If you work in either the marketing or event planning industry, you might have caught word of the Coca-Cola Philippines incident last December. Based on news reports from the Philippines, Coca-Cola hosts an annual Coke Studio Christmas Concert every year featuring mostly local artists.
The event was marketed as a free event, leading thousands of people to show up at the concert grounds. However, the event was cut short, with the event planners citing “unsafe behavior” from the event attendees.
If you work in these industries, you know that “unsafe behavior” is code for “the attendees were rude, ignoring security measures, and overall a nightmare to handle.” And based on the social media posts about it, I could understand why the event organizers acted the way they did.
I saw videos of people jumping over barriers and ignoring security staff just to rush to the stage or grab freebies that were out of reach. During the concert, people were blowing up condoms and passing it around like balloons. I later learned from a friend who could translate some of the related posts about it that many were heckling the less popular artists performing and demanding their favorite artist showed up. When they got impatient, many people started to throw their plastic bottles around the audience, causing injury to some audience members.
In my experience, there’s only so much an event organizer can do to ensure the safety and security of each of the event attendees. However, these security measures were created with the mindset that the concert will run smoothly and people will be safe and happy if everyone followed these steps.
This example, plus a lot of other music festivals that have seen similar injuries and audience behavior show that, if you’re not willing to learn the Do’s and Don’ts of a concert, music festival, or any similar music event, then don’t bother shoswing up.
Do: Remember to Bring Your Ticket
Yes, if you lose your RFID wristband or ticket, it’s possible to get a re-print of it or be let in as long as you have proof of purchase (though this doesn’t apply to all events). However, think about it: concert lines are long enough, and now you have to go through another long line and longer process of getting in.
As much as possible, don’t forget to bring the one thing that lets you into a concert. It will save you – and the event staff – a lot of time just to do a five-second ticket check before you leave your home.
Don’t: Shove, Especially if There’s Reserved Seating
I get it – the lines are long, the wait to get in is frustrating, and you’re excited to see your favorite band. I get it.
What I don’t get are how some people see the need to shove, cut in line, and even climb over people just to get in even though their seats are already reserved. All of you are going to see the same artist at the same time (unless you’re VIP), so anyone who feels the need to shove and step over others are just impatient and entitled.
Not only is it absolutely rude, it’s a security hazard waiting to happen. We have a bunch of fans and super fans filling up an entire stadium. It takes one spark to light a fire, and in that same tone, it takes one irritated concert attendee to start a fight that could injure themselves as well as other attendees nearby.
Relax, kids. If someone tries to steal your seat, your ticket is proof that they don’t belong there. Simply call the attention of security and they’ll be the one to ensure you get your rightful seat. As long as you show up on time, there’s no need for you to be rushing to your seat.
And if your concert doesn’t have reserved seating, all I can say is this: there’s a reason why people camp outside of the concert venue the night before. Either you get there early, or expect that there really will be a bunch of people in front of you.
Do: Stay Hydrated
Unless the concert is an orchestra in a fancy art center, even though you bought seats, you’re unlikely to stay seated throughout the entire concert. It’s an active event, and being dehydrated or hungry before a concert is a sure way for you to pass out. And with the loud noise of a concert, it may be difficult for you to get the attention of security staff who can help.
If you know you get tired easily, make sure you get some food and water in your system before the concert begins. Concert vendors can be expensive sometimes, yes, but if you’re not going to buy from them and bringing food and drinks aren’t allowed in the venue, at least get something heavy to eat and drink before arriving.
Don’t: Cover the View
You’re well in your right to record the entire concert on your phone (which, in my opinion, cancels out the whole purpose of coming to a concert when you spend the entire time watching it on your phone and bring a sign for your artist to read if the venue allows it. However, don’t hold out your phone or display a huge sign that covers the view of the other attendees. They didn’t pay that much money just to see what the back of your poster looks like.
Do: Obey Security Measures
Don’t jump over the security barriers just to cut corners. Don’t take a distracted security staff or a restricted door unguarded for a few seconds as a sign to sneak in. I’ve seen plenty of superfans think themselves so entitled to their artist that they disregard the safety and security of others – including the artists themselves – just because they think paying for a ticket entitles them to it.
It doesn’t. And frankly, it is a nightmare handling a crowd of rowdy and spoiled fans. And although your artists will smile and thank you for coming to their concert, many of them don’t appreciate a fan jumping out to hug them.
Do: Help Out Anyone You See Passed Out
For every high-powered concert, it’s not uncommon to see an attendee pass out, and the organizers have already made a plan should anyone ever do. All you need to do is grab the attention of security. Sometimes, though, this means getting out of the crowd, ultimately giving up your spot to another person behind you. Don’t think about that and immediately seek help. The sooner our staff can take the person to safety, the better.
Do: Bring a Small Bag with Necessities
This is not only for security reasons; it’s actually more enjoyable if you have a smaller bag. A big bag – say, a bulky backpack – takes up the very little legroom you have, and if you keep it on your back the entire time, you could be unknowingly hitting people behind you when you move.
In most concerts, since outside food and drinks are not allowed, you don’t really need to bring a lot of things. A fanny pack or small sling bag will be enough to hold your ticket, wallet, and some makeup items you need to retouch with. Leave the entire makeup kit, pocket books, and everything unnecessary at home.
Don’t: Ruin the Festival for Other People
Overall, one of the things that make a concert or music festival fun is the fact that you’re sharing this experience with other people who love the same artists as you do. So, not only is it rude and disrespectful to not care about how you affect the concert experience for others, you don’t get to share the sense of camaraderie with others as you share the experience.
You can still enjoy yourself, but be aware that sometimes you might be destroying the enjoyment of others.
These are fairly simple (though usually understated) rules you have to know when attending a concert. Yes, you paid money to see your favorite singer or band, but so did everyone else. You can still enjoy your concert and festival without having to ruin it for everyone else.