This week New Zealanders have shown they are rubbish audiences.

It started early on with a lot of blubbing about Bob Dylan's strictly enforced 'no screens' policy. Apparently, watching a show without being allowed to take a selfie or a terrible phone video is a cruel and unusual form of torture for some people.

If you go to a gig and don't take a selfie were you really there? Yes. You were. And you'd know that if you hadn't become used to watching a show through the screen of your phone.

Then, a couple of days later, word trickled up from Queenstown that their gig-goers down there are big stupid loudmouths.


Look, the rules for going to a concert really aren't that tricky but let's do a quick recap:

Rule one; don't have a conversation while the band is playing. Whoopin' and a hollerin' is acceptable. Asking if your pal wants a drink when you go to the bar? Also acceptable. General chit-chat about your day? Completely unacceptable.

Rule two; put your damn phone away. Sure, take a couple of photos and, if you must, a snippet of video when the band play their hit, but try to limit your screentime. You're there to enjoy a live show. Watch it with your eyes, not your phone's screen. If you spend more of the gig with your phone in your hand rather than in your pocket you're doing it wrong.

Rule three; don't be a dick.

And that's pretty much it. It's not rocket science. But somehow Kiwis are fluffing this up.

There's been an increasing trend in Queenstown of people turning up to shows and then chatting incessantly throughout the performance. But as Queenstown is largely a holiday town we can assume that a lot of these loud talkers are coming in from elsewhere, meaning it's a national problem.

According to Sam Chapman, who looks after popular Queenstown venue Sherwood the problem is officially out of control.

Things reached a tipping point at Julia Deans' recent show down there, with punters and performers alike both complaining about all the jibber jabber.


It was so band that Deans left the stage saying, "I hope you enjoyed your $40 conversation".

Now, these loudmouths in the audience weren't saying stuff like, 'Oh! I love this song! Woo!" which would be acceptable. Instead they were chatting about, "how Julie from accounting went out and got really slagged".

Admittedly, that's a conversation that probably would be fairly enjoyable... who doesn't like a bit of drunken goss? But in these circumstances, during a live performance you've shelled out $40 to see, it's simply not on.

It's just rude. Rude to the performers who, according to Deans, could hear every damn word from up on stage, and rude to the people who have paid good money to be there.

Because of this increasing trend Sherwood will be introducing "new measures" to get people to shut the hell up. I'd suggest duct tape to seal their yaps shut, but they're opting for more restraint. They'll be putting up new Sshh signage and booting show talkers out.

Good. This behaviour needs to be knocked on the head straight away. Because if it isn't we could very well find ourselves in a situation like what happened at one of Ariana Grande's shows this week in Los Angeles.

At a small intimate gig the pop singer was interupted mid-song by some jackass shouting "Start again I wasn't recording!". Instead of sending the amateur director packing she complied.

This moment which combines every type of atrocious audience behaviour was captured for posterity on someone else's phone.

Why were these people even there? They clearly weren't watching the show or getting caught up in the emotion and moment that Grande was shooting for.

And knowing that people like that are going to be there, why would anyone ever want to go to a show again?