Opinion | Have fun at concerts

By Jameson Keebler, Staff Columnist

Concerts have changed a lot in recent years, and they were not all changed for the better. Enough time has passed since the peak of the pandemic that for most people, large gatherings have become common once again. 

I remember going to my first concert when I was in fifth grade. It was Taylor Swift’s Red Tour at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. My best friend and I wore our tour T-shirts with 13 drawn on our cheeks. We made signs with various song lyrics written in red Sharpie, convinced that Taylor would be able to read them from our bowl seats. We could scream the words to all of the songs without judgment. 

Many things about this experience wouldn’t be possible today. My mom was able to get the tickets without having to worry about committing hours to waiting in a queue and still leaving with no tickets or having to spend outrageous amounts to get them. 

Tticketmaster mishandled the ticket sales for the Eras Tour, sparking a conversation surrounding the challenges that fans wanting tickets for their favorite artists face. Now people understand the flawed process of third-party ticket purchasing, where large amounts of money and responsibilities fall on ticket-purchasing platforms like Ticketmaster. One of the biggest issues is that Ticketmaster resembles a monopoly, as they are the only ones given access to the tickets. It leaves the fans desperate, forcing them to buy expensive tickets or pass up seeing the concert. 

Since buying tickets is so hard now, everyone expects the absolute best experience that they can possibly get. Social media only makes this worse because the anxiety and anticipation before the show builds to an unbearable level. 

There are fun parts in this experience, like getting to see what outfits people are wearing and making friendship bracelets that can be swapped before the show. The bad things happen when people feel they deserve the perfect experience because of the pressure that they put on the show.

I have seen too many videos where people are filming those around them and posting it online because they deem their behavior unacceptable. So far, I haven’t seen a video where someone truly has a complaint valid enough to warrant public shaming. In most cases the videos are calling out people around them for screaming the song lyrics too loudly. Calling someone out for this behavior is completely unwarranted — people should be free to enjoy the show without worrying about ending up in someone else’s tiktok. 

There is a certain etiquette for concerts, but that really only includes basic decencies. No one wants to be stuck next to someone who is acting disrespectfully towards the performers or is outrageously drunk, but singing too loud is not something included in this category. 

Social media can also pressure people into doing unsafe things for the sake of getting the full experience. Camp culture is something that has been around for almost as long as concerts, but it has had a recent resurgence due to social media. Camping is when people wait in lines outside of the venue so they can get spots next to the barricade. Campers arrive at some concerts a day in advance for these spots. 

Some fans have the attitude that you should camp out before the concerts, and if you don’t, then you are not a real fan. This makes more people camp out and heightens the anxieties around getting good spots, which makes even more people feel like they should camp out. 

This practice becomes a problem when it results in people neglecting to care for themselves, possibly causing them to pass out during the show. This is a safety concern, especially during the summer heat. While some people can prepare properly and enjoy their experiences camping out before concerts, fans shouldn’t feel that they should do the same just so they get the experience they see on social media.

Social media can be a great thing for concerts. It gives fans another way to connect and get excited for the shows together, but this energy isn’t always good. Fans at concerts should go knowing that they should make the most out of their experience. Even if it isn’t as amazing as it looked on social media, if you had fun in the moment, it doesn’t really matter. 

It is important to remember that concerts should be about experiencing the music and having a good time doing it. It should be a chance for getting together with people who have a common interest with you and sharing that experience together. Concerts should not be the toxic environment that they have become today. 

Jameson Keebler writes primarily about pop culture and current events. Write to her at [email protected].