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Annie’s Mailbox: At concert, you don’t have to sit

Dear Annie: This summer, I have my concert tickets ordered and am excited to see some of my favorite performers on stage. However, I’m unsure of proper etiquette after a problem I encountered last year.

I went to a country concert, which meant plenty of beer and dancing. The problem was, as soon as the audience stood up, the people directly behind me started yelling at my friend and me to sit down. We did, but we couldn’t see a thing because of the dozens of rows of people standing in front of us. We stood back up, only to be yelled at again. I turned around and explained that everyone else was standing and they should do the same. They were angry and continued to yell throughout the concert. After the concert, they sarcastically thanked us for ruining their night.

What is the right way to handle people like this? Should I sit and see nothing because misery loves company? – Juliana

Dear Juliana: Concerts have evolved into two basic types: The formal concert, where everyone sits, and the informal concert, where people often stand. Once the people in the rows ahead of you get up, you need to do the same in order to see. We have advised people who attend such concerts to try to get seats in the front row or first-row balcony if they want their view unobstructed. Those who are in wheelchairs often find there is a handicapped section, although it may be necessary to find an usher and inquire.

It is unrealistic at informal events to expect hundreds of other people to sit down for your convenience. If this happens again, apologize to the people behind you and suggest that they, too, stand up or move closer to the aisle for a better view. You are not obligated to sit if the people in front of you are standing.

Sendquestions to Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.