

throwing drinks in the air

7. Be Respectful Of The Acts

There is nothing worse than hearing loads of people talking when there is a quiet song being played during a gig, so don’t be one of those annoying people.

Be respectful of the acts, especially the support act, as they will be nervous enough as it is, playing in front of a load of people who are there to see the artist or band coming on after they have finished their set.

being respectful of acts concert etiquette

8. Help Others In Trouble

Concert venues can be very hot places, especially if the music is lively.

Think about a gig where there is a ‘mosh pit’ for example, this can be a raucous, very fun place to be for a while.

However, always be careful that you are safe, and always keep an eye on your fellow concertgoers and if any person seems like they are in trouble, have fallen over, or look dazed, help them as best as you can to get out of there and to safety.

If you’re next to where water is being handed out, try to pass a cup back to those further behind you, or anyone who looks like they’re dehydrated.

mosh pit

9. Try Not To Film Anything For Too Long

It is hard for any of us to stay ‘in the moment’.

We all want to take photos and videos, live stream our moments on Instagram and make TikTok’s to show off where we are and what we’re doing. It’s understandable.

You do need to be careful though and it is one of the most important concert etiquette tips of today.

We’re not saying don’t hold up your phone to capture your favourite song, or to take some snaps of you and your friends having a good time but be careful when filming a concert or taking a photo.

Position your phone so it’s not above your head blocking someone’s view behind you, and don’t film the entire thing.

It takes you out of the moment, and are you really going to watch this back in the future?

filming at a gig

10. Don’t Use Flash Photography

If you are going to take photos and film some songs, please remember to take the flash off.

Flash photography might seem like a good idea to get a better picture but in reality, the photo will look a lot better if you take the flash off and focus a little better on the focus of your photo.

The bright flash of a photo of the permanent bright light when filming a video is obnoxious to those around you and will impact their enjoyment of the gig.

Of course, there are times when the artists will ask everyone to put their flash on!

flash photography at a concert

We’ve given you a few music festival guides to get you in the mood for some live music this summer.

Whether you are going to a big outdoor festival over a long weekend, or you are looking forward to some smaller gigs in venues in your hometown or university town, there is always concert etiquette to be aware of.

We hope we’ve given you some solid advice with our concert etiquette guide so that you can get in there, enjoy your favourite music, without getting in any other people’s way whilst you do so.

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