An Open Letter to Event-Goers: How to Better Enjoy the Art of Live Music

Indie Bands PH performing

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Nothing beats going to your favorite musician’s concert. The lights, atmosphere, and vibe work together to transport you to a different place. The audience’s voices mesh with the band’s sound to create an entirely new version of your favorite song. The entire experience is just electrifying. Even in smaller events or productions, you can see both artist and audience pour their hearts into the performance. One can only imagine how incredible it is to be a part of that.

Concerts and music festivals don’t just let you see musicians play live, these events also let you create something unique with them. This exchange between the audience and the band is where the new art is born. However, with art, there has to be rules, or at least guidelines to help you along the way.

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First of all, support your local talent!

There seems to be a misconception that local artists play second fiddle to more popular international artists. If you believe this, you’re definitely missing out on some top-tier musicians. The Filipino music scene is alive and kicking, and boasts quite the roster of talent. From rock to pop to techno, indie artists are showing that they can run with the best. Local talent managers and event organizers like Red Ninja, Karpos Multimedia, Hydro Manila and many more event productions are more than capable to set up a world-class show.

Second, mind your manners.

A concert or music festival can get rowdy at times, so don’t add to that by being obnoxiously loud, or pushing others too much. If alcohol is involved, drink moderately. You won’t be able to enjoy the music as much if you’re really drunk. Just remember: don’t step on other people’s fun. You all paid to attend the concert, so everyone should be able to enjoy it.

Nothing in life is free.

Don’t cozy up to artists or organizers hoping to get free tickets to their shows. That’s not how you’d treat a friend, so that’s definitely not how you treat people you admire either. Tickets to gigs are a bit pricy, but remember, you’re not just watching a performance, you’re helping make it. Also, your entrance fee doesn’t go to just the artists. There’s a whole chain of people who rely on the money from gigs.

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There’s also a sizeable number of people who rely on just radio and internet contests for tickets. Not everyone who enters those can win.  Now I know there are some shows that are just near impossible to get into without these, but our default for situations like those shouldn’t be “I might win a ticket, so why bother with buying one?”. Art is necessary to nurture the soul, but it’s a luxury as well. We need to be more willing to pay for things that make us happy.

As a fellow artist, I empathize with local artists who are frustrated by the public’s refusal to properly compensate them for their art. People see music as something you can just get for free, since the rise of online piracy.  Us artists don’t just produce work from thin air, you know. Each piece is a reflection of years of skill mastery and style development.

Sometimes events fall through.

May they be because of lack of ticket sales, or because of more serious and political reasons.  Ever since the Close-Up Forever Summer Tragedy, the music event scene has taken a bit of a stumble. Neverland 2016 was cancelled not only for the country’s tumultuous political climate, but some other reasons we can only assume.

Moreover, legendary singer-songwriter James Taylor called off his concert at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on February 25, 2017 because of the government’s on-going war on drugs. He says, “I don’t think of my music as being particularly political but sometimes one is called upon to make a political stand”. Such as shame when the Manila crowd could have been one of the best audience an artist could ever play for.

The recent Rakrakan 2017 also saw it’s fair share of artists pulling out due to the event’s theme. The theme was “OPM Against Drugs”. While it’s supposedly a tribute to the deaths that occurred in the Close-Up Forever Summer Concert, one can’t help but notice that may not be the only reason they chose this theme. Bullet Dumas, one of the acts who chose not to perform in Rakrakan 2017, said that while he doesn’t need drugs, because the high of music was enough, he opposes the relentless killings due to drugs. He hopes that the war on drugs would be aligned more with justice and truth, rather than death.

These cancelled events shouldn’t dampen your desire to watch live music. The year 2016 was a wild roller coaster ride for everyone, but it’s a brand new year. This year is looking promising so far, with the successes of local gigs like UP Fair: Sabayan Ang Beat and Heart Beats, A Valentine Concert.

If you’re itching to watch a local music fest, there are three big ones coming up this summer. On March 4, at the Filinvest City Event Grounds, Wanderland is back with a new set of local and foreign indie musicians and artists. Malasimbo, which is happening from March 10 to 12 at Puerto Galera, will be bringing DJs, live musicians, and artists together for one amazing summer weekend party. A big one for the rave goers is the Chroma Music Festival happening on April 8 at the Globe Circuit Events Ground. This one of a kind event mixes local and international talents with a crowd armed with colored powder.


With all this in mind, you’re ready to be a better event-goer! Grab your tickets and your friends, and get ready to create and experience something entirely new with your favorite artists.

Photos by Chloei Capili

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