Gig gripes

BBC radio station 6 Music recently looked at six different things that annoy people about live music events, and asked how best to solve them. Here they are in their (apparently random) order.

Mobile phones. Not them ringing; them filming. Are they really an issue? Relatively early on in the bit of my life which contained cellphones and concerts, I recognised that I would rather enjoy the concert experience than take photos or videos. A couple of pics for the blog, and I’m done. None of this recording of entire songs business. The sound quality is crap (in comparison with the real thing) and you never watch them back anyway. So why bother?
That said, if you want to bother, I generally have no problem with that. But apparently, other people do, so that’s where Yondr comes in.

Yondr has a simple purpose: to show people how powerful a moment can be when we aren’t focused on documenting or broadcasting it.

Put your phone in a lockable bag when you go into the venue, it automatically locks when you’re actually in the venue, unlocks when you leave the concert area. Seriously. This is already a thing at some UK gigs. Who knew? I’m amazed.

Ticket touts are a problem worldwide, and there are already means to get around them. I’ve never felt the need to use one. Either I get lucky with getting tickets to an event, or I manage without going to that event. But while there are still people who are willing to pay anything to get into a concert or event, there will always be ticket touts. And because of ticket touts, and the rules around reselling tickets, I’m going to have to very careful when I sell my Cape Town 7s tickets in the very near future.

People talking at concerts. My biggest of all big pet hates. I do not understand why people go to concerts if they just want to talk.

…this is probably one of the hardest gripes to propose a solution for. Though we did like the suggestion of listener Richard Leach, for: “A soundproofed enclosure where people who want to talk loudly for the whole three hours can go.”

Or how about not a soundproofed enclosure, but just somewhere else for them to go and talk. Because there are already other places for that: pubs, parks, libraries, the beach; in fact, basically almost everywhere except concert venues. And you’ve just paid hundred Rand for the tickets? Why? No. If you want a long conversation about your economics textbooks, do it somewhere else, you stupid, selfish, ignorant little pricks.

We move on.

Admin fees. To be fair, I probably should have a problem with paying R15 to buy my tickets for a concert. But actually, I don’t. It’s not a massive amount of money when you look at That probably says something about me, but with 5 other potential gig gripes for me to worry about, why would I add a sixth when I don’t really care?

Cloakrooms. No-one uses cloakrooms anymore, do they? Don’t take a bag to a gig. Thanks to ISIS, you can’t really anymore anyway. Travel light. Wear layers. I dunno… make a plan.

Access. Ja. Again, I’m fortunate to be unaffected by this one, but it’s something that should be looked at. The disabled seating areas at sports stadiums and concerts is generally pretty awful. But it’s difficult to know how to address this correctly without stats and money and things. And I’m really not trying to pass the buck, but it’s not my job. However someone needs to do it.

So there you have it. People’s Top Six Gig Gripes. And for me, there’s basically one. I mention it every time I go to a concert because it happens every time I go to a concert and it’s ruined by wankers talking through the best bits. But I’ve never really mentioned the other five, so I reckon I’m pretty easy going generally. All of which points to the fact that people talking through concerts irritates even the most mild-mannered individuals.

So STFU. Thanks.

  • Andrew Fraser

    My main gripe is people that can’t handle their booze. Don’t get shitfaced before the act has even come on stage. I didn’t pay R700 for you to stagger into me and puke on my shoes. It’s not like you’re appreciating the music anyway. Stay home and spend your R700 on booze or rehab or something.

  • Andrew Fraser > Also – drunk people talk louder. So I’m completely with you.