With some major headliners performing throughout Canada—including Blink-182 and Beyonce, with her massively popular Renaissance World Tour—it’s hard to ignore the buzz on social media about poor concert etiquette. It seems like every day there’s another fan throwing something at a performer, another instance of pushing and fighting for a better view, and countless other instances of bad concert behaviour.
We wanted to know: which provinces in Canada are seeing the biggest uptick in poor concert etiquette? Is the younger generation to blame for the rise in incidents, or have people just forgotten how to behave at concerts since the pandemic? We interviewed over 1,500 Canadian concertgoers to find out.
Ontario takes the cake for the most significant increase in bad behaviour at concerts in the recent past, with an astounding 71% of respondents in the province reporting that they are noticing concert behaviour getting worse.
British Columbia comes in a close second, with 69% confirming an uptick. This many people seeing worsening behaviour really drives home how bad things have gotten.
Unfortunately, 50% or more of our survey participants in seven provinces in total stated that they’ve noticed things changing for the worse.
Concert attendees in Newfoundland and Labrador are the tamest, with only 13% stating they’ve noticed a negative change in behaviour at live events.
So what, exactly, does “bad concert etiquette” mean? For most people—77% of Canadians, to be precise—it means excessive use of smartphones.
The next most common bad behaviours are loud talking and ignoring or disrespecting other people’s personal space, at 63% and 53%, respectively.
While these behaviours are…let’s say, less than ideal and can ruin other peoples’ concert experiences, we’re happy to report that they’re not inherently dangerous.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for pushing and shoving, which “only” 52% of Canadians are seeing more frequently. It’s things like this that can lead to crowd crushes and other dangerous and potentially deadly issues.
Amazingly, the least common issue concertgoers are seeing is people disregarding venue rules. We wonder where those rules about smartphone use and shoving are…
Pretty much! Just under half—47%—of Canadian concert attendees confirmed that Gen-Zers exhibit worse behaviour than any other age group. We don’t mean to pin the whole concert etiquette dilemma on a single generation, but they are the least experienced with going to live events…
Vancouver residents are seeing the biggest uptick in poor behaviour from Gen-Z concert attendees, in particular, with 67% stating the younger generation is a big part of the issue.
In fact, concertgoers in NINE of the ten largest cities in Canada all agree, and most residents in those cities believe Gen-Z is the main culprit for the concert chaos. The tenth-largest city—Edmonton—came in at 48%, so it’s safe to say that most concert attendees in the country feel good about placing the blame on the young’uns.
If this kind of behaviour continues or gets even worse, at some point, the live music scene is going to be negatively affected. Nearly two-thirds—65%—of all current Canadian concertgoers said they would stop going to live events if the behaviour worsens.
So, how do we fix the problem? What’s even the underlying issue?
Well, 53% of our survey participants think the surging demand for live events has led to aggressive behaviour, like shoving to get a better view (read: video for TikTok) and a feeling of entitlement at concerts. We get it: you paid thousands for the front row to watch Beyonce glisten, but that doesn’t mean you have to rage to have a good time.
Plus, it’s not all on the concert attendees. Nearly all respondents—92%—think venue staff and even the artists should take a more prominent role in controlling the crowds.
We hope it won’t, but it’s possible. If poor behaviour at concerts continues and attendees stop buying tickets like they say they will, there’s a possibility that the demand will drop to the point where live concerts become less and less prevalent. On the other hand, a decrease in demand could mean a decrease in poor behaviour, which might actually fix the issue.
In any case, we can focus on the positive: 88% of concertgoers in Canada witness acts of kindness from fellow attendees. So, maybe we can all strive to be part of the group that makes a positive difference and helps ensure the future of live music instead. Deal?
We surveyed over 1,500 Canadians in July 2023 who had attended at least one live concert in the previous 12 months. The average age of the respondents was 36 years old. Just over half — 55% — were female, 43% were male, and 2% identified as non-binary or other.