Observing human behavior is a little obsession of mine. Living in London you especially get a glimpse into the true nature of man from your commute to work alone. The past couple of weeks I’ve gladly been to more gigs than I have tube journeys and I’ve been picking up on crowd behavior from spending so much time in fields with strangers. I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s a definite crowd etiquette to be adhered too. Let me know what I’ve missed. ♥
- People born tall were not genetically modified for the sole purpose of obstructing your view, no matter how convinced you are they were created for this very moment by Frankenstein to ruin your night at [insert venue name & band here]. Give the lanky people a break and don’t be mean to them. If it’s bothering you that much then you’re much better off moving than getting the pitch forks at the ready.
- If you’re going to wee in a bottle make sure you put the lid on after you’re done.
- Similarity if you’re going to wee in a cup and then throw it (anyone else witness the urine shower fest at Oasis, Milton Keynes in 2005) beware of karma. If you’re the unfortunate that ends up with wee over them, have faith that aforementioned karma will wreak revenge and get as drunk as possible so you don’t care.
- Do not be a snob about the appearance of those around you. At Arcade Fire, Hyde Park, we had the most amazing time with a bunch of ‘chavs’ (for want of a better term) from Croydon. A similar crowd at Pulp, again Hyde Park, were equally beautiful to spend time with and were so concerned they may be obstructing our view they kept apologising (seemingly forgetting about the thousands surrounding us). Your behavior is infectious so spread your excitement and happiness.
- If you are concerned about being trod on/personal space/being crowded/hurt/not breathing properly/having too many people in close proximity/people sneezing near you perhaps going to a gig was not the wisest choice. We had a lady behind us recently who constantly complained of all the above on rotation throughout the whole set.
- Be the bigger person and don’t react to anyone trying to start to a fight. I know it can take a lot to walk away from someone who gets all up in your grill but don’t let someone’s negative attitude ruin the memories you are making. Inevitably when you mix drink, confined spaces and crowds tension can bubble over but you can choose not to be a part of that.
- People move. A lot. If you don’t like shifting an inch to let someone past to get to the bar, or you don’t agree with people having a dance then stand at the sidelines or sit at home and listen to the CD. Recently had someone appalled that we were dancing (along with 500 other people)
- Don’t throw drink at people when they’re on someone’s shoulders. Firstly it’s a waste of liquid. Secondly, both the top and bottom of the human totem will only last a song or two maximum so eventually your view will be restored.
- Save your chit chat for the bar. I’m not saying don’t mutter a word for the duration but someone just reminded me that talking grates on them. I remembered a gig at Brixton Academy where two girls chatted the entire time from ex boyfriends facebook updates to outfits. It was painful and ruined the gig for me entirely.
- This is festival advice only, but if you are strongly opposed to an act do yourself and everyone else a favour by choosing to do something different with your time. I was surrounded by the disillusioned and downright grumpy during Beyoncé at Glastonbury that were not budging in their hate. The excitement around them was not catching light. If you have options use them to your advantage. That has to be better than sulking.
- If you see people struggling to take a group photo, especially lovely couples trying to capture their latest Facebook profile picture do what karma would smile at you for and offer to take their photo. People want their memories to last & it will come back around when you need it doing.
- Perhaps what I found most interesting recently was an apparent divide during Pulp. I witnessed this fall into two categories. Once when a group of women in their thirties were berating some younger girls because they couldn’t possibly be “original” Pulp fans, one of the girls said “I’m not apologising for being 18”, and quite rightly so. Also, there was a geographical split as I heard a large group of people from Sheffield pointing out people in their immediate area and sneeringly accusing folk of being from London based on how much they were dancing/shouting/singing. Music is universal and no one, and I really do mean NO ONE, has a bigger claim over music based on geography, sex, age, shoe size, commitment to the cause (Jarvis himself acknowledged that although Sheffield is his home town the songs would not exist had he not moved to London). Enjoy it for what it means to you, and not what you think it doesn’t mean to others.