Talk­ers, shush­ers and other causes of gig-go­ing angst

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Cover Story -

We’ve all been there. It’s a gig we’ve been look­ing for­ward to for weeks. As the lights go down and the packed venue be­gins to roar, there’s a pal­pa­ble buzz of an­tic­i­pa­tion in the air.

Then, on cue, some­thing hap­pens that com­pletely ru­ins the night – and it doesn’t hap­pen on­stage.

In­stead, it’s some­one in the au­di­ence. Not you or me, be­cause we’re ex­em­plary gig-go­ers, but some­one else in the room do­ing some­thing that drives ev­ery­one else nuts.

In Ire­land, the num­ber one cause of gig-go­ing angst is other mem­bers of the au­di­ence chat­ting through the show.

These blab­ber­mouths have also paid good money for their tick­ets but, in­stead of watch­ing the act like the rest of the au­di­ence, they’re hav­ing a good chin­wag about some cat video they saw on YouTube or some­thing they read on Face­book. This sub­ject mat­ter is in­fin­itely more im­por­tant and en­ter­tain­ing to them than what’s hap­pen­ing on­stage. (Some­times, it is, but that’s still no ex­cuse.)

For a pas­time that is sup­posed to be en­ter­tain­ing, gig-go­ing pro­duces an in­or­di­nate amount of com­plaints. Poll any group of reg­u­lar gig-go­ers about an­noy­ing stuff that hap­pens in venues and there will be a long, long list.

It will prob­a­bly in­clude peo­ple pok­ing their el­bows into your face as they film the show on their phones, the lad who thinks it’s a good idea to bring his largest ruck­sack to the gig and the girl who de­cides to drunk­enly – and un­fun­nily – heckle the act. As well as the anti-talk­ing fac­tion, there will also be a brigade who have no time for peo­ple who spend the gig an­grily hiss­ing “shhh”.

Please feel free to add your own favourites to the list.

Crowd trou­ble: the num­ber-one cause of gig angst is other au­di­ence mem­bers chat­ting

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