Any music lover knows how great live music can be, but that it often involves looking at a stage with a bunch of other people, many of whom will be in front of you. This is not so great when you’re just 5’2”! Music is about audio but a gig has a visual element to it which is nice to be able to see. Here is what I’ve learnt: it all comes down to the venue.
Seated venues are great for the visual but you do get less of the atmosphere; I opted for this when I was younger (and smaller). If you are there for the performance and are less into being in the pit then getting seats is a good way to go; it’s comfy and normally raised so the view is generally better.
A lot of venues are converted theatres, a favourite of mine due to their sloped floors. They mean that the tall person three people in front is less of a problem and you only have to worry about who is directly in front of you. This requires less planning and is easier to adapt when people inevitably move between support and main act.
A flat floor and a tall stage can work, but you need to be committed to being near the front. The Waterfront isn’t great. It is hampered by the low stage and large poles; if you like being in the crowd then get there early so that you can position yourself either in the middle or to the left of the stage (closer to the bar) and ensure you are in front of the damn poles!
Venues with balconies and multiple levels are amazing as it provides multiple ‘fronts’ and gives you more options – Norwich Arts Centre and KOKO in London are two good examples. Some venues like O2 Academy Brixton have fences in the pit to help break up the crowd. If you can get to stand directly behind one then you can stand on the lower rung once the performer comes on to gain that helpful 4-6 inches in height.
Every venue is unique. But, before your gig, do some research to nd out the layout of the venue and where other people recommend standing. Form a game plan based on others’ experiences. But, mostly, don’t be afraid to move and try another spot. It might be worse but often it’s better!