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Should there be more rules at live shows?

07th - 14th July 2023

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Total votes


5-11 votes


11-16+ votes

Ever wanted to sing in the theatre? Even if you’re not on the stage? Might seem like a thing to do. But it’s definitely not ok! There have been reports of shows being stopped midway through as the audience wouldn’t stop singing along.

Of course, etiquette at live shows goes beyond the theatre. Gigs have also been interrupted in different ways. Ashes to thrown onto stage, mobile phones hitting singers, even Harry Styles wasn’t immune to this kind of behaviour.

For this VoteTopic, voters put audience etiquette in the spotlight. They reflected on the way people behave at live shows, and considered the impact that rules could have on others in the audience and the performers themselves.

Primary 7-11, Secondary, 16+ & College voters were asked: “Should there be more rules at live shows?”, while Primary 5-7 voters discussed: “Should we join in with live shows?”


5-11 voter

“I think there should be more rules because if people are being irresponsible and throw things, people would get really hurt.”


11-16 voter

“There are enough rules, even with additional rules people are not going to listen.”


16+ voter

“If there were more rules, live events would be more boring.”

62% of those aged between 11 & 16 don't believe that more rules are needed at live shows.

  • Primary 7-11, Secondary, 16+ & College voters answered the question, "Should there be more rules at live shows?"
  • Secondary, 16+ & College voters said 'No' in the majority, arguing that there needs to be better security rather than an increase in rules to follow.
63% of those aged between 7 & 11 disagreed, arguing that it is necessary to have more rules because of recent instances of dangerous behaviour.

  • Primary 7-11 voters disagreed, arguing that live shows would be managed better if there were more rules in place.
  • Some voters said it was unfair on performers and more rules would prevent people from being hit by thrown objects.
64% of those aged between 5 & 7 believe that we should join in with live shows.

  • Our youngest voters answered the question, "Should we join in with live shows?"
  • 64% said 'Yes', with some saying that once you've paid for a ticket to an event, you should be able to enjoy it fully.
Many argued that recent fan behaviour was unacceptable however also felt that putting more rules in place would make live shows less enjoyable.

  • In the comments, most voters agreed that recent events where performers have had objects thrown at them are unacceptable.
  • They disagreed on how best to prevent this in future. Some thought more rules would be impractical (such as more prohibited items), particularly when some of the objects being thrown are valuable items such as mobile phones.

Feedback from our Impact Partners

Thank you so much to Dr Lucy Bennett, Lecturer at the School of Journalism, Media and Culture at Cardiff University for commenting on what the children said about this topic.

Dr Lucy's research focuses on popular music and music fandoms. She has been featured on the BBC and international media talking about live events and crowd behaviour.