Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Hip In Detroit Guide to Being a Good Fan

Photo Credit: Zachary Hooligan

A few weeks ago we told bands how to be successful in the Detroit music scene. People loved our suggestions, so we wanted to make some new ones for the fans that attend these shows. Bad fans can ruin a show, sometimes even faster than a bad band. There is no right way to be a fan but there are a few things that can make everyone's night a little bit better. So, here’s Hip In Detroit's guide to being a good fan and not pissing off everyone else at a show.

1- Stop with the cell phone videos!
Let’s be totally honest, you're never going to watch that video again. We all know that you want to post it online where 15 of your friends will like it (without watching it either), but it's not necessary. The sound and the picture on those videos is still horrendous and the people behind you do not want to watch the show through the tiny little box on your phone. They paid to come see the show live, not through a screen. If you insist on getting a video with your phone, hold it low, go towards the back, or stand to the sides of the stage. Don't block everyone else’s view and ruin their good time so that you can get a shitty video. If you are working for a website that needs to cover an event via social media, get in, get the video, and get out of the way. Work is work and I respect that, just don’t let your work interrupt my good time.

2- Have your ticket, I.D., or money ready at the door. Don't stand there searching for it.
Oh, you're on the list. Cool, show me your I.D. You're drinking tonight. Cool, show me your I.D. You're walking in and know that you have to pay. Cool, give me money and show me your I.D. When you walk up to the door person, give them the fucking money and an I.D. They will literally always be asking for those two things, so get them out while you're in line so that I don't have to stand here while you dig through your stuff. This will just make the whole thing easier on all of us, especially in the winter when standing outside can be unbearable!

3- Bring a friend to the next show or talk about you great experience on social media to help a band spread the word and get their name out there. 
The best way to keep this thing going is to keep spreading the word. Be a good fan and spread away!

4- 9/10 times just don't crowd surf, please!
We have all watched the videos from the '90s where hundreds of people floated across the crowd at Lollapalooza and had the best time of their lives, but it is not 1994 anymore Toto and we're not at Lolla. We;re usually at the Pike Room or Small's and you just cracked me on the head, broke my glasses, or gave me a bruise to go a foot across the crowd and fall onto the floor where we all had to fight to get you back up again. There's a time and a place for crowd surfing. There are big shows and artists that promote coming on stage and having fans crowd surf. Save it for those shows.

5- So you have your arm around your girlfriend the whole show...
Just don't. We get it, you're together. She’s your one and only, no other guys or girls should look at her. This goes for everyone; boy-girl , girl-boy, boy-boy, whatever. Just don't hang on each other. It's a show, it's gross, no one wants to see it, and it is weird. Just don’t.

6- Buy an album or some merch!
If you liked what you saw or heard, throw a few bucks at the band so they can keep it going. Bands do not make much off of music anymore. Touring and merch are their bread and butter, that's why they sell so many cool items at shows these days. If you have a few bucks, buy something nice for yourself and help that band keep touring, keep recording, and keep trying to follow their dreams. We lose a lot of great bands due to lack of funds, and if you like someone a lot, this is the best way to make sure that this doesn't happen to them.

7- Sing along at the top of your lungs, but be mindful of what kind of show you are at.
There is nothing uncool about singing along with your favorite musical acts and having a great time at the show. We love when fans drop the cool guy act at the door and just let loose. I love a good crowd sing along, it gets the band going and makes everyone in the room feel like family. But, this doesn't apply for all artists. If I came to see Fiona Apple sing, I came to hear Fiona Apple sing, not the lady who thinks she sounds really good on her car that’s belting out the words next to me. Save the screaming for a punk show and keep it on the d.l. when your watching a true singer perform, half the reason you go to those shows is to hear that voice live.

8- Uncross those arms!
A room of people standing there with their arms crossed is the worst thing to see at a show. It means that everyone in the room is uncomfortable and too cool for school. Sorry to break it to you, but there is nothing cool about this closed off, no fun stance. Uncross the arms and let go, let’s have some fun.

9- Tall people to the sides! 
I don't like to discriminate based on someones physical features, but male or female, if you're super tall can you please stand to the sides? The rest of us have not been blessed with your good genes and we just want to see the show.

10- Don't ever bother an artist for a picture or a talk before their set.
We already told you that we think that local artists should get out there and interact with their fans, but there is a time and a place for this. Don't walk up and try to get a picture during load in or when it looks like they might be trying to handle an issue at a show. Save it for after the set, at the merch booth, or when their chilling at the bar. There is a time and place for everything.

11- Ladies: Halter tops and mosh pits do not go together, let us explain.
We love that you're wearing a halter top, believe me. But, you have to admit that it is hard to get those to stay up and wearing one while jumping around can lead to disaster. If you are okay with a full frontal flash .we can keep this trend going. But, if you don't want it to come down, don't wear it and stand next to a bunch of people who are moving, jumping, thrashing, and punching. You cannot be mad when it accidentally comes down if you choose to wear it! Dress to impress, but consider where you're going!

12- Don't throw anything on stage unless the band asks you to throw something up to them.
Blink 182 is known for asking their crowds to throw bras on stage, they encourage their fans to do it. Unless the band asks for something like this, please don't throw anything at them. Detroit has had a hard time getting bigger acts to come through our city in the last few years and this is one way to guarantee that they keep skipping our state. Kurt Cobain famously complained about getting a shoe thrown at him in Detroit. Let's get over this trend and keep our objects to ourselves. Who wants to leave a show shoeless anyways? Your mom will be mad and your feet with be hurt!

13- Wearing the shirt of the band that you are going to see to the show, is fine. Let those old stereotypes go! 
I don't think there is anything wrong with wearing a t-shirt of the band that you came out to see. It shows that you are a fan and that you bought some merch because you liked the band the last time you saw them play. Stop making fun of people for having fun and wearing a shirt that they think is cool. Old, weird rule. Time for it to fade away. Being a fan is cool!

14- Please don't spill your $13 stadium beer all over me.
You just spent a ton of money to get a huge beer and you're  dancing and spilling it on my leg or, even worse, in seats on my head. Be careful with that shit! No one likes sticky hair or smelling like Bud Light. Drink the top off before you dance!

15- If you can swing it, get to a show early and check out the opening bands, even if you don't know who they are.

If you're a fan of the headliner, chances are that you will like at least one of the opening acts. A lot of times the headliner chose the bands that are opening for them and believe in who they picked. There is a good chance that you will find a new band to fall in love with. 

16- Don't be a dick!
This means don't fuck with people who are nowhere near the mosh pit. On the flip side, don't be made if you're standing next to a mosh pit and you get bumped in to. We are all just here to have fun!



  1. "Save the screaming for a punk show and keep it on the d.l. when your watching a true singer perform," didn't know Fiona Apple ever played st Small's or that punks aren't true singers other than this shitty little potshot it was a good list.

    1. Sorry for the poor choice of words. Pretty sure it's obvious that we love punk bands though, as well as all sorts of music. And we're pretty sure you know exactly what we actually meant. :)

  2. Tell me again why tall people should stand on the sides? Get there early if you want a better view.

    And, you are right about the video guys.

  3. STOP sending/checking texts! If you cannot disconnect from the net, STAY HOME! No one wants to see bright little lights in the corner or in front of their eyes. Nothing is more annoying at a live event, than a dumb ass w/ a smart phone.