Concert crowds are electric, emotional, and exciting. Danger creeps in when fans don’t respect each other’s space and the money they paid to be there. Whether outside or pressed between walls, crowds can make or break an event.
Freshman accounting major Kyle Kozlowski saw Pitbull perform in summer 2022. “It was super packed. We had lawn seats so everybody was just stacked on top of each other,” he said. Lawn and general admission seats are usually standing-room-only areas.
“I think people should have the right to sing and dance. That’s concerts. You’re supposed to have fun, you’re supposed to express yourself with the artists,” Kozlowski said.
But expressing yourself has limits. “People were dancing all around our group. Occasionally some people would get really irritated and try to fight,” Kozlowski said.
Comfortable shoes and respecting another fan’s physical boundaries ensure that everyone enjoys the show.
If possible, map out your seat before you purchase a ticket. AViewFromMySeat.com is a great tool for picking the right viewing spot. Contributors supply a photo of the view from their seat, exactly where it’s located, and a small description of their experience.
“I like it. I feel like it makes it more entertaining,” Junior education major Juliana Hopwood said about fans dancing during a Kenny Chesney performance at Philly’s Lincoln Financial Field. Feel free to shout, cheer, and dance during concerts, but not at the expense of another fan’s enjoyment. Hopwood was ideally placed to enjoy the surrounding excitement. “We were on the corner,” she said. “So it wasn’t like I was stuck in the middle of a bunch of people and couldn’t get out if I wanted to get out.”
Before the show
“Get there early. Traffic sucks,” senior health science major Victoria Camacho said. General admission events make it much more difficult to secure “seats.” Arriving at the venue at least an hour before doors open increases the chances of having a decent view of the artist.
Mapping out your seat before the show includes checking for the closest exits in case of an emergency. Depending on the genre and the performer, overwhelming crowds are inevitable.
If you get stuck in the crowd, remember to keep your head raised and look towards people on stage who may try to give directions.
“There was a lot of security, I remember that,” Camacho said. Camacho saw Travis Scott perform in 2018 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. If directions for overwhelming crowds aren’t easily heard through the chaos, remember always to avoid the center of a surging crowd because motion from all sides collides in the middle. Protect your head if you fall and move diagonally through the crowd if you see an exit.
Taking a breather during the show is also alright; though, don’t try to sneak in contraband.
“I don’t think we could bring in any drinks or food or anything, and then we went through metal detectors,” Hopwood said. “If you had a bag, you had to take your bag off [and] let them search your bag.”
Bag sizes vary by venue and artist. Check the venue’s website to read their bag specifications and see what is allowed inside the site.
Fans with disabilities should check the venue’s website for accessible seating information before buying a ticket. Call the venue after purchase to organize proper accommodations. All venues are required to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act so all fans can peacefully enjoy the performance.
Watching the concert
Fans prepare for performances in different ways. Some buy merchandise, some buy music, and some make signs.
“I don’t mind it. I mean, as long as it’s not obstructing people’s views,” Hopwood said. Holding up a sign for the entire concert will make
people upset, but some artists use signs to connect with the crowd. Holding up phones to record the entire event elicits different reactions from fans and artists.
“I know some people are like ‘keep your phone in your bag,’ but I don’t mind people recording,” Hopwood said. She recalls that her seat in Lincoln Financial Field allowed her to see around the phones and signs. Hopwood empathizes with people’s motivation to record their shows.
“I can see a little bit like your favorite song or something like that, but people are so glued to their phone nowadays, it sucks,” Capacho said. She suggests thinking of some favorite songs before attending the concert and recording those moments.
“It’s for the experience. It’s not for your phone. Like, you’re supposed to be there. Be in the moment. Be where your feet are,” Capacho said.