How to Smoke at Shows, Now that It's Not Cool Anymore

Categories: Music Etiquette


Every week Gavin will be presenting a guide to basic notions of common sense he feels are sometimes lacking from various aspects of the world of music. Also, he's British, and they're polite, right?

After Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios banned smoking to an overwhelmingly positive reaction this week, we thought it might be high time to remind smokers of the etiquettes of smoking at gigs. As someone who smokes, I'm well aware of the many social pitfalls of my death-inducing pursuit. I'm not Captain Buzzkill here from the Planet Square, but have some respect, eh?

See also:
-Bands: Please Stop Annoying the Shit Out of Everyone on Social Media
-How to Behave at Quiet Shows: Shut Up and Put Your Phone Away

• If you're inside a venue that allows smoking indoors, at least consider going outside. If you're allowed to stay inside because apparently it's the twentieth century in that venue, then try not to blow smoke directly at someone else. Look at where the smoke's going, and blow it away from other people. They're probably just there to see a nice concert or something.
• Evidently, everyone on a smoking patio is there by choice. This doesn't mean, however, even if you're on a smoking patio like the one at South Side Music Hall which barely qualifies as a doorstep, that you are free to just blow your smoke wherever. Go to a less inhabited part. However, a packed-full smoking patio of mildly inebriated people is a good place to strike up conversations with the gender of your choice, so, you know, bear that in mind.
• Also respect the poor sod whose job it is to stand on said patio and make sure people don't jump the fence to get in. He didn't ask to hear your story about this one time you were drunk and how you did something that was so amazing you can't find the words to describe it. He's just trying stop people doing the live music equivalent of downloading an album, while covered in cigarette smoke.
• If, while on said smoking patio, you realize you are bereft of smokes, it's always nicer to offer to buy a cigarette off someone rather than straight out ask for one. They'll probably give it to you anyway, but if they say no don't get all sulky. Don't be that guy.
• Should someone be so kind as to offer you a cigarette, at least try and have a little chat with them. Show gratitude. Don't take it and turn back to your group of friends immediately.
• Smoking weed inside - that's a totally different ball game. Stand right in the middle of a very large group of people, as tight to them as possible. Offer it around a bit, checking that none of the people you offer it to have "SECURITY" on their shirts. After eight seconds, when you begin to feel some paranoia, is the perfect time to start passing it round. Also pass if you see security coming for you. Then you can be all OFFICER IT WAS THAT GUY GET HIM DRUGS ARE FOR LOSERS OKAY. This would be the perfect time to set your bag full of drugs on fire and run off into the night, cackling.
• Don't smoke weed on the patio. Are you insane?

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Very nice tips but I am not one of those who don't follow the rules, I try not to smoke in a place where this thing is prohibited.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

As a courteous smoker, I get totally pissed when another smoker ignores every rule you just listed.  This goes for bars too.  I cant stand the person who lights a cig, and then to keep the smoke out of his face, holds it out over their shoulder so it goes right in the persons face sitting behind them.  


Knowing you are a smoker has now ruined any credibility you had as food critic for me. As a former smoker, I had no idea how food really tasted until I quit. You should try vaping e-cigs instead. 


@ScottsMerkin When I was a smoker I was a very courteous smoker. I had it down to a science. I could smoke a pack a day and you could not smell it on me. I didnt want to smell like smoke so I was pretty sure that the innocent people around me didnt want to, either. I actually put forth great effort to make sure that my smoke went away from everyone.

Having said that, I did from time to time switch into dick mode. I could make my Marlboro billow smoke like Max Cady's cigar. If I heard too many non-smokers complaining about the smoke in a known smoking bar, I would drop a cancerous cumulonimbus cloud on their asses and smile the whole time I was doing it.


@RcfromOC I can't believe I had any credibility, but yes, I have moved over to e-cigs now for the most part.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@JustSaying @ScottsMerkin totally acceptable, dont walk into a known smoking bar and then bitch.  Another fun trick is if you see someone you know is annoying walking in and you know they hate smoke, lighting a cig will immediately divert their desired seating path away from you.  this also works to keep non smokers from elbowing up too close to you at the bar.  Hot chicks excepted


@GavinCleaver @RcfromOC Good for you. Your credibility is back. My son recently opened up a Vapor shop in Oak Cliff and we are amazed at how many people are converting. He custom mixes the liquids for his customers. So much better for folks.

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