Gig proposals: cute or cringey?


“There’s an image we have of romance, lifted directly from 80s movies, of the foolhardy, lovestruck Romeo-wannabe who makes a huge gesture to woo the woman he loves. Typically our budding Casanova will take an immense risk of looking like a muppet in order to prove his undying love for his better half.

Proposals have always been a matter of spectacle. Unless you are off your face on vodka at a house party and use a jokey proposal to cover for the fact you fell down and landed on one knee (yes, I am speaking from experience), they are dramatic gestures. Getting down on one knee; holding the box aloft like its Simba and this is the opening scene of The Lion King; using your beloved’s middle name, even though you know they probably hate it, is the only way to show you are serious.

We find proposals at restaurants cute and lovely. There are bystanders here who see the risk of rejection, yet we still do it. A gig is no different. I would argue, in fact, it is more romantic. Many couples find solace in shared musical tastes; it’s the same reason we make a big deal about first dance songs. Where a band is willing to let someone on stage to propose, it gives a chance for that band’s music to become a permanent part of your relationship. It’s unforgettable and fits the big romantic gesture trope we all secretly want our lover to meet.

As long as the band is chosen properly (why would someone propose at a The Front Bottoms concert, for heaven’s sake?) it can be meaningful and a true expression of love.” – Nick Mason


“Imagine the scene, heart racing, music pumping through the speakers. You’re waiting for the lights to go down and the music to begin. Suddenly a man stumbles on the stage and grasps the microphone. No, it’s not a band member, and they’re too nervous to be a part of the set up crew. The whole crowd is perplexed, it is silent and awkward. Oh God, it’s a proposal. Bent down on the sticky stage floor, ring in hand, waffling about how he and his partner are destined to be together. It is all too much. You came here for music, not for a soap opera.

It’s all well and good declaring your love for one another, but there’s no reason to make a spectacle out of yourself in front of hundreds of strangers. It also makes all the people at the gig uncomfortable and ruins the amazing atmosphere associated with attending a music concert. As someone speaking from experience, you feel obliged to clap and smile, even though you’d rather not. You’ve paid a good £20 to be here and enjoy yourself, not watch an extreme episode of PDA.

Sure, its brilliant if your partner says yes but what if you popping the question leads to a heart wrenching public rejection and spoils all your memories of your favourite band. Every time you hear a song, suddenly you’re back standing there, all eyes on you. It’s simply not worth it.

So if you’re planning on proposing to that special someone, take a minute to think it through. A music concert probably isn’t the best place; it’s not the intimate setting your loved one imagined. It’s just cringey.” – Jess Barrett


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September 2021
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