SCENE ETIQUETTE: Crowd Control

Pictured above: Pre-Smashmouth shenanigans ensues.

Gather round children, Grandpa Syd has some words for your eyeholes. Last Sunday I had the good fortune of catching Run The Jewels at an outdoor festival in Brooklyn, made even more incredible by guest spots by Company Flow and Nas to name a few. Being as I have a baby and twenty-five jobs, it’s unusual for me to have such good fortune, but there I found myself facing an impossibly long line that ended with some garbage pile yelling at everyone to hurry up and get in, and that despite the fact that it was Sunday, we didn’t have to be so lazy. You know, the kind of thing that you yell at people that paid money to see entertainment on a Sunday night. Color me southern, but that kind of thing didn’t really jive with my sensibilities. Upon entry, we spotted the endless beer line, which apparently served one Budweiser for the cost of forty Budweisers, and had a selection consisting of Budweiser. Fun fact: I will piss into your mouth for half the cost and twice the flavor.

But what inspired this column wasn’t just the logistical horseshit of some random festival out-of-town, but the sort of attitudes that the crowd seemed to have, that kind of thing that could happen anywhere in the world at any time when the crowd gets into four digits or more. I realize that I’m supposed to “just-get-deal-with-it” or some kind of thing like that, and accept the fact that these types of concerts may just not be for me anymore, but I refuse that line of logic; why can’t people just be considerate to one another? In fact, this entire article can be summarized as such: if you impose yourself on someone else without regard for someone else, you’re a jerk. You aren’t more or less important than anyone else there, and didn’t pay special money to see something only for you. Or, you know, you wouldn’t have to drink garbage beer in the middle of a crowd full of twits, while standing in the rain. 
Still, there were a couple of things that seemed worth bringing up that are too easy to deal with. Are you tall? You might be tall, and being taller than me is no big task considering that I’m effectively a hobbit with marginally less hair, but a greater-than-average interest in second-breakfast. Being tall though isn’t the enemy, it’s how you present that. Say for example that you walk into a crowd and someone several rows in front of you obstructs your view. Is that their fault? Most assuredly not. It is, however, when you force yourself directly in front of someone and then stand there. Maybe you feel like you need to be next to your friend. Maybe you wanted a better view. Maybe the person behind you didn’t want to watch your gross neck for an hour either. Just a thought.
I get that you can move. It’s the “freedom” that an open air festival gives you, assuming that you have anywhere to move too. But if you’ve taken the effort to find a good spot and someone gets right in front of you, that’s just rude. Just look around a little, and maybe ask people if it’s cool. It doesn’t have to be a logistical nightmare or anything, but maybe just try to be aware of your presence on someone else’s. You might not be able to win them all, but at least trying to be respectful of those around you will probably make the show better for everyone involved.
The fact that I even have to write “don’t smoke in a crowd,” riles my fur. Does anyone seriously think that it’s cool to smoke up and blow that shit into everyone’s face around you? If you do, fuck you, plain and simple. I’m not here to tell you not smoke; go hard on getting lung cancer if that’s what you want, just don’t blow that garbage air into my open mouth when I can’t get away from you. To be fair, in the instances that this happened to me, I made sure to fill the air with a secondary smell of my own, heinous wind meant to strip the menthol from the atmosphere, so if that’s what you want, I can and will accommodate, as I would encourage anyone else to do.
Like the last rule of being a respectful member of a crowd, concert going or otherwise, it pains me to pass on the “wisdom” that you should probably not molest the folks around you. I’m specifically talking about the ladies around, although I’m sure this happens to all sorts of people in a crowd setting. Will you touch someone in a crowded space? Fucking duh. Do you need to cop a feel on a boob or something in doing that? Not whatsoever and I hope if you’ve ever done that uninvited that you rethink your actions. If you still think it’s cool to violate someone’s space like that in such an intimate way, probably just fuck off from this site altogether, because that shit is gross and you are a dumpster human with wet trash for a soul. 
Is this too curmudgeonly? Maybe. Maybe I ought to just ride out every show in an easy chair, drinking summer shandies out of an iced mug, while I’m wearing adult footie pajamas. Don’t think I wouldn’t. But since my fantasies aren’t quite that realistic here, just be cool to the people around you as best as you can by maybe not smoking and blowing into their face, planting your fat fucking neck directly in front of someone, or randomly groping someone nearby because “you’re feeling it.” Get the fuck out of here with that shit, and get off my goddamned lawn already. 

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