The Sherp looks at all the borderline annoying things audience members are guilty of, that can turn off a performing musician at a music festival.
A musical performance is a two way street. It is an engaging process where you need the performing artists and their audience to connect on an intangible level. The musicians often thrive on the vibe and the energy they receive from the audience. They expect their theatrics to enthuse visibly exhilarated reactions. But sometimes, we’ve all seen audience be, almost disrespectful to the artist, enough to anger them real good.
Today, we look at the many things you may do at a music festival that aren’t necessarily polite. Pay heed.
1. Talking loudly during the set
This is what ‘The one man show’ Scott Biram had to say on his Facebook page after a performance at Memphis –
“If you don’t like getting told to shut up at my shows… Don’t stand in front of the stage during quiet songs and talk about how often you wash your hair. Simple as that.”
It really is that simple. If your discourse requires immediate attention, get the hell out. Or at the very least, go to the very end of the ground and finish up your conversation, if you must. It is downright disrespectful to talk loudly within the performing musician’s earshot. It is especially rude when they are performing for you, an audience that would rather talk with itself than listen and enjoy. You’re not just ruining their concentration but you’re effectively ruining the experience of all those around you who are there for the music.
2. Fighting with another audience member
We all know about that time Dave Grohl himself had to intervene and break a fight during his festival performance and had to ask one of the guys to leave before continuing his set. It’s safe to say that if your minor music festival scuffle can piss Dave Grohl off, then it’s bound to interrupt any performance you’re attending.
Nobody cares about your minor ego battle, but your yelling match drowns out the music and disrupts the musician in the rowdiest manner possible. Not everyone might be as cool as Dave Grohl to stop it – a young, amateur performer wouldn’t even be sure what to do. So, take your fights elsewhere if you cannot deal with them quietly.
3. Taking a selfie
We’ll try to explain this the most politely we can. Imagine a performance – the musicians are on stage feeling the reactions, the enthusiasm and the ecstacy. Every dance you do, every jump you take sends them virally crazy over their instrumentals. Until, one of you decides to be a narcissistic prick and take a picture of yourself. Now, there is nothing wrong with taking a flattering picture of yourself, but during a performance it gives out the message that you care little about the music or the set, for all you do care about is capturing yourself in that moment. That you’re doing it to validate your presence, and it can make the musician feel severely unrewarded.
4. A selfie with those selfie sticks
While a selfie is bad enough, one with those horrendously long selfie sticks is worse. Especially if you’re standing in the very front row, with your stick literally extending into the face of the musician just so you can have your pretty picture? Not worth it.
5. When you clap out of rhythm
It recently pissed Justin Bieber off, so you can be sure that it is bound to annoy any self-respecting musician there is. Clapping out of rhythm is the cardinal sin you should not commit as an audience member. It not just ruins the on-going tempo and harmony of the musician, but it also shows your callousness to care. Instead, wait a bit, listen to the beat and pay close attention, if you please.
6. When you boo the musicians
Now we’re in the downright obnoxious territory. There are multiple things one can do if they don’t enjoy a set at a music festival. Hitting up another stage, go grab a drink and just chill at the very back being a few of them. None of them require that you behave boorishly and shout back at the performer. Howsoever bad a set is, booing is just plain wrong.
7. Throwing anything at the musician
Doing this pretty much makes you an asshole. There is no reason for your drunken, rowdy ass to be tolerated for this. It is rude to throw anything at anyone, anywhere. It’s worse when you do so during a performance where an artist is performing with all resident passion for your ungrateful self. It’s plausible not to like a set. You can choose to walk out or rant about it all you want on social media. But throwing something, especially that which can cause physical damage to the musician is just incredibly bad.
8. Trying to get on to the stage
However expensive your festival ticket may be, the festival stage is completely out of bounds for you. Whether out of hysterical euphoria or drunk stupor, you must never try to get on to the stage. You will most certainly fail, what will all the security and the crew, but you might not just hinder the set but also succeed in hurting yourself. Why would you want that?