It's been mentioned on other threads but I think it deserves it's own thread. 

The problem seems to get worse every year. I really don't feel like being confrontational at any time and especially not when I'm at at my favourite place on planet earth but how else can people be persuaded to shut the fuck up?  

Maybe the increased capacity didn't help but this year I had to move to another position (not because of low background chatter or an occasional sentence but because I couldn't actually hear the act properly) during The Beths, Ex:Re, Tiny Ruins, Aldous Harding and Villagers (3 times !). For all of these acts I had made an effort to get up near the front so presumably so had the twats who were talking. 

Typically they were talking very loudly over the music with usually 1 of them actually with their back to the stage. Typically they are talking banal shite. Typically they talk very loudly whilst the music is playing and then stop momentarily when the music stops (sometimes to applaud what they have been ruining for others). Typically they announce at some stage how good they think the act is usually followed by one of their party asking "What's the name again?". Typically a picture will be taken if they think the act has a high "shareability and gain likes" factor. 

I really despair when I think about how the live music experience will be in 10 years time if nothing is done. At least 7 times over the festival I was forced to move thereby inconveniencing others as well as myself and it really saps the enjoyment out of the whole experience. 

What can Green Man do about it?

Would STFU signs help? 

In 10 years time will we be able to rent "silent disco" like headphones to be able to hear the music thus diluting the shared experience further? 

shooting's too good for em

i didn't miss the (generally inane) announcers on the main stage this year

but having someone say before each act "please welcome the amazing X!  and hey, please don't chat all through their set.  and if you're going to, maybe don't stand anywhere near the front, ok?" might at least prick the consciences of those who do it unwittingly

though obviously no use with those who do it just because they're cunts

I genuinely despise those fuckers. Our first Green Man was 2012 and I was astonished just how quiet people were during the bands. Despite the terrible weather and mud that year I knew then that this was the festival for me.

But over the last couple of years it's getting as bad as other festivals, the crowd has changed/expanded and more and more people seem to be there for a weekend on the piss than to watch bands. V Festival was always GM weekend so now that's no more I wonder if some people come to Green Man instead. Or the increased popularity of 6 Music has turned people towards Glanusk in August.

I know this all sounds very music snobbish but it's just another reason why I'm unlikely to return. I hate camping, I hate rain and if I can't even listen to my favourite bands in peace then I'll spend the £250 on something else.

I'm a huge music snob.

And I tend to think you may be right

I can't think what Green Man could do other then occasionally send out the following message on the big screens:

Respect the performers. Repspect the people who want to listen to them. Shut the Fucking Fuck up'

Or something like that.

I must have got lucky this year. Never had gig talkers near me, just fellow musos who were up for a good chat before and after the sets.

It was particularly bad for The Beths. They pulled a huge crowd but most of them seemed to be sheltering from the rain and couldn't care less about the band. I had to move twice during These New Puritans on Thursday too. Sharon Van Etten seemed to be full of talkers no matter where you stood. During Stealing Sheep a couple stood in front of us about three songs in and started chatting about the food they'd just bought!

Thankfully Gwenno, Self Esteem and Yo La Tengo were pretty much free of talking wankers and, as three of my must sees, they were all great. 


Had to move during Big Thief because some guy had his back to the stage and talked very loudly to his girlfriend throughout the set, so infuriating - if You don’t want to watch the band and listen to the music go somewhere else - there’s literally a bar at every stage where you can talk shite to your mates as loud as you want.

Don’t get me started.


During the end of the Eels‘s sublime set I had the misfortune of standing near three people who were shouting their inane conversation during the two quietest and gentlest songs of the set. 

While Mrs KlingKlang was genuinely reduced to tears (by I think the Brian Wilson cover) I was spitting blood at the shrill harpies and fuckwits behind me  

What the actual fuck?! 

Love and mercy did the same to me!

Talking is a problem at club gigs too. Probably another example of the skim syndrome - inability to focus on one thing before getting distracted by another.

Didn‘t notice it too much this year. Apart from one instance which was stopped in its tracks by ardent RT fans. I was about 3 back from the front of the stage because I wanted to see his unbelievable playing close up and was suddenly aware of two young ladies, pushing, albeit gently, to get nearer to the front. You see this all the time, but when they got to their spot they proceeded to talk and within 30 seconds one of them was politely tapped on the shoulder and told to “shhhhh” it did the trick! Well done to the bloke who was having none of it. It let the rest of us get on with witnessing the most astonishing performance by Richard Thompson I think I can ever remember seeing, not only at Green Man, but anywhere else.

Worst case of gig talking for me was at womad for Dawn Penn, constant loud talking, ignoring her completely until the end, one song she is famous for and then they all paid attention and joined in.  Yeah that one song was a fantastic experience but the rest was spoilt by a load of ignorant (c words) who showed her no respect for a good 50 minutes, and this was not a minority it was probably 90% of the people there.


for my rant on talkers at GM 2019, please see the Aides Memoirs thread


What is wrong with you? Said I to a fucker who was talking to his mate and checking his phone during RT's exquisite rendition of Who Knows Where the Time Goes. 

He seemed genuinely taken aback when I told him to shut up but didn't stop talking... I had to move away.

It's a growing problem and like rob says a symptom of skim syndrome and the fact that music is free to consume.

As the mother of teens the idea of sitting down to listen to an entire album by one artist to them is an alien concept. This, for some of the Spotify generation, probably extends to an artist's live set of an hour's duration.

It really is frustrating. I wish they would stand at the back instead of yakking with their back to the stage, directly in front of the band.

Mr Mc was deemed to be a "grumpy old man" by a couple of cunts at the front of Bill Ryder Jones when he asked them to be quiet. 

Never felt more proud of him!


see my reference to your wonderful husband in the 'how was it for you then?' thread!

Why thank you Mr Ray.

He can be useful in such situations, but as Kras said he is a really nice bloke.

I must have been EXTREMELY lucky. Or a bit deaf. Coz, apart from the aforementioned problem of Ms Harding in the sunshine on main stage, I didn't really come across that many talkers at all....I still think it's the best festival place for proper music fans actually watching the band in front of them....

Christ, if I'd heard anyone talking during RT's set I don't know what I might have done. I was rather emotional (not a euphemism).

Increasingly more millennials attending I guess, which is proportionally decreasing the preponderance of us more mature folk, who are less susceptible to this skim culture. Perhaps they just need a bit of nurturing, but personally I prefer the more direct approach of telling them to shut the fuck up. 

Artists calling it out at gigs can have a really good effect. Probably not so easy to do at festivals but I wish some would at least try.

Watching Martin Stephenson destroy gig talkers is so good you almost hope the opportunity arises during his gigs. I've seen Toby Hay do it too. Funny how the kindest, gentlest people can be the most assertive when called for.

First saw him around 1983/84 at the (long gone) bank at stokes croft, Bristol. Wish he knew then how to destroy gig talkers as the chatter towards the back from people just there to drink late into the night was deafening and struggled to hear the great man himself.


Staring has become less and less effective as the percentage of these inconsiderate bollixes increases. 

Years ago, a gig-talker would be conspicuous and a quick stare down would usually do the trick. 

The group I stared at during Aldous Harding didn't actually know why I was staring at them!!!

There were a couple of women behind me at James Yorkston who were talking incessantly, dancing, giggling and whooping... okay when he did the Erasure cover but incongruous during his more pensive tracks like 'Broken Wave'.

Not the talking though.

That's always unacceptable. 

There was a guy right behind me during Sons of Kemet who spent an entire tuba solo telling someone about his friend who has to sleep on the floor because of a back condition but the university won't take the bed out of his room to give him more space. Sure, this dialogue might come in handy if ever I want to write an Aan Bennett influenced play for Radio 4, but I could have done without it.

I once went to an Alasdair Roberts gig on a boat in Belfast. A barge, so the room was long and thin, and set out with tables. A young couple on the table right in front of him engaged in gig talk. Alasdair himself seemed unclear who, precisely, was talking, the lights seemed quite bright and in his eyes. His response was to mention it and then do something acappella, without amplification but still very loud. Of course, it was effectively aimed at people not 6 feet from him and sans the anonymity of the crowd, at least as far as the rest of the audience were concerned. I think the slinked out shortly after.   

Definitely not just youngsters. 

I remember having a word with a gang of 30-something yummy mummies at Patti Smith's incredible set in 2013, who were shouting their inanities to be heard over her singing.

I mean that's just beyond the pale.


perhaps that is the solution.  Rail stations and after dark venues will give out lollipops and sweets to calm down what could turn into hostile crowds.  If green man put the price up slightly, bought loads of lollipops and gob stoppers giving them out freely before performances.  Then the millennials, yummy mummy’s, skimmers, boloxies, fuckers and cunts might become too absorbed in sucking rather than talking.  Just a thought.

it took our four year old granddaughter 3 full days to finish the lollipop bought for her from the sweet stall next to little folk

so this could work