The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

We need new concert etiquette rules

Emma Cathers

Nowadays, going to concerts is a whole process: people sit in a long awaited Ticketmaster queue to maybe get the tickets they want and go to the venue sometimes days early to save their spot in line.

Once in the venue, they grab onto the stage bars in the first row and then listen to someone scream in their ear who is not the artist.  

This is only if people are lucky enough to get close. Otherwise, they go through the same process, but watch the whole concert through someone else’s phone screen.

The standard for proper concert etiquette has become more and more blurred as our society has progressed and is causing a larger generational divide with the one thing that is supposed to bring everyone together, music. 

Throughout the 2010s, avoiding shoving, holding your drink steady, not getting extremely drunk, putting your phone away and stopping talking during sets were the main aspects of concert etiquette, according to a December 2010 Phoenix New Times article

Going farther back to the 1990s, people were able to light up a cigarette in the middle of the concert and being in the moment was never that much of an issue as technology was just on the rise, according to a September 2018 Daily Meal article.

Nowadays, many veteran concertgoers feel the pandemic has had a large effect on concerts and that there is a large difference between how people would act pre-pandemic and how they act now, according to a May 2023 NBC News Article.

Concert etiquette also applies to the smaller concert types, including the infamous basement concert scene around UVM. 

The Dog House, a popular basement concert venue, posted a list of new changes and etiquette guidelines to be implemented for safety on Instagram, due to recent events.

The post touched on smoking, fighting and bringing glass into the venue, amongst other safety concerns. 

Concerts are supposed to be fun and enjoyable, no matter the size, but there is a line between having said fun and wreaking havoc on those around you.

As technology continues to advance and concerts become more and more of a luxury with rising prices, there need to be boundaries set. Here are my top four basic concert etiquette tips:


It’s OK to take short videos and photos every now and then, but the people around you did not pay to watch the whole concert through your phone. Put your phone down and live in the moment.


Screaming as a form of support is up for debate, but many concert goers are raising their voices to tell you to lower yours, according to a March 2023 Business Insider article.

People should be able to enjoy themselves at concerts without being a disturbance to those around them and there is most definitely a line between supporting an artist and being obnoxious to those around you. 

Artists are not a moving target to practice your throwing skills

This past summer, performer Bebe Rexha was rushed offstage after a fan threw a phone at her face, according to a June 19, 2023 Variety article. Cardi B also felt the wrath of an audience member’s drink in July 2023 when playing in Vegas, according to a July 11, 2023 Today Article.

Each artist has different preferences, but there should be a universal understanding to not throw heavy objects at people.

Be conscious of those around you when using substances

Smoking and drinking is a common thing seen at and around concerts, but one big difference between the 1990s and now is the stigma of lighting a cigarette, joint or just vaping in the middle of the pit. 

Having a basic understanding of making sure you keep your drink in your cup and your smoke out of other people’s faces is very important. 

The main thing to realize at larger concerts is that artists are human and do not have the spidey-sense to look out for all the thousands of people in the audience and dodge all their phones.

All around, concert etiquette isn’t just a call for respect, but safety. Getting lost in the music is fun, but we need to start considering how our actions affect those other than ourselves.

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