The Gig Etiquette

The comprehensive guide of how to act at a gig

Website and Illustrations by Ride a Wave

Please note: This site is purely tongue in cheek and should not be taken serious.

People do not know how to act in public, it is a sad fact but becomes more apparant at a gig. Everyone has had a gig ruined by some jerk who obviously doesn't know how to act while watching a band. This site is for that jerk. That idiot who talks through the quiet bits, boos when the band doesn't play the song he wants and the guy who feels it necessary when in a quiet room full of people to shout out the word "arse".

Everyone listens to music in different ways, for some watching a band that they have listened to every day and night for the last five years is hugely personal so to see a group of people with no interest in the band push their way infront of them only to talk throughout the whole gig can be very annoying.

A lot of these rules should already be known, though sadly constantly get broken. Whenever these rules are broken, refer the culprit to this site.

Now, lets start with the basics...


Don't get us wrong talking at gigs is fine, gigs are a social activity and to stand there in complete silence would be a little odd...during a quiet song talking about what you saw on tv last night is not fine.

It's rude to the band to chat through the entire gig. If you're not interested in the band then don't go. If you're loud enough to have someone turn around and actually shush you then for God's sake keep it down!! People are there to listen to the band not your inane ramblings. If you find it hard to stand there and watch a band without talking throughout then maybe you should go outside, get it out of your system then come back in.


Depending on the gig heckling can be fine. But there's good heckling and bad heckling. Shouting at a singer who is introducing himself to "get on with it" is just immature and you are securing yourself the position of least popular person in the building.

Screaming a song you want played and then boo'ing when that song is not played is hardly going to make them stop and then start the song you want. If anything they will want to stop and go off stage. Most of the time the band is a guest in your town, make them feel this way, don't be a dick.


We all like drinking at gigs, just make sure you don't drink so much you actually forget the gig. Drinking can effect your perception of things, you may think that shouting out is suddenly funny or shoving people when your favourite song starts is acceptable. This obviously depends on the type of gig but in general it is not. Don't get too drunk that you are unnaware of the people around you, there's nothing worse than being stood behind the drunk.

If buying drinks for your friends before the band comes on, take a friend with's not possibly to carry five beers in plastic glasses to the front without it pouring down someones collar.


Gigs can be very sweaty and smelly experiences. If you're prone to bad body odor then maybe a squirt of anti-persperant or a shower before the gig would be a good idea. I've never understood why before a band even starts people go to the gig stinking of B.O.

Don't try to sneak out a nasty fart just because you're in a large group of people thinking you'll get away with it. People will figure out where the smell is originating from and you don't want to be 'that guy'.


Taking a quick photo or sly little video of the band is fine...filming the entire set is not. You are there to watch the band not watch the band on your tiny screen. Photos are there to capture a moment in your life and if that moment in your life is pointing a camera at a band then maybe its time to put the camera down and actually experience the band yourself.

Again, there is nothing wrong with using your camera, but if you're holding your hand up throughout an entire gig and obstructing other peoples view you need to stop!!

Meeting the Band

Ok, so we're all prone to getting a little star struck. What do you say when you meet someone who's influenced your life so much without sounding like a complete and utter dork? For starters keep it cool, these are just people at the end of the day. Give them a compliment, chances are with the smaller bands they may not often be recognised.

Call them by their right name, this one's quite important.

Other do's and dont's (mainly dont's)

Below is a list of things to avoid doing at gigs which are all problems that have arisen in the past. Under no circumstances should you: