The Crowd at the Concert Hall

Dierdre quickened her step as she climbed the stairs from the subway to the sidewalk. The concert hall was only two blocks away. While the show was sold out, every ticket specified a reserved seat, so she wasn’t worried about not getting to see it. But this was the first time these performers had done a show in her city, and hundreds would be converging on this street today for what could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see them. So Dierdre was trying to avoid the worst of the crowds.

But apparently, many had the same idea. She saw dozens of people hurrying the same direction, and she picked up her pace. In spite of her haste, though, a massive line had already formed in front of the entrance to the show’s venue. Well, “line” was being generous—it was more of a disorganized swarm forming a funnel shape in the courtyard, narrowing toward the doors. Dierdre fell in with everyone else.

People gradually moved through the doors as staff checked their tickets. The funnel shifted ponderously, and now that some movement was occurring, impatience seemed to settle on the throng.

“Ouch!” someone gasped near Dierdre and then grumbled about having his foot stepped on. “Excuse me?”

No one could be heard apologizing. The man shook his head, still muttering under his breath, and suddenly turned and made his way free of the press. Dierdre raised her eyebrows. Was he coming back?

“Will you watch out?” someone else cried.

“It was an accident!” another replied loudly.

“I’m sure this isn’t worth all the bumping and jostling,” said the first and forced her way back through the crowd.

At length, Dierdre reached the entrance and handed her ticket to a worker at the door. The worker tore off the stub and handed the ticket back. Dierdre found herself in the massive lobby, also full of concertgoers. As she made her way up the staircase toward the upper tier, she encountered more people who became upset about the crowd and the noise. She watched a group as they turned, pushed their way down the steps past her, and headed for the exit in the back. Ironically, some of those they forced aside also left the building.

Dierdre completed her ascent, went through a door into the auditorium, and found her seat. She settled in for a good time. Just before the house lights dimmed, she glanced around. It seemed to her that a sold-out show shouldn’t have empty seats, and she remembered those who had left before the show started—some even before they came inside.

She shook her head. Why would people buy tickets, come all the way downtown, get so close to the concert hall, and then feel so inconvenienced that they didn’t stay for the actual production?

The stage lights came on, and music filled the hall. Then the curtains swept aside, revealing the performers. A thrill filling her, Dierdre settled back in her seat to enjoy the show.

Photo by Kaique Rocha on

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