Tall people at concerts
Updated: Oct 29, 2018
I'm a big fan of music, and there's nothing quite like seeing your favorite groups live in concert. However, the concert experience for people of height is full of stereotypes, expectations, and stress.
As a member of the tall community, I try to be conscientious of the people around me. I have ducked for cameras recording a song, squatted through concerts awkwardly for those behind me so they could see better, and been moved right next to the speakers in the back of a room so patrons shorter than me could get closer to the artists that we equally adored. I usually always buy a seat rather than floor space, but not all venues are created equal. Recently, one particular concert experience overseas weighed quite heavily on me...
I spent a good chunk of money to fly out to South Korea during the Spring, and found out one of my favorite artists were going to be performing at a local venue during my trip. This venue was standing room only, because the event was meant to be an intimate one for the fans. I purchased my ticket, which were all floor level, and entered the venue with everyone else. Even though we were given a numbered "standing position", I dutifully made my way toward the back of the room near the camera platform. While I would have loved to stand right next to the stage, where the artists reached out their hands for high fives or soaked everyone with water bottles, there's a well known stereotype that tall people should stand in the back. The "common sense" reasoning is that we can see better than short people and it's not "fair" to block others view by standing in the front. The fact that we're human too, have the same great love for these artists, and want an intimate experience just as much as the next fan is irrelevant.
The concert starts, and per usual, everyone steps forward a bit to get closer to the artists on the stage. I move forward with the crowd and behind me becomes a small walking "pathway" to/from the different sides of the stage. About an hour into the 3-hour performance, I suddenly feel someone poking me in the back. The person behind me is at least a foot and a half shorter, and visibly upset that I'm blocking her view.
In this situation, the expectation is that as a tall person I should move to let her see. ... One thing a lot of people forget is that tall people are human too. We have feelings, we have emotions, and we can fangirl just as hard as everyone else in the room regardless of height. But there's a point where stereotypes and expectations end up trapping a person and create unfair limitations. I had already given up my front and center "standing position" to someone shorter, I relocated to the height requirement section at the back of the room, it was an hour into the concert, and she could've stood anywhere else in the area but instead chose right behind me in the small walkway. I did my "fair" share as the tall person at a concert, who spent a lot of money to come to South Korea, and have this once-in-a-lifetime experience. So I did what any other person would - I stood my ground and didn't budge.
Aside from the continual poking and SNS photos of the "tall jerk in front" that she sent to all her friends, I thoroughly enjoyed the concert along with the several hundred of fans that stood in front of me. I share this story in hopes that other people of height don't feel bad about standing your ground, especially when you've been more than considerate of the others around you.