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On Wednesday evening I was at the first concert of the year, Maria Mina which hit me in the soul at Gamle Norge. What also surprised me was how annoying our audience was.
It’s the same old rule year after year. It’s jazz, we’re hungry for something to happen in the city, and when it finally does, we go on the public train to the center like a flock of sheep in a spring race.
We line up to get into concerts, sip a beer or ten, and stumble outside a stuffy little festival.
Where exactly is the line between festival magic and folk customs?
Thoughts ran me as I stood with beer spilled on my jacket and bumped into by those who had arrived too late in the spring and were now trying to sneak up to the front of the stage.
Can’t we try to agree on some relatively simple rules of music driving so it will be a better experience for everyone?
I have some suggestions:
If you’re over 1.80m tall, and you probably also adorn yourself in a cowboy hat on top of it all, it might be an idea to take a look behind you once in a while. It’s embarrassing to say, but you’re the kind of person who’d rather avoid standing in the back at prom — especially when you have a friend who’s the same height as you. Feel free to let us, under 20cm tall, forward, we promise not to get in the way.
And, Ronnie, you’re standing at the bar in your underpants. You probably won’t be able to hold your six-pack of beers for your third-grade friends. I get that it’s a youthful look – but you’ll spill half the crowd, I’m just mentioning it.
For those of you who need to shoot a minute and a half of each song, will you watch those movies again later? A small phone blocks an amazing amount of the stage view for those directly behind you, and it’s tedious to pay money to watch a concert from your mobile screen.
So this is the talk then. Berit hasn’t seen Bret since high school, and suddenly he’s there. Life updates and gossip begin – but do you have to do it in the crowd? I’d rather listen to the concert than if neighbor Leila gets a new guy after the divorce, or if Gunnar finally quits his job with inappropriate jokes. Not only does he disturb the audience who came to experience a concert, but he is also rude to the performers on stage.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re not in concert so shut up. But there’s a difference between small talk with friends and loud discussion of the limits of the Neighbors’ plot while Maria Mena talks bitter exits and divorces off the stage.
I could carry a few beers in my back, and I myself was an annoying member of the audience who had dozens of videos from different concerts on my cellphone that I never watched again. Feel free to take pictures or shoot a clip for Instagram or Snapchat, but do you need 50 photos? From my own experience – if you’re not a fan of vampires and you’re not Karpe, you’ll never watch it again.
There were probably a lot of people with me who were looking forward to the fact that it’s finally the 27th, the holy week when you don’t make any plans other than Kongsberg and jazz. Let’s enjoy ourselves, and make it the best experience for each other.
Sing your favorite song as loud as you can, and I will sing with you and louder than you. It may also be annoying to others.
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