In the first in our new series on gig etiquette, vertically-challenged photographer and live music enthusiast Anthony Longstaff argues that inconsiderate giants are the bane of his existence.
With 2014 now in full swing and a whole load of gigs and festivals to look forward to (I carry a three-month list in my pocket – saddo!) I’m sat here pondering a few of life’s eternal struggles for the gig goer.
Even on a normal day I’m not the happiest of people and now, at age 37, I’ve encountered the marvellous state-of-being that is ‘being grumpy’. This, my friends, gives me a fantastic opportunity to share with you one of my personal gig-going pet-hates….The Tall Person.
Just so we’re clear from the start, I don’t hate tall people. Being 5’7″” and 3/4, the vast majority of my mates are taller than me – most by several inches. This has plenty of benefits, such as them reaching for things I can’t get without jumping, or the ability to stand on unstable objects. And I am always the top of the drunk people pyramid, which has me high-fiving all and sundry at festivals.
But there is one part of being shorter that is the bane of my life: at every single gig, festival or event I go to I always end up with the tallest person in the place standing right in front of me. Every single time.
Gig etiquette should suggest that the taller you are, the further to the back you should stand. It’s not an unreasonable suggestion. It’s almost physics.
Everyone would get a nice view, crowd surfers could almost get a proper wave-like experience going, and – to show I’m being very fair about all this – tall people could even balance their beers on the shoulders of those standing in front.
Sadly, what inevitably tends to happen five minutes into watching your favourite band on stage is that Andre the Giant pushes his (and it is usually ‘his’, because men tend to be taller than women – I checked on Wikipedia) way through the crowd and stands smack bang right in front of me (or you, if you’re also a short person). This then disables my view of said fantastic band, leading to much tutting and cursing.
Tall people are commonly courteous. They say please and thank you; they open the door for ladies and give up their seats on buses for old people. So why can’t they be more considerate for the shorter person at a gig?
In my efforts to seek a solution and further investigate this age-old problem, I tried to arrange an interview with a taller friend of mine. But he told me to stop being a whining dwarf.