Putting the words 'concert' and 'etiquette' together is rather unheard of. When you think of a concert, you think of a wild crowd having a great time, and you don't regard it as a formal event that requires your best behavior. Contrary to how wild a concert can be, there are some guidelines that should be followed in order to satisfy yourself, the rest of the crowd, and even the artist.
As an avid concert-goer, I know that how you act at a concert impacts both the people around you and the artist that is performing. There is a certain way to act when you're surrounded by that many people in a tightly-packed space, and if you don't go to a lot of concerts, you might not realize that some of the things you do can actually be disruptive. For the sake of being able to properly enjoy a concert, here are some pointers about concert etiquette.
Acknowledging the artist:
Live performances are incredibly different from watching a video or listening to a soundtrack. The artist reacts to what the audience does, and vice versa, ultimately relying on each other for engagement and energy. Just think about it... if the artist is boring and isn't engaging with the audience, the audience will be discouraged and stop engaging, and if the audience isn't giving the artist attention, the artist's energy and excitement will go down.
Basically, just do what the artist tells you to. After all, their fans are literally what keep them going. If you give your 100%, they will too. Your participation as a member of the audience not only enhances the entire performance, but it also makes the artists so darn appreciative. Just look at this picture of Dan Reynolds from Imagine Dragons laughing with the crowd. I'm not crying, I swear.
Acknowledging the audience:
If you've been to any general admission concert, you know how crowded the space can get. People pushing and shoving to get to the front, people complaining loudly about what's going on around them, people under the influence of god-knows-whatever. We all know those kinds of people, but we need to make sure we're never one of them.
My biggest issue is with people who just don't seem to understand what boundaries are. Whether they're completely intoxicated and using you for support, or they're trying to shove past you to get to the front, they're so frustrating to deal with when you're just trying to enjoy yourself. Personally, I love my personal space, and I know that it's something you have to sacrifice sometimes during a concert, but being constantly leaned on and shoved is downright obnoxious.
You've also got the people who just aren't satisfied with where they're standing and try to get past you to get closer to the stage. There's the classic "I'm trying to get back to my friends in the front row" trick, or simply linking arms and desperately trying to weave through people. I understand weaving through people if there's actually space between them, like toward the back of a music festival crowd, but actually having to push people aside is a whole other level. It's not cool. If you want to be in the front, get there earlier next time.
Lastly, be mindful of any objects you might have when you're at the concert. Try to leave your giant backpack at home. Be extra-careful if you have an open drink in your hand. Don't blow a freaking cloud of smoke in someone else's face. Make sure you aren't hitting the heads of the people in front of you when you try to take a picture with your phone. If you have a sign, banner, inflatable cactus, cutout of Joe Biden, or whatever, try not to be holding it up the entire time, because you're gonna be blocking someone's view, after all. I'm saying all of this because every single one of these scenarios has happened to me, and it's the worst. I know we're all tightly packed in the floor section of the venue, but PLEASE be respectful of everyone's personal space.
We all go to a concert for the same reasons: To see the artist, to enjoy the music, and to have fun. Is it so hard to coexist peacefully for those reasons? Next time you're at a concert, try to be mindful of everything I've mentioned, and maybe we'll all have a better experience!