Concerts have always been a performance platform to showcase the hard-work and preparations of bands or orchestras. It is also an opportunity for musicians to sell tickets to their family and friends who would go and watch them perform.

I have been to many concerts over the last decade and have since observed varied audience behaviour. Some had really great crowds; others, not so much.

Here are 8 things you should not never do at a concert:

Talking or Laughing loudly

Music is subjective, and opinions are always welcome. While we encourage small talk among your friends about the performance, please be mindful not to get carried away. For a start, let’s try to avoid raising our voices or breaking into occasional hysterical laughter during the slow passages of a piece or in between two movements.

Kicking chairs

It is natural that we will often groove to music, especially when a favourite tune gets performed. This is good, until someone’s chair gets kicked constantly during this process. It can end very awkwardly though.

Not keeping the phone in silent mode

Picture this: The band or orchestra plays a work with a quiet section that features several solos. As the audience start to immerse themselves into the beautiful music, a phone message alert rings loudly across the hall. Everyone is now distracted by the phone owner instead of being captivated by the soloists. We pity the recording crew on this.

Screaming names

Showing love and support for the performers on stage is encouraged, but only at the right time. It would certainly be more acceptable if names are screamed before the start and after the end of a casual concert, but not in the midst of a piece, or after a solo. We pity the recording crew on this too.

Clapping in between movements

Enthusiasm shown by members of the audience is always welcome at concerts; I mean, who wouldn’t love a great crowd? However, a duly reminder is that the applause should not happen in between movements, and should not take place immediately after a piece has ended. A good way to decide when to clap is to wait till the conductor puts down his or her baton, and turns around to face the audience for a bow. That will then be your cue for your applause.

Disrespect for hall regulations

Every hall has a set of standard operating procedures for both the organizers and audience. Ushers provided by some halls also have a part to play to ensure that the regulations are being followed by members of the audience. Let’s try not to make things difficult for them; if they say no flash photography is allowed, then we should always abide by that.

Dress too casual

Admit it, we are all guilty of this at least once, but we should always remember never to wear shorts and slippers to concerts. Remind your friends too!

Be late

We can understand when traffic is bad, or that you are going to the concert from somewhere far. It is still reasonable if you arrive within 5 to 10 minutes of the actual start time, but any time later kind of defeats the purpose of buying a ticket to the concert in the first place.

Frankly, the points mentioned above boil down to one word – “Respect“.

Respect for the organizers, the performers, the ushers, and the rest of the audience who have sacrificed their time and efforts to be in the hall that day.

If everyone could do a little of their part, concerts will definitely be more enjoyable and will offer a better overall experience for all concert-goers.