Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Anatomy of a Crowd

Got tickets for a standing gig and never been to a gig before? Worried about the crowd and where to stand? I will help!! (Disclaimer: this probably won't help...) 

So, this post is going to be a break down of the crowd at a gig, starting from the back, to help you to find the perfect place to stand. 

The balcony hangers usually hate crowds and are really pompous about the great view they get there. If you want to actually see the band, rather than be in the pit and maybe get a bit sweaty, hang out here. I've heard the view is pretty good. 

Drinkers usually hang out by the bar, if it's in the same room as the stage. If not, they usually find a good place in the crowd and keep pushing through to get to the bar and back. Just tell 'em to do one (politely). If this is you, please respect people who aren't there to drink and let them have a good time. 
This was my view when I saw Pierce the Veil in March
(Yes, I was back row, it was a small venue). 

The back row is usually people who don't want to be at the gig. It's either parents taking their kids, or people who were dragged along. In the back row you will also find people who got there late, people who really hate crowds, and people who just think it's stupid to fight your way to the front barrier. (Luckily I haven't reached that stage yet!) 
If you don't mind your view being obstructed and getting annoyed by the constant iPhones in the air, then chill here for your gig. It's less sweaty and an alright view.

Then there's the mosh pit!! This usually depends on what type of gig you go to. Heavier bands = more pits. If you're in the back row, be prepared to pick people up, and be used as the 'walls' of the pit. 
In the pit, there are usually bigger people, mostly male, who are quite muscled and quite frankly scary. I've never been in a pit myself, but they can be pretty dangerous. If you like to get into the music and move at the same time, go in the pit. But please don't be an ass. 
Sidenote: pits are usually more central in the crowd, so if you don't want to be right at the back, just stand to the left or right. You'll get pushed about a bit, but will be perfectly safe. 

If there is no mosh pit, then you will get everyone else. These are the people who get there on time, but weren't right at the front of the queue. It's a pretty good place to stand, and if you like just chilling out in the middle of a crowd, then stand in the middle of the crowd. (Makes sense, right?!) The view from here is pretty average, not amazing, but good enough. 
In the photo to the left, I was around five rows back, and it was pretty good. I did feel really enclosed though, so maybe not good if you have anxiety or claustrophobia. 

The people between the pit and the people at the barrier are the cool, average people. They got their a little early, and don't mind being shoved around and getting sweaty. The view from here is excellent, unless you're stood behind a human giraffe or are stood really far to either side. It doesn't get too hot here, and at bigger venues, you get water passed to you, so you don't have to go to the bar and get water. (Dude, free drinks are cool). 
Depending on the crowd you're in, you will get shoved around quite a lot, but just go with it, and enjoy it. I was told by a cute dude (called Charlie) when I was at a gig that if you push backwards when you get shoved forwards, instead of going with the crowd, it's good. Means you don't get hurt. 

A drum stick from Alien Ant Farm and GoTK's pick
Then you get the barrier. Everyone seems to think that your enjoyment at a gig is validated by how close to the front you are. These people will get to gigs hours early (some as early as 6AM!!!!) I have been at the barrier a couple of times (when I saw Enter Shikari and Yellowcard, to name a few), and personally I find it very awkward. Being face-to-face with a band is just uncomfortable and you don't get to move around as much, and you don't enjoy it as much. That's personal opinion, though. The only good thing about being barrier is you get stuff like picks and drum sticks. 

I've never been to a gig in a huge stadium, and I've never sat down at a gig. I can only assume that people who sit down at gigs either got their tickets after the stalls (standing) had sold out, or don't want to queue for hours to get a good place in the stalls. 

So enjoy going to gigs guys, and remember to stay hydrated!!
- Dottie. 

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