Stop Texting and Help That Guy Crowd Surf: The Overserved's Guide to Concert Etiquette

The unusual sight of many phone-free hands in the air, waving like they just don't care, at Fun Fun Fun Fest 7.
The unusual sight of many phone-free hands in the air, waving like they just don't care, at Fun Fun Fun Fest 7.
Marco Torres

It's my favorite three-hour tour, no matter which direction I am heading. Leaving Austin late on a Sunday night, Interstate 35 winding behind me as I speed towards bed, always has the same tone.

See also: - Fun Fun Fun Fest 7 in review

You spend that ride trying to piece together the disparate parts of the weekend, the three hours spent remembering that friend you never ran into, or the bar you forgot to stop by, hoping you left no incriminating evidence of an indulgent weekend in the hotel. And, oh, right, the music.

And really I could write a whole love letter to Fun Fun Fun Fest specifically. The atmosphere of that festival really does create a singular experience. You don't have to chase the set; on the grounds, folks can relax as they move from stage to stage. People's show manners are on point, folks are generous with the contraband and hand sanitizer. "Secret" off-the-grid house shows are easily located on social media, no secrets for the sake of it. Refreshing.

I'd contribute the whole vibe of the thing to Austin, except that ACL and SXSW are all together different anxiety-producing experiences that generally end in some kind of predictable post-fest rage. And yet, we return.

We need to spread some of the Fun Fun Fun behavior around. I like to break rules, but I tend to mind manners, and after a week of show-gazing, I have concluded that we need some new "What the fuck are you doing with your phone?" guidelines.

For example, are you resting your arm on my back so you can take a video? No, this is against the new rules. Also, did you just drop the guy trying to crowd surf because you were texting? No, man, definite show-fail.

How dark is this club, and how bright is your screen? A thoughtful question to consider. Lastly, the press frequently takes all pictures during the first three songs of a set. Maybe we can agree on that too. You have three songs, and unless the Virgin Mary arrives onstage, put it in your pocket.

The phone, it may as well be our soul. I'm not going to fight it. All of my secrets are in there. But when someone like X or Run-D.M.C. tells you to scream, it's not the moment to have to shove something in your pocket. It's the moment you put your skin in the air and touch the vibrations of sound instead of a screen. So put it up, man, let's have some fun.


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