Gigtiquette – The 6 Gig Commandments, For Now
by Sarah Daniella Dickman
How many times have you gotten hyped up for a night out at this snazzy new speakeasy, coffeehouse or bar? Excited to listen to this great local band that everyone in your circle of friends, both on and off social media, has been raving about – only to arrive and discover the sloppiest of sloppy sets, by the shoddiest of shoddy musicians, who clearly thought too highly (no pun intended, or maybe I did that on purpose) of themselves. But above all, more than anything, surpassing the fact that they punctuated every song with the ancient war cry ‘I’m so wasted’, they lacked a fundamental element – basic gig etiquette, or as it is now known as, gigtiquette.
We bring you, fellow music lovers and lovers of music lovers alike, the 6 Gig Commandments, For Now.
Show up on time
Although your time may somehow seem to be more important than the band before and after you, than the sound engineer, than the event organizer and even the people who came out to watch you – the cold, hard truth of the matter is that, it’s not.
In the immortal word of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, R.E.S.P.E.C.T!
Showing up on time to your own gigs proves not only respect for everyone else’s timing, but also for your own timing. And as we all know, respect is a hard-earned commodity that goes a long way in the business. Also, show up on time for your sound check!!
‘Try’ to look presentable
While rehearsing in the most beat up, worn out, strung up pair of sweatpants you own is arguably the most comfortable thing in the world, you only ever get one chance to make a good first impression. And your music may speak louder than your clothes, but people eat with their eyes first as the old saying goes.
Notice how I used the word ‘presentable’?
Because no one should ever tell a musician how to dress!
Musicians can’t be tamed, their spirits should be left free to roam naked in a field with wild horses and daisies.
At least, try not to look (and smell) like an Alam Flora truck lah, ok?
Be polite to your organizers
Unless your organizers were in fact the most conniving pack of wolves you have ever encountered, you have no justified reason to ‘diva’ with them.
Listen, they don’t have to pay for your parking, or your beers or the tissues you used to wipe your tears with when they told you that you had to pay for your own Avian sparkling water that you just gotta have before you hit the stage.
It’s this simple: if you don’t like what they can offer, DON’T. TAKE. THE. GIG.
Remain professional(if you ever were to begin with)
It would be nice if you and the rest of your band showed professionalism, at least throughout your set.
The reality of it is that if the audience wanted to watch 6 drunk people singing loudly and playing instruments on a stage, they would have caught a Tiger Show instead, who would actually be doing their job well for a change.
Mingle, Smile and Appreciate
Mingling with people who have come to enjoy your music is one way to gain a fan base. You don’t have to just be an elusive stage figure that no one gets to talk to.
Striking up a conversation with a group of people who have been vibing along with the band all night long might even lead to new friendships forged.
My point is, mingle, smile and appreciate those who came out to watch you.
Having said all of the above, all of this can be boiled down to one thing – be nice, in general. Be nice to your audience, to your organizers, to the bartenders and the waitresses, to the parking attendant and the aunty who sweeps the five foot path where you ashed your cigarettes all night long, to your mom and dad and the guy you saw begging by the wayside on the way to the gig – be nice.
After all, you give what you get and you get what you give.