It has been two years since I last posted my pet peeves on concert etiquette or lack thereof.
In the good news department, I have been to more than a few concerts in that time span and all in all, I haven’t encountered too many displays of egregious behavior by concert goers.
In the bad news department, there are still some people out there who have yet to understand that the purpose of a concert is for everyone in the room to be able to both see and hear what is going on onstage and to actually be able to enjoy the performances. So, to that select group who still need that gentle reminder of how to behave at a public performance, I address this post to you. Please read it, memorize it and repeat it to yourself on your way to your next concert so that the rest of us can enjoy the show.
1) Barring extenuating circumstances, do not bring your four year old to a concert that starts at 7:45, unless they are well rested and truly capable of sitting through a three hour show. Sadly, we all know that the 7:45 start time is just a suggestion and only the truly compulsive or relatives of the performers will be there on time, which means chances are good this concert will continue until close to 11 PM. When you see a four year old, sucking her thumb, trying to fall asleep, it doesn’t reflect well upon you as a parent. When you see a parent cajoling their preschooler to get up and dance in order to stay awake, it doesn’t cast you in a good light either. Hire a babysitter, corral a relative to take your kid for the night, but for heaven’s sake, leave her home. And if you insist on bringing your preschooler please tell her to keep her hands out of my sheitel!
2) Do not go visiting friends in the middle of a singer’s set. It disrespects both the singer and everyone around you. Either converse in silence via text message, go outside or wait until intermission.
3) If you really feel the need to talk to your neighbor during the concert, try to use your “indoor” voice. Similarly, there is never a reason to scream and cheer loudly during a concert no matter who is on stage. This isn’t color war, so let’s try to muster up some decorum, shall we?
4) While bochurim dancing in the aisles is de rigueur at concerts, girls dancing in the aisles is totally unacceptable. Reality check: this isn’t about equality. This is a public place, not sleep-away camp or seminary. Sit down, show respect for other audience members who would like you to remember the meaning of the word “tznius”, try to locate some class and dignity and act like a lady.
5) As for groups of girls who feel the need to sing loudly during a concert, see above.
6) While I know that traffic and other circumstances can sometimes be out of your control, don’t come at 8:45 or 9:15 for a concert with a 7:30 start time. Wait until between sets or at least between songs to find your seats because it disrupts everyone around you.
7) Just as a reminder, people plunk down nice chunks of change to attend a concert. If you are screaming, standing in the aisles, cheering or doing anything other than sitting in your seat and clapping politely, you are preventing other people from doing what they paid good money to do: enjoying a performance.
8) Keep the aisles clear. Don’t put your baby stroller in the aisle. In fact, leave the baby at home! (See number one, above.) It doesn’t matter if people onstage are tossing out t-shirts, beach balls or hundred dollar bills. Do not stand in the aisles. Not only is it a fire hazard, but you are blocking the view of the people all around you and while they are probably too polite to say anything, I am not.