Worst gigs/ shambolic experiences of all time

Feel free to post about your shambolic life experiences.

Let’s face it: TV has sold us a crock. Live entertainment is brilliant, rock concerts are wonderful and personal participation sports events are majorly life-affirming.

Except when they’re not…

Post here about your terrible concerts, awful bucket-list experiences, horrific events and more.

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I can give you a quick one so I’m not a person who started a thread and didn’t get any replies.

I’ll just be a person who started a thread and only replied to himself. Ugh.

I went to Reading Festival in 1995 (I think), saw the manic street preachers, after Richie had disappeared. It was easily the most anticipated gig of the whole weekend. I had had ear surgery previous week and was advised not to do anything strenuous. I didn’t count mosh pits at strenuous. I was- probably still am- a dick.

Suffice to say that the Manics came out in full combat fatigues, I got booted in the head by one of my fellow revellers, then the wound started bleeding profusely and my mate had to tell me everyone thought I looked like I was dying and might need to go get help.

The look of awe on my fellow fans as I walked out of the centre of the mosh pit with blood streaming down my neck was brilliant. The next hour or so missing the concert whilst I waited to be told I was a total cock and getting stitched up was less thrilling.

Still, got the old NHS free tickets for June…bet that’s going ahead, eh?


Hard to say worst. I was on holiday in the UK and saw Bon Jovi, who were good but supported by Queensryche, who were absolute shite and still in the ‘Queen Victoria’ phase. Most people headed to the bar. (even the ones with QR shirts on!)

Of course, they went on to be big themselves but that night, just wasn’t their night.

Saw Nirvana at Selina’s in Sydney, it was a great gig and a shit one all at the same time. They came on really late, fully loaded, did 75% of a great set, then it just descended into a introspective feedback session, which managed to be really loud and boring AF at the same time.

Think I’ve been lucky, can’t think of any absolute disasters from headliners. Seen my share of shitty support bands though!


Any of the shitty support bands go on to be world-beaters?

Aaah this brings back painful memories. Dragged along to see a band called “Urge Overkill” at a venue in Nottingham in about 1994. Not my sort of thing at all, it was a friend’s choic. I had never heard of them but think they were riding a wave or something, having been in the soundtrack for the film Pulp Fiction.

It was one of the most unpleasant acoustic experiences of my life, worse even than an F3 race at Castle Donnington where I had to run and hide in the loos every time the cars came round. I just couldn’t cope with the decibels and had to leave and stand in the Foyer after 10 minutes. No idea how other people managed it.

Haven’t been to a gig since except classical, having married a violinist. Even then the brass section makes me feel a bit nervous when the get excited & don’t start on the timps.


Kind of. I scored tickets to Queen at Wembley Stadium (again on hols). The line up was meant to be Virginia Wolf, Big Country (or the Alarm, I forget), Status Quo and then Queen.

Jason Bonham of Virginia Wolf was really sick, so a little known Aussie band called INXS stood in. Crowd weren’t happy, we were over the moon, but generally they were booed and had plastic bottles lobbed at them. (this was Shaboo Shabbah era).

2yrs later, they’re filling Wembley on their own, riding the success of Listen Like Thieves.


Primal Scream (in their pre famous jangly guitar C86 phase), well known in the Indie scene and I’d seen them a few times.

Got to a godforsaken venue in North London on a freezing February night to see them. We weren’t allowed in as ‘band were soundchecking’.

Stuck outside for ages then finally let in. They came on with Bobby Gillespie clearly in a foul mood, played 4 songs and walked off saying ‘that’s it’. My mate recorded it on a Sony Walkman, total gig was 9 minutes :joy:


Another bad gig which I had really been looking forward to was Transvision Vamp at the Town & Country again in the late 80’s.

For about 30 mins before they came on the crowd had been chanting “Get your tits out for the boys”.

By the time they came out Wendy wasn’t in the best frame of mind.


T&C Leeds?


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Took my wife to see Swans, she took me to see Robbie Williams. This was fairly early after meeting when you enthusiastically agree to the other’s suggestions. We each utterly hated the other’s gig and agreed not to drag the other along for future gigs.

F&@k me Williams was shite.

It’s fair to say she didn’t get Swans :joy:

Relationship survived though…


Never good to go to a gig with your supposed “brethren” and realise they’re all dicks.

Thankfully that never happens when we go to triathlons😉

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Swans…that’s a stretch!

Aren’t they industrial rock?

Could have eased her in at least…

I think I said before that Mrs FP and I hadn’t been to a gig together in our early days. In one week we went to see Muse and TOOL. She’d never heard of either and we’re still married. :grin:


Waterboys 1990 -travelled up with the lads from Exeter in a beat up Ford Fiesta to Bristol Colston Hall only to find the gig cancelled when we arrived as the band had decided that the venue had too many pillars which would spoil the experience of those at the concert - fuckers

Went to the cinema instead (can’t recall what we saw) and went back to Exeter

Only marginally worse than the Tanita Tikaram gig (see other thread)

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I went with my wife to Barrowlands for a Saw Doctors gig. I don’t mind the Irish folky sound and the music was alright. But feck me, twats were just launching plastic pint pots with loads of beer into the air. I m not a food fight sort of person. A lot of self control was exercised that evening.

In 87 (iirc) I saw Bowie at Maine Rd. Terence Trent D’Arcy was 1st support when he wasn’t really known. I had seen him on UK Soul Train. Half the Bowie crowd hated him the other half loved it. It was a great birthday present from brother and older sister.

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Seem to remember Transvision Vamp were at Reading 87 or 88, the one ‘hit’ under their belt didn’t really fill the set so well


I was at the Pink Floyd concert where the seating collapsed about 30 seconds after the gig started.

Luckily we were on the balcony.

Couldn’t make the rescheduled date.
Never saw them live.

One of my regrets on life.


Was seeing Underworld at Camden Roundhouse. Had got there early for front row greatness.

During King of Snake all the lights came on, as a fire alarm had gone off.

All got evacuated.

When they finally let us back in I was halfway back in the crowd.


2020 was a :lemon:

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