Audience Non-participation Guidelines?

Greta at Danny's edited 2010

Two days ago I went to support a fellow vocalist at her showcase in a restaurant.  Just before she started her second set, the restaurant seated a large group in the middle of the small room, right in front of  the piano.

I realize that (1)they had every right to talk during the performances, and (2)the restaurant had no option but to put them in the live music area-it was a question of lost revenue.  That being said, the group proceeded to yell over the singing, and refused all hints that they should hold it down so those who did want to the music could do so.   It finally reached the point that the other singers present started singing along with the performer in solidarity and to point out to the group how rude–and loud they were.  The group paused, looked startled at the additional noise then went back to yelling, and were clearly irritated by any efforts to draw them into the music.  I was so angry that I wanted to shake every person at the table.   I know that NYC audiences have a reputation for rudeness (and frankly they shouldn’t be proud of it) but I’m willing to give them the bone that they don’t know any better.  Too bad that we can’t give the note below to all the people who enter live venues.

Dear Diners at a venue with live performers:

The music you are hearing is not a recording, radio station or TV.  If you yourself yelling over the music, and really needed to talk that badly, a live music situation was not the place to come.  Please take advantage of your option to be seated elsewhere in the restaurant, and don’t deprive the people who actually came to hear the music of their right to hear what they paid for. 

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