Ten Unforgivable Concert Crimes

Listen up, kids.
Listen up, kids.
Photo by Monica McGivern

Concerts and festivals aren’t cheap. Sure, the base cost might be $15 or $20, but that’s before the entertainment oil barons — AKA Ticketmaster — add on their ridiculous fees service fees. (Really? a $66 fart insurance fee?)

Then, there’s the cost of transportation, food, drinks, hotels, etc. Perhaps that’s why it’s so upsetting when an unexpected variable — namely, other people — takes a big steaming dump on your good time. Allow me to lay out some of the concert crimes you people have been committing lately.  

Can't we all just get along?
Can't we all just get along?
Photo by Alex Markow

10. Fighting for no good reason.
So you paid money to have your favorite band soundtrack your arrest for assault? Money well spent. By the way, we’re not just talking about stereotypical bro behavior here. Cram together a bunch of drunk, sweaty strangers all boxing each other out like Charles Barkley fighting for a rebound, searching for that sweet spot away from the tall dude who keeps throwing up jazz hands, and someone might get bitch slapped. I’ve seen it happen at Radiohead and Vampire Weekend concerts. Hipsters can fight too!

We've heard it before.
We've heard it before.
Photo by Karli Evans

9. Yelling out, “Free Bird!”
This stopped being funny in the '80s, and that was a decade after the song was first released by Lynyrd Skynyrd. These days, it’s about as funny as running your genitals through a pencil sharpener. If you do shout it, look around. Your friends all loathe you. In fact, it’s time you knew the truth: You're adopted. Your adoptive parents hated you, but they're decent human beings while you aren't, you stupid fucking clown. You will die cold and alone and, once you arrive in hell, Satan will only play a Pitbull cover version of “Free Bird” through a loudspeaker you can never turn off, situated high above the entrance to your fiery cell.

See how attentive they are?
See how attentive they are?
Photo by Monica McGivern

8. Talking throughout the show.
Just as no one will give a shit about your fugly ass baby a few years from now when you soil your social media feeds with photos of it, no one cares about your mundane, pointless existence. Oh, my god, it’s your birthday next month!? Good. Ask your parents for a muzzle. Unless you’re the guy onstage with a mike or a guitar, the only acceptable words out of your face are, “Want a hit?” Because, yes. Yes, I do.

Unless your name is Poorgrrrl and you're doing it as a satirical commentary on society, put those phones away.
Unless your name is Poorgrrrl and you're doing it as a satirical commentary on society, put those phones away.
Photo by Karli Evans

7. Filming the entire concert on your phone.
You know what, phone person? Hang out with the “Free Bird” guy. You two were made for each other. Take a hint from your permanent one-percent battery. No one would keep driving if the gas gauge in their car read 'E' — same with the crappy video that’s eating your phone’s power and your credibility as an interesting person. Also, I can’t see. None of us behind you can. Put that shit down, you selfish bubble boy.

We shouldn't have to wear sunglasses to protect us from your flash.
We shouldn't have to wear sunglasses to protect us from your flash.
Photo by Alex Markow

6. Taking photos... with the flash on.
Do you really think your iPhone flash from the nosebleed section of American Airlines Arena is going to make a difference? How do people over the age of seven not realize this? The only effect your supernova has in the pitch black of a concert is alerting the six rows in front of you that some schmuck behind them has no idea how to properly use a camera.

See how much fun they're all having? Notice how none of them has a cigarette?EXPAND
See how much fun they're all having? Notice how none of them has a cigarette?
Photo by Karli Evans

5. Smoking cigarettes.
Don't smoke cigarettes in a crowded venue. Some of us want to smell nice for sex later and not like cancer farted in our hair. Besides, between fast food and terrorists, we have plenty of things trying to kill us already, and we don't need any additional help from your nasty-ass menthols. If you are going to smoke, make it worth everyone's while. Bring a few blunts/joints/apple bongs to share with the group, and make some new friends. And please, none of that regs garbage. You're grown now — pony up the extra cash and buy some quality weed that illustrates you've at least got that part of adulting down.

 

Mouths to yourselves.
Mouths to yourselves.
Photo by Monica McGivern

4. Biting strangers.
This feels like the sort of thing we needn't say to adults, but speaking from firsthand experience, it happens. Look, there's a time and a place for biting. It’s after my fourth tequila shot, on a weekend, in an area I can cover and my parents won’t see. You know what’s not cool? Biting me on the back of my arm three times in the middle of a Skrillex set while your mollyed-out boyfriend struggles with standing.

Look how thirsty they are.
Look how thirsty they are.
Photo by Alexander Oliva

3. Failing to provide free water. 
Every concert, every festival, every venue should provide free water. This business of charging $5 for water bottled from the tap by a multibillion dollar company is straight codswallop – a word that actually describes the taste of Aquafina. From cleaning up blood at a punk show, to reviving the high school girl who went too hard, too early at the Diplo concert, to the millions of us attempting to survive outdoor summer camping festivals, at this point, water shouldn’t cost a dime.

Beware of the bro.
Beware of the bro.
Photo by George Martinez

2. Being a bro.
Aside from providing cast members for MTV reality shows, what purpose do bros serve? They molest crowdsurfing girls, slip-n-slide in mud puddles at rainy festivals next to people trying to stay bacteria- and dirt-free, and howl like gutted dogs during the quiet parts of Bon Iver concerts. Stay home, bros. 

Other people are trying to sleep.
Other people are trying to sleep.
Photo by Biagio Musacchia

1. Ignoring festival camping etiquette.
Campsites getting robbed and white-girl-wasted dudes pissing and rockin’ out with their cocks out is, unfortunately, a given at camping music festivals at this point. This past weekend in the UK, however, shit didn’t just get real, it got real dangerous. Thanks to a “recklessly discarded” cigarette (see #5), 80 cars went up in an inferno at the BoomTown Fair festival. Come on, lads, put out your fags like any respectable Brit: on the arm of your best mate. It’s better than being stranded in a burnt-out field while nursing a hangover that would slay a rhino. 


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