Should we stop camping out for gigs? Louis Tomlinson show incident sparks debate

“Extreme” queueing behaviour at a recent Louis Tomlinson show has launched a debate around camping out for gigs.

After a whole bunch of Louis Tomlinson fans straight-up ignored a venue’s instructions not to camp out for his gig in Kingston upon Thames last week, they were booted to the back of the line: “Aware this will upset some but there has to be repercussions for queuing too early,” declared Banquet Records, promoter of the concert, via Twitter last Wednesday (December 14).

A group of teenage girls, in particular, were called out for spending Tuesday night (December 13) on the ground outside the venue, PRYZM Kingston, in sleeping bags. As per The Guardian, they were “swathed in blankets in sub-zero temperatures.”

Credit: TikTok @banquetrecords / Zach Pagano; NBC; NBCU Photo Bank; Getty Images

While camping overnight outside a venue for a chance to get a front-row view of your fave artist is not a new concept, Banquet Records’ owner, Jon Tolley explained why this particular case of it was more concerning than others: “It wasn’t against camping culture – it was specifically against camping culture in minus four degrees.”

Tolley continued, “we put on 300 gigs a year and some are big names who attract people who camp. I’ve seen the camaraderie and I see how fun it is, but there have to be repercussions. Safeguarding is critical. We are a brand and if people can’t trust us, they’ll go somewhere else. That’s not only customers, it’s also artists.”

Many have applauded Banquet Records for taking this action, while others are inevitably cross. The campers were, however, forewarned of the consequences three days prior to the gig, through a video shared to TikTok: “I’m here to tell you not to come to PRYZM,” said Tolley in the clip. “The weather is really bad. Right now, it’s minus four.”

He continued, “we cannot have anyone queueing overnight for the Louis Tomlinson shows. We can’t, in good faith, put on a show where people have been camping out. The police wouldn’t allow that either.” In addition to the video, Banquet Records Tweeted, “every single ticket had clear instructions that we can’t accept queuing before 8:00.”

Despite a number of disappointed comments from concert-goers who roughed it out for no reason, it appears that a large percentage of people agreed with the record store’s decision, adding that more venues should adopt this policy, especially when the weather conditions are dangerous.

“This is such a good idea bc i’m sorry there’s no need to put urselves in the position to freeze to death for an artist,” Tweeted one individual. Another person added, “That’s how it should be at every show…if they say don’t camp…don’t.”

What do you guys think? Is the overnight camp-out for a gig, whether it be in sub-zero temperatures or not, worth it? Sure, it can be a fun and memorable experience for you and your mates, and Louis Tomlinson is a darling…but sleeping on the London streets in minus-four degrees for a chance to see the former One Direction member up close? Maybe give that decision a pass.