'As an artist, I never would want anyone to be uncomfortable or unsafe. Music is my happy place, and concert goers just want to experience that too.'
As an experienced concert attendee and a singer herself, Tess Stevens is quite familiar with how crazy things can get in big crowds. This was what motivated her to start a concert safety series on TikTok back in August through which she educates her 359,000 followers on how they can have fun at music concerts while being safe simply by staying aware of their surroundings. Stevens' tips strike a strong chord with netizens now, in the wake of the Astroworld tragedy, which left 10 dead and hundreds injured earlier this month. Speaking to Bored Panda, Stevens shared that she believes that ultimately, it's the artist's responsibility to ensure everyone's safety at their concert.
"Yes, there are hundreds of people on their team who make concerts happen, but to create a safe environment at your shows is ultimately the musician’s responsibility. As an artist, I never would want anyone to be uncomfortable or unsafe. Music is my happy place, and concert goers just want to experience that too," she said. "It is important that we take huge precautions and think about each detail before playing whether you’re playing for 5 people or 50,000. I just want to arm people with knowledge and keep spreading the word so everyone can enjoy concerts for what they are - an escape from the every day and a damn good time."
Here are 13 valuable tips from Stevens:
"Most of the time, everybody's just kind of chilling, and then once the band plays, everybody pushes to the front. When that happens, older men would really enjoy pressing up against the backs of people. And when I mean pressing, it's like a borderline assault thing. If you feel somebody pressing up against you, look back at them, and just start screaming, even if the band is playing, put both your hands up and point to them. Sometimes men will go as far as to start groping you. That is when you literally start kicking, I do not care if this advice is inappropriate, start kicking."
"The buddy system can ward off all kinds of bad stuff, people will look to take advantage of people who are on their own. If you do have to go to a concert by yourself stick around the populated places," Stevens advises.
"This could be the friendliest person on earth offering you some water. Sometimes at the barricades, security guards will give you like bottles of water that are sealed. Go for it. If anyone ever tries to give you an open container of any kind, you do not take it."
"I know people are not going to want to leave the line to go to the bathroom, but you're going to need to. So please satiate yourself and make sure that you are doing well. Feeling strong and healthy before going to a show so that you can have the most fun, bounce around and get all your energy out."
"If people are already pushing to get up front or to loop you out of your spot by taking their foot and angling it in and trying to push you out of the way, you know that the crowd is going to be rowdy and you might want to remove yourself from the situation and head to the back. The closer a show gets to the headliner, the more compressed a crowd becomes."
"If both of your feet are not touching the ground, at any point, you need to try to exit the crowd. Make sure that you're stable and you're standing firmly on both feet. If you are able to do that and you're able to raise your arms, you should have enough room."
"If you are involved in moshing, or like to do any of that stuff if someone falls down, you pick them up. I mean, stop what you're doing. Go over to the person and help them up. Mosh pits are supposed to be a transfer of energy, a celebration of music, not somewhere to unleash your toxic rage, especially around others."
"If you're in this situation where in the middle of a crowd you can't move, can't breathe, scream 'Help! Help! Get me out, get me out! I want out!' If you're able to move your arms, wave them wildly. If you are struggling to breathe, angle your head up."
"When I was 15 or 16, I met some great people in line at a 'Panic At The Disco' show, all kids around my age, talking about music the same way that I do, completely passionate. One of them, I think, was wearing the same shirt as me, which is how we started talking."
"This happened to me a couple of times at some DIY shows when I was in my late teens, early 20s. Some creepy person would come up, start talking to you and offer a drink. You feel super awkward and ask 'Hey, I'm getting some weird vibes. Would you mind if I stood with you guys for a little bit?' More often than not, you're probably just going to start talking about music and become friends with them."
"This sounds a little juvenile, but it's gotten me out of several jams. It is just what I'm saying. Pretend like your phone has just rung or that you've gotten an emergency text and say 'I gotta go,' 'My friend is coming,' 'My friend needs me.' Pretend to be on the phone and that kind of discourse for somebody hearing that, if they're trying to creep on you or do something nefarious, will back them off."
"Meeting your heroes is pretty interesting and fun. But if somebody starts to make you feel uncomfortable, especially if they're in their 20s and you're in your teens, it can be really freaking weird. And if you are under 18, do not go to a second location with anybody."
"But if you've heard about allegations, you start feeling that creepy behavior, run, okay? Nothing is worth an assault, a trauma for you. No amount of fame can fix somebody's heart."