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‘It’s 9:30 and the main act still hasn’t come out’: Concert-goer complains about shows starting late on weeknights

‘It’s a school night.’


Tricia Crimmins


A woman talks about the struggle of going to a concert on a work night when the performers take longer than expected to begin the show.

In a TikTok posted on Monday, Lydia Cheney (@lydia.cheney) posted a video of herself at a concert on a work night “but it’s 9:30 & the main act still hasn’t come out yet.”

“I need yall to stop playing & get this show on the road,” Cheney wrote in the video’s caption. “It’s a school night.”

On Wednesday, Cheney’s video had almost 285,000 views.


i need yall to stop playing & get this show on the road it’s a school night

♬ original sound – yoinspiration

According to reporting on the subject of concert start times, the reason that performances start later is that doing so is beneficial for the band and the venue.

The later the band comes onstage, the more people are in the audience: the early birds, on-timers, and people who were late for the show’s starting time. And the longer patrons are forced to wait for the band to come onstage, the more alcohol and food they buy from the venue’s bars and concession stands.

Lauryn Hill, an artist who is notorious for starting her shows late, says she does so as a result of perfectionism, which leads to lengthy sound checks, venue doors being opened later, and her shows starting after their scheduled times.

“Me being late to shows isn’t because I don’t respect my fans or their time, but the contrary,” Hill wrote in a Medium post from 2018. “It can be argued that I care too much, and insist on things being right.”

Nonetheless, later-than-expected show start times are frustrating to audience members like Cheney—and TikTok commenters commiserated with her.

“Fr like why are we doing this on a Wednesday night??” one commenter wrote.

“And then it takes 40 minutes to get out of the parking lot,” another griped.

Some concert-goers even said they no longer attend performances when they have work the next day.

“Literally like I can’t make plans to go to concerts if they’re on weekdays anymore,” one commenter said.

“This is why I PTO the next day,” another shared. “Otherwise I’d be up at 5am.”

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