We are a people obsessed with etiquette. How else to explain Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield’s behaviour in a queue generating more outrage than Kwasi Kwarteng tanking the pound?

In theory, live music should be an environment free of such concerns. A place where creativity is celebrated, and those in attendance get to forget about the outside world and lose themselves in the moment. 

Sometimes, though, it’s a place where you get covered in a pint while trying in vain to make out a tiny fraction of the stage between the giant in front of you and a sea of mobile phones. 

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In the coming weeks we’ll be looking at football grounds, cinemas and pubs among other venues, but this time we’re outlining the key points of gig etiquette.


Certain people should be allowed to film entire gigs. Martin Scorsese for instance. If, however, you’re not the director of legendary concert film The Last Waltz, there’s no demand for your shaky gig footage. By all means take a short video or some pics, but watching the entire concert through your mobile means the person behind you is forced to watch the entire concert through your mobile. 

If you’re impressed with the quality of your video, wait until you see how sharp an image you get from watching an actual human perform in front of your eyes. 

Life is happening in front of you! Be in the moment.

The Herald: Adam MillerAdam Miller (Image: Adam Miller)


. Some gigs are designed for mass singalongs, and there are few more enjoyable feelings. If you’re the only one singing, and that singing is off key and out of time, you’re ruining it for those around you. 


Being covered in warm beer is a Scottish rite of passage, but that doesn’t make flinging your pint any less obnoxious. . 


It would be unfair, offensive and ridiculously excessive to call for a nationwide cull of anyone over 6’2”, which is why I’m only calling for a cull of anyone over 6’2” in the Glasgow area. No matter the artist and no matter the venue, you’ll inevitably maneouvre your way into a prime viewing position during the support act only for Peter Crouch to plant himself directly in front of you just as the headliner walks out.


. Tall people at gigs are subjected to abuse, groans and even pints chucked at their heads, all thanks to something they have no control over. And, to make matters worse, they now face calls for their extermination in a national newspaper. Shameful.


. Be aware of the people around you. If you’re on the edge of a moshpit, the person next to you might not want to be involved. Being hit by a flying elbow probably wasn’t in their plans for the night. And, for the love of god, don’t grope anyone.

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Having a conversation over a pint is one of life’s simple pleasures, and fortunately we invented places to facilitate this pastime. These venues are called ‘pubs’. They are not called ‘immediately to my left during the acoustic section of an intimate gig’. Not only does talking throughout a show ruin it for those around you, it’s utterly nonsensical. 

Why pay upwards of £20 to shout over music when you can chat away to your heart’s content in a pub for free? It’s a scientifically provable fact that the sort of person who chats through a gig has absolutely nothing of interest to say, but we all have to hear it instead of the artist who we’ve actually paid to see. Most people who attended Katy J. Pearson’s recent gig at Mono in Glasgow will be able to relate to this one…