Violence breaks out at symphony over concert-goer's loud snack bag

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Other patrons intervened, establishing a cease-fire.

Blessed are the peace makers.


I have some kind of noise-based attention deficit that makes auditory distractions pretty insufferable for me. Especially if the experience is something I need to be emotionally vulnerable/quiet for, like classical music. I’ve completely stopped going to movies in theaters (and full disclosure, can’t even truly relax in a park if there are clattering skateboard tricks or loud music playing). A lot of these events cost a pretty penny, and it feels like money and time down the drain to not be able to fully engage. I would never snatch someone’s candy out of their hand, physical violations definitely outweigh any auditory distraction/annoyance, but I spend an inordinate amount of time fantasizing about controlling my environment in such a cathartic way…


As a frequent movie and live theater goer, I feel this man’s pain. From folks who can’t / won’t turn off their phones or dim the brightness to half that of the sun’s to families who go to live theater to eat (overpriced hotdogs, etc.) in their seats to folks (mostly older…than I am, and I’m old) who talk back to characters in a play, I frequently shake my fist in the the air and curse the sky for being blue. (But I don’t assault anyone, so there’s that.)


I can relate to most of your points. (At parks, I’m OK with noise.) For movies, I’ve found that if your theater has online, reserved seating, get tickets for the back row. This eliminates distractions from folks behind you at least.


They’re saying it was about the snacks, but listening to Mahler is enough to enrage anyone.


But did the band play on?


I’m the same as you and @HMSGoose re: theaters. If I’m going to a multiplex, I’ve found that going to a matinee a few weeks after a show premiers usually nets me an auditorium with fewer than 15 people total. I’ve even been to quite a few showings that were totally empty except for my kids and I. Plus, matinee pricing!

When I go to a film at my local art house, I find that the audience usually enhances the shared experience. They’re people who seek out a particular type of film and it seems that a respectful attitude is baked in.

ETA: Oh, yeah, who the elk goes to a symphony performance and brings snacks? I’d think if you’re going to spend 2-3 hours deeply listening to layered music you’d be just as annoyed as everyone else.

EETA: Was gonna fix “who the elk” autocorrect, but it’s way too fun.





As an amateur classic music listener and symphony-goer I would sit and focus hard on the subtleties, which are never very loud, trying to decide ‘do I like this segment or not’. I quickly learned that audible distractions are like trying to focus on a movie and sitting behind a kid with a balloon. Violence is bad, yep, but I get where that fury comes from.


I once was munching popcorn during a documentary about Buddhist monks, and an old lady near me turned and whispered loudly, “It’s not that kind of a movie!”


This is why Sweden needs Stand Your Ground laws!

I’ll posit that listening alone in a room with headphones on has colored our expectations of clarity and fidelity. Sitting in an acoustically designed room filled with people can be a less than prime experience.

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Frankly bag noise, hell, ring tones or even full blown conversations from some randomer would improve Mahler.

Fuck that Mahler shit. And take John Williams while you are at it. I’ve had my fill of their bombast decades ago


How did I miss this episode of Seinfeld?

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I’m surprised no one has mentioned it yet but there’s a larger component of gender relations involved- my first thought is that these particular women have decided they are no longer going to abide men acting like they please towards them. Like this dude clearly felt privileged enough to assault this woman without consequence. Tbh I’m kinda glad he was wrong (no I don’t approve violence but dudes come the fuck on.)


While it is ‘wonderful to sit at a hockey or football match and drink a beer or coffee and eat little snacks,’ it cautioned, this behavior doesn’t suit ‘a concert hall with world-class acoustics.’

Loud, aggressive behavior does not suit a concert hall today.

But concert halls in 1700s through the 1800s were another matter, according to accounts I’ve read. Inattention, conversations, eating and drinking, arguments – common behaviors all.

Sorry, no quotes at hand. See The Virtuosi: Classical Music’s Legendary Performers from Paganini to Pavarotti by Harold C. Schonberg.


Sounds like the premise for a John Cage score.

A nightmarish, anti-4’33" score.