When Samantha Diwa attended her first indie rock concert in Austin, she was excited until, standing at 5 feet, 2 inches tall, her head barely met the shoulders of the person in front of her.
Living in the live music capital of the world might be convenient for some, but concerts fall short in accommodating for every height — especially those living the shorter side of life. Diwa, a radio-television-film sophomore, said that the first concert she attended felt the longest.
“Since then, I realized (height) is a problem you’re always going to deal with,” Diwa said.
Through this realization, others, such as public health sophomore Eisha Rao who stands at 4 feet, 11 inches tall, said she has found concert preparation is key.
“You have to plan ahead to make sure you’re in a position where you can see what’s going on,” Rao said.
Diwa said she often researches venues beforehand to find positions from which the stage is visible. Another tactic that requires preparation is to arrive at least an hour early, Diwa said.
Communication studies sophomore Darbi Deck, who stands at 5 feet, 3 inches tall, said she attended a Twenty One Pilots concert in high school and waited in line for eight hours to stand at the barricade. Not only did arriving early help her see, but she also made a new friend.
“We met this guy (who) was 6 feet, 5 inches,” Deck said. “He recognized that me and my sister were short and offered to stand behind us so we’d be able to see.”
Deck also said it’s helpful to either bring taller people to find spots with a good view or wear tall shoes. At the most recent concert she attended, Deck said she wore 4-inch heeled boots.
“For the first time, I could actually see without having too much to worry about,” Deck said.
Although some, like Rao, find elbowing their way through the crowd a useful tactic, she also said pretending her family member is in the front allows her to move forward. Similarly, Diwa said it’s useful to buy alcohol and pretend to bring the drinks to friends up front.
Aside from these strategies, Diwa also said standing in the back of a concert venue is just as enjoyable because it provides more breathing room and space to dance.
“For EDM concerts, it’s okay to be in the back because the lights are a big part of it,” Diwa said. “If you’re in the front, you can’t even pay attention to the lights because they’re all over the place.”
Despite height struggles, Rao said people often show kindness to short people at concerts. Additionally, it provides a bonding experience between short people, Diwa said.
“If you ever meet someone who’s short like you, you make eye contact and appreciate each other,” Diwa said.
Regardless of the planning and strategies accompanying short stature, all three women said they continue to go to concerts because the experience outweighs the struggle. Diwa said accepting the circumstances and making the most of being short is key for truly appreciating the concert.
“You can do all this preventative stuff, but at the end of the day, remember why you’re there,” Diwa said. “Remember you love whoever you’re going to see, and being within five hundred feet of them is pretty cool, too.”