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Should a band dictate concert dress code?

Arcade Fire issues dress code for their expensive arena tour
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Brian Gasparek, November 19, 2013 4:23:19 PM

Before I get into this story, I want to say that I’ve been a fan of the Arcade Fire for a long time. I enjoy the majority of their song catalogue and am a firm believer that their last album the Suburbswas very deserving of winning the Grammy for album of the year a couple years back. But as a music fan who has a slight hipster intolerance, I find that Win Butler and his Arcade Fire troops have tended to possess qualities that can be best summed up as being pretentious and wanky. Aside from the hipster haircuts and bizarre SNL mirror posing, the latest Arcade Fire action to rub me the wrong way is the audience dress code they’ve issued for their upcomingReflektor Tour.

The Arcade Fire announced a couple weeks back that they are embarking on a large North American arena tour, featuring several Canadian stops. On the Ticketmaster page where the tickets are being sold, there is a request that reads:

“NIGHT OF SHOW: Please wear formal attire or costume.”

Should a band really be implementing a dress code to their shows? First of all, the Arcade Fire chose a variety of giant, not so ambient hockey venues for these Canadian performances. Secondly, they’re charging fans a lot of cash to come out to see them, with tickets costing between $40 and $90 bucks, not including tax and service charges. Thirdly, isn’t that a pretty pretentious request for a show on that level?

Now maybe it’s a little bit of that hipster irritation seeping in that has me grouchy at this request. And maybe the fans shelling out big bucks to see the Arcade Fire will embrace the idea of wearing suits, ball gowns or costume jewellery to the show at the hockey arena. And maybe they won’t really be too tough on the fans that decide not to dress up…or at the very least will maybe dish out some vintage ties. But if you ask me, the band should probably just focus on putting on a killer, styled up show on stage which is what people are paying them to see. Keep the pretentiousness to yourself.

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Brian Gasparek

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