How to Save Seats at a Concert (Without Being a Total Doucher)
Madison, WI is rightly famous for having both an awesome local music scene and an incredibly high per-capita population of douchey scenesters. (When The Decemberists come to town the National Guard has to stand alert, in case the sheer concentration of self-absorption starts caving in buildings and collapsing streets near the venue.)
But I’m sure we’re not the only town with that particularly annoying breed of person who can’t just pay admission, grab a seat, and watch the show like a normal human being. So please feel free to forward this on to anyone who needs it:
How to Save a Seat Like a Tolerable Human Being
Rule #1: One Spare Seat Per Person
This is basic fairness. If a voting majority of your group can’t be bothered to show up early, your group is not dedicated to getting good seats. Leave them for the groups that are.
So you, personally, may sit your ass down in one seat and throw a bag or whatever on the seat next to you. You may not drape a single sweater across five seats, or worse, bring some non-essential item like a beach towel or bedsheet explicitly for the purpose of marking a whole swath of seats.
Seriously, what a douche move.
Rule #2: Unattended Seats Ain’t Saved
If your whole group shows up an hour early, dumps their crap on a row of seats, and then leaves entirely to go hang out front and smoke, guess what? Not saved seats.
This is basic courtesy: most of us will, however grudgingly, acknowledge it if someone’s there to say “oh, sorry man, these seats are saved.” If you can’t be troubled to have that tiny bit of human interaction, there’s not a lot of social pressure on me to refrain from dumping your crap somewhere else and sitting down.
Also your bags are probably going to get rifled for cash. Just saying.
Rule #3: Stop Saving Seats at Five Minutes to Showtime
If your friends didn’t show up, that’s just how it is. When the band’s waiting in the wings it’s time for everyone to get where they’re gonna be. Similar to the other two rules, the basic idea here is that if you can’t be arsed to get there on time you’re not all that into the show, and someone who is should get the seat.
And that’s all there is to it! Don’t hog rows of empty seats with just one guy standing guard, don’t leave your “saved” seats entirely unattended, and make way for other folks when the show’s about to start.
Obviously, concerts that are primarily attended standing up have a totally separate etiquette. But in those nice local spots made out of old movie theaters and symphony halls, either get your ass up into the tiny sliver of dancing space or observe some basic seat etiquette.
And then you’re not being a total doucher! Simple as that.