Gen Z seems to not know how to properly go to concerts

Now that COVID has receded for the moment (or has it?), concerts are back in a big way. Analysis shows that Gen Z is among the most enthusiastic when it comes to the return of live music. But these kids–we are talking about teenagers here–are having issues when it comes to behaving at concerts. This is from Paste Magazine.

“[T]he kinds of people who are buying tickets are a completely new group that has just emerged from isolation. And after reports of mass injuries and faintings and a more hectic return to live music, we need to ask: Are the kids alright?

“So let’s spare a thought for the kids—not just any kids, but the hordes of Gen Z teenagers who lost their formative years to isolation and quarantine. Anyone who was on TikTok in 2020 and 2021 could witness the spiraling of an entire generation. These were the years when you’re supposed to be able to test the waters of freedom and independence. But with no world to venture into, the quaran-teens could only descend deeper into digital culture.


“The problem is that these young fans want the most intense versions of a concert experience, without having any familiarity with the realities of what that entails. The desire to get barricade and be as close to their idols as possible has led to camping out on a scale that is unheard of for artists like Bridgers and Mitski, who had previously been relatively popular indie musicians.

“So what happens when a bunch of teenagers are desperate to have in-person experiences, while also developing slightly obsessive relationships to their favorite artists, and have never been to a large-scale concert before? As you could expect, absolute chaos.”

Keep reading and then feel free to discuss the situation.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37434 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

2 thoughts on “Gen Z seems to not know how to properly go to concerts

  • I was at that Toronto Bridgers show and it was worrisome and surreal. The article feels a bit alarmist though. Like I’ll grant the kids didn’t have a normal pace for concerts with COVID … they made mistakes, but will learn. That’s literally what experience is. Just happened to be a bunch of kids all doing it for the first time.

    Phoebe Bridgers herself at least seemed to be on top of things, stopping the show and pointing out to medical crews where she saw people passing out.

  • That show was the first thing I thought of – my teenage son was there with some friends and they reported everything that happened. Of course, I seem to recall that the concert was oversold by 2000 tickets, and security is generally inadequate. So is this another case of older generations setting up conditions to reap more profit and creating unsafe environments while millennials take the blame? Seems like it to me.


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