Think about the last time you were at a live show in a pretty full house. There are generally two types of people in that scenario: A.) the people who scope out a spot and claim it early on and B.) the people who wait until the band starts and make their move.
This isn’t black and white, there are a lot of type A people will make a move to get closer to the action once the band starts playing too. But my point is this: when the band starts, and people start moving forward, they almost always choose the path of least resistance.
The thing about the path of least resistance at a show, though, is that even the path of least resistance is inevitably going to inconvenience, take advantage of, and piss off people along the path. Mostly subconsciously, they read the most vulnerable areas and people for tromping through the crowd and towards the front. They identify a walkway.
I saw this over and over at Bonnaroo this past weekend. Some of the time, I was the perpetrator. More often, I was the victim.
Every time I let someone walk past me, I felt defeated. Several times, they just camped in the small area in front of me. They now had a better spot, I now had a worse spot. Why? I was here sooner, didn’t I deserve this? But they wanted it, picked me out as someone who would give it up, took it, and I let them.
This is obviously a metaphor. And yes, maybe it is a shitty thing to suggest that you should be the aggressor and take advantage of people before they take advantage of you. Maybe it’s not for everyone, and maybe there is a compromise where you can just hold your ground without making someone else a victim. Different strokes for different folks!
But for me, my new mantra is “Don’t be a walkway.”