A Coming Meltdown?
The Brothers K

Festival Etiquette

Attending ACL this last weekend I found the attendees to often be obnoxious and inconsiderate. Last year there were a few, but quite a few more this year. So, I thought I'd clearly state a few guidelines that can serve as etiquette for attending an outdoor music festival. I am constantly amazed by people's inability to observe the obvious.

10) It is best to show up for a set before it begins and wait to leave until it is over.

9) If you come late or plan on leaving early, you should sit to the back or along the edges, so that you do not inconvenience others.

8) If you find yourself having to walk along the rows of people watching the show, it is best to look for natural gaps and not force your way where there isn't one. The best approach is to work parallel to the stage and head either for the outer edge or behind the sound booth (where there is always open space to work through). NEVER try to head perpendicular to the stage through the rows and rows of chairs, people, and things.

7) If you are someone who doesn't carry a chair and things and comes to take the standing room during a set, be respectful of the persons who may have been sitting there staking out their position and view before you got there, especially if they've set there for hours, enduring a number of bands they don't like, just to see the band they've loved for many years, only to have you, who are taller of course, come stand directly in front of them five minutes into the performance.

6) People who read the Bible know that you should be considerate of others, so throw your own trash away.

5) When someone is clearly into the performance, zoned out, dancing their silly dance, or whatever, walk past someone else, don't interrupt that person's joy, unless, of course, you follow the teaching of the Marquis de Sade or like taking candy from babies.

4) If you pay a hundred dollars to come to a music festival in order to hang out with your friends and talk during all the musical numbers, at least show that you aren't completely lacking in rational faculties and sit where you won't bother people who care about seeing the show and listening to the music that they've paid a hundred dollars to experience. This especially goes for the people who get in the middle of the crowd, form a circle, never look at the stage, and talk to each other the entire time.

3) Holding what appears to be a frat party in the middle of a Wilco performance in front of a group of Wilco fans who have been staked out in this spot all day in one hundred plus heat roasting from the intense heat of the sun, is inhumane.

2) To then start drunken chicken-fighting, while the band is playing, is even worse.

1) To then bend your girlfriend over, start acting like you are spanking and fucking her, when there are two boys eight and ten years old only three feet behind you who are actually more into the concert than you are but who are now staring at you with the look of "what is he doing?", just simply goes too far.

That is until one of your gang, while packing up to leave, gives the guy who is scowling at you for almost ruining his experience, a thumbs up and a nod of the head. This was clearly meant to infuriate and could have been interpreted as an act of war according to the standards of the administration that you probably voted for.


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Well said, sir. I would suggest handing out small, Gideon style Bibles with this very post printed and tucked inside. People who love Jesus, Lyle Lovett, and Coldplay ought to be the best people on earth. I would have trouble containing my ire when they revealed this sort of darkness.

Tim Sean

Steve Earle made somewhat of a maturing shift after his stint in the Pokey and subsequent recovery from drugs and alcohol. His writing was still as gruff and rebellious, but his attitude about even his own music changed. He wanted people to listen to it. So, at his shows, after the first song or so, he would not-so-politely ask his rowdy fans to "get the hell out of here." I remember him saying to them,"Am I interupting you folks? I didn't mean for the music to disrupt your conversation." And then maybe a song or two later, he would admonish them further, "All you folks that have come here to be seen, well, you've been seen, so you can leave now."



Absolutely dead-on. and, funny, too! I probably laughed harder than most at this post b/c I was party to all that scott described, first-hand.

I'll go more into on my post but basically we camped out in one spot from 12:00pm to 5:30 (time that Wilco went on) in 105 degree heat and unrelenting sunlight only to have Sigma Tau Dumbass come park in front and all but offer weed to the 8 and 10-year old boys. Pieces of shit, indeed.


whine, whine, whine. what a bunch of girls you are.

Kevin Sinclair

Thank you, Scott.


hehe... but did you have fun despite this madness?
we didn't encounter any of this kind of disturbances at the coldplay concert in Dallas... i thought we would... but it was a very pleasant experience and also totally AWESOME!

Scott Jones

I wrote about the actual festival in a previous post.


Well. I guess the absurd amount of money you and Phil spent to be entertained was more important than the absurd amount of money the polo caps paid to be entertained. Of course they should have bent to your will.
Well said, then.


I apologize to you, Scott, ahead of time for using your blog in this manner, but...

Marty! No one knows how to get ahold of you! Not even your sister, who I spoke with today. Please drop me an e-mail and let me know the best or easiest way to contact you. This is the first place I have seen you make an appearance in quite sometime.

Also, Scott, you should know by now that the rules of social etiquette clearly do not apply to the world at large, certainly not to frat boys, and never at a large venue. It is like asking large women to not wear halter tops to the state fair.


Alright. Since everyone's going to cow-tow to the bastards who make festival-going such a pain in the ass, next time I'll break a few social rules of my own and kick their asses when they walk through my shit. that oughta teach em right? since it seems like physical force is the only "law" most understand these days.

Scott Jones

I don't consider $85 (what I actually paid for my ticket) for a three day event with over 100 bands to be inordinate. And given that this was my "vacation" for the year, a pretty reasonable amount of money indeed.


Yeah, that's not so bad, really. I just wanted to smart-ass you.


Scott, I thought that what you had to say about this was just common sense and curtisy. Oh, wait a minute I guess that doesn't exist anymore. I found that out when my family spent 24 hours to get to Dallas as apposed to 5. There are times when behavior like that can be just as irritating for the performer as well(outside of music in my case). The sad thing is, they don't think that they are being rude. Go figure

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