Music: Pet Peeves at Gigs


We have all experienced a gig where something has gone wrong. Whether it’s the annoying couple in front of you who won’t stop with the kissing or just being stood behind a ridiculously tall person, The Indiependent have put together some of our top pet peeves. Enjoy!


Like most people, I like to head down to the front – as best I can – at gigs. The atmosphere’s great, the music’s loud and you’re much closer to the action. Sadly, it does mean that I’ve lost count of the amount of – as I call them – “human bulldozers” that I’ve witnessed; people that fight through the crowd, down to the very front, shouting about how they’re meeting someone that’s already stood down there. The worst of it? They never are. They’ll get where they want to be, and make it quite clear, with a smug smile, that there was no-one to meet after all. Nine times out of ten, they then proceed to be the most annoying people at the gig in every other way, too – they’re the ones with their phones in the air the whole time, the ones that talk over every song, the really drunk ones. My top tip? Do not move for them. Ever. Stand your ground when they try to push past and trust me, they will always, always get bored.

Words by Amie Bailey

Phone Users

Every time I go to a concert or see a photo of the crowd at a concert, there is a common variable: almost every single person is on their phone taking pictures for a majority of the show. The primary reason why this is irritating and quite irrational is because the quality of the video or the photo almost never turns out good. Videos always have background noises of the audience singing and screaming. Unless you are front row, photos usually turn our blurry and contain more of the audience in them than the actual performer. However, if you are front row, wouldn’t it be a smart idea to take advantage of that once-in-a-lifetime of experience of being face to face with an artist instead of face to face with your phone? You can look at your phone and find videos on the Internet any day, you can only experience that show once.

People are essentially removing themselves from the moment and living through their phones instead of watching the performer.

Words by Victoria Kayola

‘Get on me shoulders’

My pet peeve often reveals itself in this way: judging from the flailing limbs of the girl in front of me, I can see that she and her boyfriend have decided to conquer the challenge of hoisting her onto his shoulders. For me (the person standing behind the human equivalent of a tense game of Jenga) the gig temporarily becomes a game of dodging the perspiring seam of the overly-revealing shorts bobbing around dangerously close to my nose. As much as it appeals to me, I feel as if it would be unacceptable to climb the couple and join them as part of some kind of circus triple-act, especially since they are already so close to toppling over the surrounding audience members.

Words by Eleanor Bateman

People in love make me feel yuck

Lucky you, you have a boyfriend that actually has the same music taste as you and can act as a best friend and a boyfriend at attend all the gigs with you. Unlucky for me I have to stand next to you whilst you endure a good 2 hours of endless snogging and the odd hand movement around the lower body area (yes this happened). My question is WHY GO TO A GIG AND STAND IN THE MIDDLE WHERE PEOPLE WANT TO MOVE AND GROOVE YET YOU INSIST ON STAYING PUT KISSING ALL THE TIME WHEN YOU COULD DO IT AT HOME FOR FREE? The question has still never been answered. As much as I’m for people being in relationships/having fun, I simply can’t stand  couples who complain when you scream and shout and throw the odd limb in the air as you try and enjoy your favourite band at a gig. It’s a no from me.

Words by Brigid Harrison-Draper

The Backroom Hipsters

There are few things more irritating at a gig than those who stand at the back, their mouths in an ironic sneer, standing stoic as a mass of people surge around them and actually enjoy themselves. It raises the question as to why one would bother paying money for a gig to then limit themselves to sneering at the crowd, loudly slagging off the support band using flowery vocabulary and drinking overpriced craft-beer from Vietnam. Not only that, but judging others for taking advantage of the music that you’re dying to do your best Chandler Bing dancing to is really not cool. Next time you see one of these cooler-than-thou creatures, make sure to give them the finger and moonwalk the hell out of their sight.

Words by Beth Chaplow

Drink Throwing

Okay. You’ve made it to the venue, you’ve waited for what seems like forever in organised queues and bundles and you’re standing far too close to a middle aged man’s armpit for your own liking; all you want is for the band you’ve waited too long to see to grace the stage. The lights go down. The ethereal cheers dance around excited bodies. Familiar silhouettes of the music makers fill the stage. Then, BANG.

For those who throw questionable liquids at concerts, you are a terrible person. Whether it’s for a laugh or really you’re a child who’s meant to be in a highchair, it is not funny. No one wants beer or whatever else all over them at a gig. Like, why would anyone? Seriously.

Words by Caitlin O’Connor

Being the Short One

For the most part I don’t mind being short. Whilst I would appreciate my cereal not being placed on the top shelf, I am happy to fumble through a life of shoulders. However standing in the pit at a gig is every tiny persons worse nightmare.
 The average gig routine:
– continuously getting hit by the bag of the person in front of you
– the ridiculously tall male in front of you deciding he needs even more height & going onto his tip toes
– “Hey, look ove- oh okay that was an elbow to my face”
– Acknowledging the band are on stage by the uproar of excitement by your surrounding, much taller, friends & fellow gig goers
– Hey look I can see something! Oh wait no I can’t.” when someone briefly moves out of place for a second.
The worst one is the dreaded sentence from a friend who’s trying their best.  “Can you even see anything?” No. No I can’t. But due to your inability to lean up & shout this in their ear you brace yourself & nod. Yeah, sure you can see something. This is what you tell yourself as you admire the shoulders of the boy in front of you. You just have to hope they don’t smell too bad.
Words by Megan Bakewell

[Feature compiled by Brigid Harrison-Draper]


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