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You’re Being a Jerk if You Do These Things at a Concert

Don’t be THAT person.

The summer calendar is looking refreshingly full this year. Concerts, events, plays, festivals, and theater will be in full swing everywhere. Such a relief after three years of intermittent entertainment with a confusing swirl of rules and restrictions. So, this may be an opportune time to think about event etiquette—the dos and don’ts of enjoying an experience with other people.

As we come together again as a society, it’s time to think about social norms and conventions and follow the rules of decency when you attend any events. According to one popular Twitter user, bathing is also a part of this social contract. So, don’t be that person who disregards queues, hurls things on stage, or generally makes it an unpleasant experience for everyone 

This list tells you what NOT to do, but feel free to add more in comments.

Related: The Best Outdoor Concert Venues in the U.S.

Outperform the Performer

A recent TikTok of a screaming concert-goer drowning out Taylor Swift’s voice has made people debate proper concert etiquette. The original poster said that at another concert, a mother of a 7-year-old asked her to quiet down because she was scaring her daughter. But the views are divided: some people think it’s expected at a big event, and others think it ruins the experience of other people who also paid the same amount.

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Sing with the artist and dance and enjoy the event. But remember that everyone else has paid good money for this same moment. So, be a sport and not compete with the artist performing on stage. If you’re being too loud, reign in your energy especially if someone is politely asking you to do so. 

Shove Your Way Through

If you want the best seats in the house, make it to the venue early. Don’t go pushing and shoving others to get to the front and don’t cut the line. Respect boundaries and don’t get into someone else’s space.

Insult the Artist

It is sadly common for people to throw stuff at performers on stage. Harry Styles recently had a Skittle thrown at his eye; a chicken nugget also made it to his stage recently. Lady Gaga, the Beatles, Madonna, Dua Lipa, and Justin Bieber have all had things hurled at them. At times, it is friendly fire, but any projectile is a hazard to the safety of performers on stage and this shouldn’t happen at all!

There are many times people who have attempted to get on the stage—another no-no. Many artists also face the wrath of audience members. Avicii, 50 Cent, Madonna, Beyonce, and Drake have all been booed off stage for various reasons. You may not like something they do or say, but sometimes, you may want to let it go and enjoy the performance. If you’re absolutely not feeling it, you can leave without ruining someone else’s experience and complain to the organizers or write a negative review. 

Be on the Phone

Whether you’re talking, texting, or recording the entire show, it’s not a good look. A concert or gig is also not the place to have deep conversations with your friends while everyone is enjoying the music. Save it for later. A few photographs and videos will probably suffice—don’t keep your phone up the entire time and be in the moment. Artists don’t appreciate this addiction to tech, either. They want you to be present with them.

At Broadway shows, you’re not allowed to use your phones while a performance is on. Audiences keeps their phone locked in Yondr pouches and after recent incidents of people violating rules and posting nude pictures of actor Jesse Williams, an infrared camera system has also been installed. 

In fact, more and more artists and performers are speaking up against fans staring at the screen or recording every single second. A few years ago, Adele famously reprimanded a concert-goer for being glued to their phone, saying, “Could you stop filming me with that video camera? Because I’m really here in real life, you can enjoy it in real life rather than through your camera.” Alicia Keys, Beyonce, and Bob Dylan are a few of the artists who have banned phones at their concerts. 

Get Too Drunk

In 2019, a 26-year-old woman in Canada got too drunk at a concert and was kicked out. She got into her car and drove into a house, which damaged its gas line. It blew up four houses, but thankfully, no one was killed. She was sentenced to three years in prison for $15 million of damages it caused and now she is suing the company that served her drinks.

It is not uncommon for drinks to be served at an event, but you have to understand your limit. Don’t get disruptive or obnoxious after indulging too much because you may get kicked out for being a nuisance.


Don’t want your drink anymore? For the love of God, don’t drop it on the floor. If you can’t find a bin, keep it in your hand, so it doesn’t get knocked over and cause someone to slip. Same goes for anything else you may be eating—don’t trash the place.

Disrespect Families

If it’s allowed, go ahead and smoke. But if it’s a family festival or summertime event which includes children and families, show them the courtesy of not blowing smoke into their faces. Same goes for using bad words or any other behavior that may not be PG-18.

Not Look out for Others

Being aware of your surroundings means that you don’t block someone’s view. If you are tall and a few spots back won’t matter to you, trade places with someone who’s short.

See someone struggling and you don’t help them out? That’s unkind. Everyone is responsible for themselves, but lend a hand if you can, especially when it’s a crowded live show. Also remember that crowd surges can happen fast. If you’re uncomfortable with the density of the crowd, move away while you still can. 

Related: How to Stay Safe When You’re Attending a Crowded Concert or Event

poohlala April 4, 2023

Don't be the only person standing. Before standing up, look behind you and see if you're about to block people.

and if you came to the concert to chat with your friends...stay home. We didn't pay $160 for front row tickets to hear about your itchy rash.

albertsumar9792 April 3, 2023

The performers get a percentage of alcohol sales, and money for brand promotion while on stage. If it is such a problem at their shows, perhaps they should quit taking $$ from the sales and promos, and allow no alcohol sales at their shows. That should put an end to most of the spilling of and sloshing of the alcohol in the shows, and to some of the drunk driving afterward....

Hpycmpr007 April 3, 2023

These suggestions are all common courtesy.  Back in the day people were taught manners.  It is a shame that some people need to be reminded not to be a jerk.  It has become a really self absorbed world out there.

andreasteck1642 April 3, 2023

More unacceptable behavior: Sloshing and spilling beer on the person next to you--without any apology or offer to help clean up the mess. This happened to me at the Hollywood Bowl last fall and I spent the rest of the concert with a sopping wet dress and sandals.