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The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

OPINION: Concert Culture Shifts

Changes in concert etiquette creates disrespectful space for concert goers
The+Granada+Theater+is+a+theater+and+concert+venue+located+on+Mass+Street+in+Lawrence%2C+Kansas.
Mallory Thompson
The Granada Theater is a theater and concert venue located on Mass Street in Lawrence, Kansas.

As an avid lover of music, Lawrence is the perfect music hub. With venues like The Granada to see smaller artists, multiple spaces to see local bands, and all in close proximity to Kansas City to see bigger artists at the T-Mobile Center, Lawrence is a wonderful place to live if you love to see artists live like I do. 

Although I love seeing live artists, I have seen a shift in concert etiquette and a negative change in the space I love. Concert etiquette is different in every scene but there are few core standards that all shows follow. 

There is a distinct difference in how concerts feel between venues. Venues like The T-Mobile Center and Arrowhead Stadium provide larger, more well known artists but you sacrifice being close to the performer. Because larger venues have a much different feeling and audience attached to them, they are places where the rules of concert etiquette are most often forgotten. 

“More people are disrespectful at bigger shows. It can have kind of like a domino effect where if a bunch of people see people being disrespectful, they’ll think that it’s okay for them to be disrespectful,” senior Claudia Davis said. 

At small concerts, you get to be close to the performer. It makes the show more real and raw. The more personal experience makes up for the performer not being a festival headliner. Smaller venues don’t have as much of a problem with concert etiquette like large concerts do.

“At small shows, you don’t see a lot of people being on their phones really unless they’re stepping out of the way or towards the back,” Davis said. “When there’s a smaller amount of people, they hold you accountable for your actions.”

At some points, concert etiquette goes beyond respecting the venue and fellow concert goers; it is also about respect toward the artist. Furthermore, dramatic upticks in people throwing items on stage have risen. 

On June 19, Bebe Rexha had to receive stitches after a fan threw their phone on stage at Pier 17 in New York City. At another concert, P!nk performed when someone threw their mother’s ashes on stage. 

Concert etiquette is much more than just what not to do at a show – it is also just basic respect for those around you and the performers’ time, energy and art. 

One of the best ways to show respect at a concert is to stay off your phone. Not only are you showing respect to the artists, but also to the people around you. 

“You’re not really supposed to be on your phone much if you’re at a show, especially if you’re like towards the front or like in the pit but a lot of people do it anyway,” Davis said. 

Additionally, if you are at the front of the show, filming on your phone can be seen as disrespectful because you are blocking the people behind you’s view of the stage. Not only is being on your phone and filming for the majority of a concert disrespectful to people around you, but also to the artist.

Filming the entirety of a concert is seen as disrespectful because it pulls you out of the show and stops you from being in the moment. Beyond drawing you away from the atmosphere, being on your phone is rude to the artist you are seeing. You paid money to see the show. To many artists, it feels you would rather be on your phone than see the person you paid money for. 

Concert etiquette is important. It is respect towards the space, artists and people around you. The better behaved the audience is, the better the show is for everyone involved.

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