My husband and I recently went on a trip for our first anniversary. We visited the Biltmore Estate in NC and stayed at the Inn on the estate itself. When looking at the events going on during the weekend that we were planning on going, we noticed that there was a concert that we were interested in attending. There was also a package deal in which you get preferred seating at the concert if you are staying at the Inn. Since it was a special occasion, we decided to go for the whole shebang despite the large expense involved. Overall, the trip was great. I enjoyed the performance given at the concert. We had 3rd row center aisle seats (which was awesome). That being said, the issue that I had was with the other concert goers and the staff working at the concert as well.
The band performing is an older rock group. Since it is a rock group, I had certain expectations including people drinking alcoholic drinks and a generally excited atmosphere. The venue itself was outdoors and set up with chairs right up to the front of the stage. This means that there was no intended standing area at the front of the stage. I saw a range of ages at the concert, but a good portion of the people that were sitting around us in the other awesome seats were older people who have probably been fans of the band for years and were both willing and able to drop money on good seats. I only mention this because I suspect at least some of these people are not able to stand for the length of a concert anymore. Based off how much money we paid, they shouldn’t have had to stand anyways.
When the concert started, there was a regular stream of people from further back in the crowd rushing up to the front of the stage to take pictures and film parts of the concert with camera phones or digital cameras. This meant that for the people sitting on the aisle, all of the sudden there would be a mass of bodies filling the center aisle to the point you would have to push people if you wanted to get through them and blocking off the view of at least half of the stage (there were times that I could not see the drummer, who was placed in the middle back of the stage). The ones that took a few pictures or filmed a short clip of a song were the most acceptable, as they tended to leave to return to their seats in short order. But then there were the people that insisted on standing in the center aisle for the length of a song. At minimum. The older gentleman sitting in front of me was clearly irritated by this (as were most of the other people sitting around us that I could see). He was at least able to get the people in the aisle to crouch down so that the people that were actually supposed to be in the front could see.
The person that takes the cake was the man that stood/crouched/sat on the ground of the aisle next to the second row for at least three-quarters of the concert. Of course he was tall, meaning that when he was standing, he was particularly effective at blocking views. We have no idea where his seat actually was. And he had a friend bringing him beers (at least the friend didn’t try to stay there too). I think he got karma’d though. A band member threw out a guitar pick, and as always multiple people dove for it. One of the people was the tall guy. And when the dive was over, the guy had his beer dripping off his face. He had to go get his own beer that time, though he did come right back when he had it.
My final question is where was the concert venue staff when this was all happening? The “crashers” were only cleared out when people on the front row got irritated and complained about the people standing in front of them at the rail in front of the stage. Otherwise, the crowd was left to stand wherever it pleased. If they were going to set up the venue in a format with no standing area at the front, then it should have been enforced by the staff. All of the people that paid the premium for seats up front expect to be able to see the show and not have to settle for watching the show as it is being recorded through someone else’s IPhone, especially when the person blocking the view most likely did not pay for seats in the front.
I am also sending a version of this email to Biltmore; if they do not know that the problem exists they cannot fix it for future concerts. 0906-11
I really wish I had the time to create photoshopped images of what my mind conjures up while reading these stories. For this one, I envisioned pigs who had a somewhat middled aged or older look (think grey haired pony tails) standing at the base of the concert stage waving their arms in unison while the seated guests behind them wore squinched, scowly faces.