…for everyone but the crowd surfer.
So this is our first in an oncoming service of PSA’s about do’s and don’ts in concert-going as a way to encourage good habits and curb poor behavior. We by no means are model citizens in this regard, as we have been known to occasionally force our way forward in a crowd or knock around our neighbors due to occasionally wild and obnoxious behavior. However, there are a few things that can’t stand, and by far my least favorite behavior at concerts is crowd surfing.
This year at the Pitchfork Music Festival, the Cloud Nothings show served as a perfect example of why crowd surfing is fun for no one but the surfer. You become so preoccupied with your role in (as my friend Taylor described) the human conveyor belt and so worried about not getting kicked in the face, that all enjoyment has been instantly sucked out of the show. Every fan in the pit has to suddenly worry about nothing but the idiots who act like they have never been to a concert before, who are likely getting groped and pickpocketed in the process. I for one, always try to take a shoe or wallet or something so that person will think again before using me as a wave.
I say it’s only fun for the surfer, but even that idiot doesn’t win the day. The crowd surfer often gets kicked out once he reaches the front anyway, so it was a small moment of exhilaration for a big sacrifice: missing the rest of the show. It’s a lose-lose all around.
I have one exception to the crowd surfing rule and one exception only: artists are exempt to this rule. An artist crowd surf is a communal experience, one that bridges that seemingly huge divide between the artist on stage and the crowd. Artist crowd surfs are most rampant in punk shows, but I’ve seen more and more artists pull this trick recently. St. Vincent, for one, recently has mastered the art of crowd surfing, as she can prowl, sing, and go crazy all on a sea of hands.
But for everyone else, just don’t. You are annoying everyone around you for what will ultimately probably end your night. Here’s to hoping this little announcement stops the idiotic act for ever. We can dream can’t we?