7 Reasons Why Artists Arrive Late For a Concert

If you were wondering why artists often arrive late at their concerts, you are at the right place to find a list of possible reasons why they take their time to get to the stage.

Excited fans and punctual people often have little understanding for artists arriving later than expected, but looking at it from a business and entertainment perspective you might see the reasons and enjoy your future concerts without having to look at the clock.

Let’s look at these main reasons why artists often arrive late for their concerts.

Giving the Audience Time to Settle In

To give the audience latecomers a chance to arrive and for desperate fans the time to enter and find their seats after being stuck in traffic is often seen as a kind gesture.

No one can control the traffic and it’s normal to have some traffic problems during popular concerts in big cities.

The concert announcers will in this case communicate that there are still many fans entering the venue and therefore the start could be delayed by a few minutes. This is never more than about 30 minutes since it could have a domino effect on the rest of the program and setlist.

We all have jobs where we need to rush home to get ready for a late night out, and going home to exchange your bag for a smaller purse to enter the venue and get past the security is what we all have to deal with in the modern day.

This is not possible for televised shows since it all needs to run according to script. We should enjoy the flexibility of these concerts when we can.

Backstage Stress

Before the concert, all the deco, props and costumes are checked and placed ready for show time. It can also happen that some pieces need replacement or tailoring before the concert can start.

In this category, we can also add the illnesses or injuries of concert performers or participants. If you have an injured dancer that needs to be replaced or a sequence that needs adjustment, it could be a reason for delaying the start in order for the artist and crew to deliver the highest quality performance possible.

Dancers rehearsing before going to stage (Photo credit: Canva)

Slower Transition Time

Between the opening act and setting up for the main act, the transition time also plays a role in how quickly the main show can start.

After doing a few concerts together, they get smoother and more fluent with each time, but there are also other elements in play like each venue has a different setup, or that the opening acts change from concert to concert.

Having an opening act has advantages to your whole concert experience like being exposed to new talent, warming the voices and moods of the audience, and extending the length of the event.

If you’d like to know more about WHY Concerts Have Opening Acts, feel free to scan through my post about it.

Stretching Time to Sell Merchandise and Beverages

Except for the ticketing fees, concerts also make a great deal of money with the selling of food, drinks and merchandise.

Arriving a little later than planned, gives the audience more time to fill up their drinks, fill their tummies, and perhaps get a band t-shirt even before the show starts.

This post was written and posted by De Wet from startingmyband.com on 03.10.2023. The content was stolen from me if this blog post is seen anywhere else.

Kids buying snacks before a concert (Photo credit Canva)

Building Audience Anticipation

In German they say “Vorfreude ist die schönste Freude”, which means “Anticipation is the greatest joy”.

Giving the audience a chance to enjoy the moment before the event, creates an anticipation buildup for the main event.

What we want is for the audience to make lots of social media posts. Look out for the relevant hashtags to use in your posts and post away. Having a kissing cam or a meet and greet prize for the best social media photo adds to the buildup of excitement.

This already creates anticipation for the rest of the tour, where people in other countries or cities can have a snippet of what is to be expected or even convince people to buy tickets that are still considering attendance.

Awaiting the Weather

This is applicable only to open-air concerts.

Many times, especially during the summer when it gets darker a little later, the artist could decide to wait a few more minutes in order for the twilight to peak.

Concerts are often held at night because of the effects that the nighttime brings for lights, but also for the sound travelling faster to the furthest side of the venue.

I wrote a helpful article for more reason and info here: Why Concerts Are Held at Night

Poor Planning

Let’s face it. Sometimes the planning of the event was just not up to scratch and things were running later than expected.

It could easily happen to an inexperienced event planner who struggled to get the support and resources that was initially planned and asked for.

I have sympathy with them since everyone will feel like their time is wasted. But it stays a huge job to put a concert on stage and all the organisational factors around it.

Let’s all have a little more understanding and patience with the artists and event organisers. If it wasn’t for them, the show wouldn’t have happened after all.

Respect and thanks to all our event organisers!

In many countries, there are stricter regulations in place to prevent the audiences from waiting too long by including a compulsory finishing time. That means that artists need to ensure that their sets fit into the given time slot and can’t be late.

I can recommend these relevant articles next:

Until next time, Rock On!

De Wet

The dream started during a school tour at the age of 15 years old. One that might take a long time to reach. De Wet was 16 years old when he got his first bass guitar as a gift from his dad. The guitar was found, hidden under boxes. As if it was waiting for its owner to come by and pick him up. He practiced every day to improve and to teach his fingers to dance to the music. After finishing high school, he played in various bands where he collected valuable experience, before being signed by a record label as an upcoming band. He reached success at age 22 when he released two albums with his band, which also included televised music videos for publicity. By age 24, he co-started management, artist promotion, and booking agency for successful and upcoming musical acts.

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