It’s now a year since the pandemic and its attendant torrent of lockdowns, sadness, stress, worry, boredom and annoying nomenclature swept over Britain. As such that means it’s a year since any of us went to a proper gig. I miss many things but in particular I miss gigs. Hell, I miss just being in a venue. Right now, I would gladly pay just to stare at an empty stage, smell that reassuring foosty smell, drink overpriced beer and go to the toilet while standing in dubious wet floor scum. A change of scene, if nothing else.
But the vaccine is steadily rolling out, and with it hope for the future. Subject to the path out of lockdown progressing to schedule, some outdoor festivals and events in the second half of summer may be allowed, and there’s the prospect of indoor shows resuming by around the same time. Imagine the sheer euphoria! Imagine losing your shit like your shit has never been lost before!
With those imaginings in mind, and in the general spirit of #newnormal and #buildbackbetter, I propose the beginnings of a manifesto. A manifesto for better gig-going. Because for all that gigs with their crap pints and wanton invasion of personal space – oh, to have one’s personal space invaded again! – may represent a near perfect cultural experience, there’s always room for improvement. Together we can, my fellow music fans, #buildbackbetter (gigs).
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1. Tall people
Speaking as a semi-tall person, I like to think I see both sides of the “Hey you tall guy, don’t stand in front of me” debate. Unless you are Krist Novoselic or Brienne of Tarth, there is always liable to be a taller person rocking up at the last minute to ruin your sightline.
If you’re short, almost everyone’s tall. But fact is, tall or short: you can always move. Standing gigs should be, I like to think, a kind of microcosm of a utopian free society, where we are all at liberty to arrange ourselves to our mutual benefit and needs, like atoms in a molecule or crisps in a bag. Little or large, everyone has their place. Everyone has feelings. We can all happily co-exist with some peace, love and understanding, maaaan.