Ask The Expert (YOU): Concert Etiquette & Tales From The Pit
Sometimes you know you're in the wrong, other times you're trying to convince yourself you're not wrong, and then there are just times you need a gut check because you're just plain confused - I think this may be one of those times.
I'm not new to concerts by any means, and I've had my fair share of experiences seeing a concert from the pit, but something that happened earlier this week really made me angry, so I'm taking the situation to the good people of the Hudson Valley for advice.
Setting The Scene: Shinedown at Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Wednesday I headed to SPAC to see one of my all time favorite bands, Shinedown, from the pit. I watched Jelly Roll, the opener, from stage right, and then visited with friends on the lawn before Shinedown came on. About 10 minutes before they were set to take the stage, I went back into the pit to get settled in, and secured a spot just about center stage, one person in from the barricade. About 3 songs in, this woman was pushing her way through the pit from the side entrance, drinks in each hand, towards center stage and as she approached, made a comment about me being in 'her spot' - I ignored her. She went around me, navigating herself to my left, again stating loud enough to hear over the band that I had 'taken her spot,' this time commenting to what appeared to be her daughter that 'we have NEW neighbors that decided to just show up and take our spots...' New? I've been here the entire time, so I tried to ignore it and continue enjoying the show.
This Is When Things Got Ugly....
It was then she decided to start pushing her body weight against me, making ridiculous comments about people (obviously referring to me) being rude and taking other people's 'seat' - at that point I had enough, turned to her, and asked very sarcastically, if this was her first time in a concert pit, educating her that there are no 'seats,' in General Admission standing room pit, and that I had been standing in the same place since before Shinedown went on. She did not respond, but kept leaning and trying to push me out of the way. The people standing to the right of me even teamed up to make sure she couldn't push me out of the way, by anchoring me from the back, saying they moved over earlier because she was causing issues.
Words were exchanged, not nice ones, and I may have been passive aggressive as she continued to try and hip-check me (out of my front row view of Brent Smith's beautiful face) by singing loud and proud in the videos she was taking and making my presence known #sorrynotsorry - would you want to give up this view?
She eventually left, long before the show was done. Either me not moving out of 'her spot' made her so angry she had to leave, or she was also new to concerts in general, leaving early, rookie move.
If You Leave The Pit, You Forfeit Your 'Spot' - Right?
Moral of this tale, I'm fairly certain that pit etiquette is that if you leave, you aren't guaranteed the spot you were once in, right? Anytime I've ever been in the pit at a concert, if someone leaves, or even moves from where they were standing, everyone kinds of closes that spot up - that's just how a pit works. I could see if we had assigned seats and I planted myself in her ticketed seat, but this was NOT the case.
Side note - I checked my photos and videos, from the first song, to the last, and I essentially had the same view of the stage, I even had the same guy's bald head in front of me start to finish, further proving I didn't take anyone's spot....mean lady!
Here's a collection of some of Western NY's concert peeves, including leaving to get drinks mid-show (which is where this lady went) - do we agree with these Hudson Valley?