From phones to chit-chat: The concert etiquette Singapore fans need to learn

Photo: Roberto Rendon
Photo: Roberto Rendon

Singapore music fans have been getting a bad rep for their lack of awareness and manners at concerts of late. Just ask the fans who went to the recent Blackpink concerts here.

You’d think that having similar musical tastes with someone else would mean they share similar mannerisms and values of decency, but I guess some of us had to learn that the hard way.

I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen or have been guilty of some horrid behavior that has distracted us from the performance. 

You anticipate a concert, sometimes waiting for months, maybe even enduring the whole ordeal of competing with thousands of others online just to snag a ticket. And after paying all that money, there’s still a pretty high probability that some bozo in the audience will taint the experience by the end of the night. 

There are some unspoken rules when it comes to behaving in concerts, which everybody with common sense should already be aware of but, apparently, it needs to be said.

Whether you’re sitting or standing in a pit, here are some of the rules you should keep in mind the next time you’re at a gig if you want to be a conscientious concert goer.

For the love of god, put your phones away!

Taking a few photos and videos from time to time is fine. For the gram, amirite? 

But it’s embarrassing when artists have to tell the crowd to put their phones away. That’s what happened earlier this month when Blackpink’s Jennie told Singapore to maybe enjoy the last few songs in person and just “party”? 

In a dim crowd where lenses replace faces, what makes you different from the paparazzi they’ve been dealing with on the daily? Screaming and groovy fans are what they expect.

Those TikTok and Instagram live views aren’t worth holding up your phone for the entire duration of the concert, plus it’s depressing. Those viewers are just feeding the streamers who you gave up your seat for.

That’s why some artists like Bjork have been strict about not allowing recordings at their concerts. Because to their fans, it’s probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience and not just some gig meant to be streamed online.

Leave the professional recordings to the videographers, the experience that you have in the venue (or rather missed out on because you were taping the whole time) is not near what was recorded anyways. 

Photo: Maxime Lebrun
Photo: Maxime Lebrun

Let loose and boogie

This brings us to our next point. How do you enjoy yourselves when your phone is in the way? 

Whether you’re sitting or standing, there’s always room to shimmy. Just live a little, no one’s looking and if so, who cares?

But make sure those arms aren’t flailing in someone else’s face. Be aware of your surroundings. This is not a dance competition.

Also, before you wave those beers around as you groove, chug them down before you end up throw them in the air or the people around you will be drenched in even more filth.

Leave that junk in the trunk

No, the artist doesn’t care which country you’re from so you can put that country flag of yours away and what were you thinking trying to propose to them through a scrappy signboard? 

A bum bag is all you need, a bag pack would be pushing it but the point is to CARRY LIGHT.

You don’t want to be blocking the way or unknowingly bumping into people around you. 

One time, someone brought a tripod stand with a DSLR camera to a moshpit, best believe it was slammed to the ground and trampled on by the end of the night.

@trixl4uu 😭😭 #bornpinksg #sgtiktok #fyp ♬ original sound – katt !! – ” care tree elle 💐🤍 “


Covered shoes, always covered.

You push one more time

People partake in long queues to earn their rightful spot in the pit and it’s definitely not yours to squeeze into from the back.

You might just want to get as close as you can to the artist but it’s not worth it when lives are put at risk; i.e. the Itaewon crowd crush and Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival incident.

Everyone deserves a safe space to enjoy themselves and skin-to-skin contact with another ain’t it.

@chealsealeongg once in a lofetime experience but id do it AGAIN for @blackpinkofficial #bornpinkinsg #day2 #bornpink #blackpink #bornpinkworldtour ♬ original sound – 첼시

Don’t sing along

People didn’t pay money to listen to your tone-deaf concert singing. Like, we get it, you know all the words. Some crowd singalongs are fine but not for the whole damn concert. You’ll win the number one fan award if there was such a thing, now let’s hear it from the singers themselves.

Also, and this should be common sense (but so are all these points) but don’t sing along to any racial slurs like the N-word. Don’t be that person. People get killed for that.

Zip it

On that same note, there’s nothing more annoying than trying to listen to your favorite songs and someone is constantly talking over it. You’re here to listen to music, not to catch up. 

No one needs to know who’s babysitting your kids at home or which girl you’re scoring next.

People around you can hear everything, and they didn’t ask for it.

Rowdy crowdy

Some concerts, especially rock, call for chaos. Moshing and creating a wall of death (where the audience splits itself down the middle before the two sides run toward each other, slamming into one another) is a staple and expected. 

But there’s always a limit to thrashing around, don’t go full force on a stranger, that’s just assault.

Photo: Chuttersnap
Photo: Chuttersnap

Sit in your seat

If you spot an empty seat that’s closer to the stage, forget about it. Never sit in someone else’s seat, find yours and stick to it. Those few meters aren’t going to make a lot of difference.

If you couldn’t fork out that extra monies to pay for that seat you’re aiming for, that’s your problem. 

@liyulinen What you don’t see happening in a concert… People from cat 2 were squeezing into the VIP pen Not to mention people were cheering “fight fight fight” #blackpinksingapore #bornpinkworldtour #blackpink ♬ original sound – Lin En <(‘o'<)!

Don’t look down on supporting acts

Most of the time the performing artist will choose a supporting act similar to them or they admire so maybe there might be a chance you’ll appreciate it as well! 

They are also well aware that the majority isn’t there for them but they’re just shooting their shot and doing their job. It’s not hard to groove along, clap or just be respectful. It gets the adrenaline pumping, that’s for sure!

Read the room

Not every concert calls for obnoxious yelling so put your shirt back on.

Gauge the vibe of the night and act according to how others are behaving around you. 

Concerts are different from orchestra performances. The latter invites anyone with an open mind to attend and just sit still and take the symphonies in. 

Its less grungy and more upscale venues mean no shorts, singlets and slippers. Clap only at the end of each song or just wait for a cue for those more well-versed guests.

Having the proper concert etiquette is all about making sure everyone is having a great time in the same space with people that share the same music taste as you. 

God knows how much we paid for the tickets but whether complimentary or top tier, we all deserve to have fun at the gig and it shouldn’t be tainted by anyone. 

Now go forth and enjoy the concert – without being a pest. 

Photo: Anthony Delanoix
Photo: Anthony Delanoix

Other stories you should check out:

Ultimate List of Concerts and Festivals Happening in Singapore
We compiled all the best upcoming concerts in the city-state to put in your gig calendar. Read more.
Ultimate List of Concerts and Festivals Happening in Singapore
We compiled all the best upcoming concerts in the city-state to put in your gig calendar. Read more.
“I’m seeing more cellphones than faces”: Blackpink’s Jennie pleads with Singapore fans to enjoy the moment
The sea of concert paparazzi went out of hand over the weekend. Read more.
“I’m seeing more cellphones than faces”: Blackpink’s Jennie pleads with Singapore fans to enjoy the moment
The sea of concert paparazzi went out of hand over the weekend. Read more.

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