Whether you’re figuring out if you’ll be home by curfew or making sure you’re in bed at a decent time, you might be wondering how long a concert will last. Fortunately, concerts have an average universal time length.
What Determines the Length of a Concert
If you attend a rock performance by pretty much any band or performer, you can anticipate a fairly normal show running order. There are standards for how a performance should be conducted, but it all boils down to the following;
1. The Setlist
A setlist is commonly regarded as a blueprint for performance. Some bands strictly adhere to a setlist and ensure that it remains consistent and unchangeable.
This is common for a short tour or festival, where the band has a few dates to cover and wants to play the same song every night.
However, several bands are notorious for repeating the same setlist (ex: Korn, Sum 41). At most, a few songs will change during the tour.
The nature of the tour might also influence a playlist. When promoting a new album, an artist may decide to solely play music from that album.
Some bands have been known to perform a whole album in its running order during a gig. When an artist goes on tour to promote a new album, this album will feature the most songs in the set.
If you want to understand more about it, we have a unique setlist profile on the site (donut chart on artist pages).
However, it is often the case that an artist would vary the setlist a bit here and there throughout a tour. This is done to offer some diversity. Changes are made in some circumstances to accommodate supporters.
Fans are increasingly being surveyed via websites and social media before a concert tour stops and asked which songs they would want to hear on that leg of the tour.
2. The Songs
It is critical to remember the significance of the songs themselves. A band like The Ramones created incredibly short songs and could get through a whole album in just thirty minutes.
Other musicians, such as Guns N’ Roses, compose lengthier songs on average, thus listening to an entire album would take longer than The Ramones’ time.
Another performer noted for doing lengthy performances is Bruce Springsteen. Born in the USA, his most renowned record, lasted almost 45 minutes.
While he may not always perform the full record at a concert, the songs are lengthier than those made by The Ramones, so you get a longer show with the same amount of songs.
Some bands made even lengthier albums, such as Guns N’ Roses’ Use Your Illusion I & II, which were both 75 minutes long.
A setlist is heavily influenced by an artist’s discography. If the musician has published several albums throughout time, they will have a larger selection of songs to play.
A younger musician who has only released one album and so has less material to work with may choose to perform cover versions to provide value to the audience.
An artist may also create a long album, such as a concept album, and playing even a few songs from it will alter the length of a show.
4. Music Genre
The kind of music performed by the performer will also have an impact on the length of a concert. Punk music, for example, is all about short, sharp tunes.
This implies a quicker tempo and, as a result, a shorter duration. Punk concerts may have the same amount of songs as rock concerts, but owing to song duration, they may be shorter.
Pop songs, on the other hand, are rapid and snappy, and often shorter than rock songs. Music is also played differently depending on the genre.
A guitar or drum solo is nearly usually performed at a rock event. These moments will be given away in portions of the show. Some musicians make a big deal out of solos.
The guitarist for Airbourne has become famous for climbing across stage setups and onto speakers to play his solos. Fans look forward to this aspect of their shows. This Show inside a show’ lengthens the set.
Many of the songs in a band’s discography may have been commercially successful. And the more popular these songs were, the more material there was to cover.
Some of a band’s songs may have been incredibly popular, which means they will simply have more songs to add to the setlist, and because the top songs are what people normally attend a concert for, this may affect the length of the event.
It’s also worth emphasizing that musicians are rightfully proud of their work, which is why they choose to convert a concert into a marathon session.
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Some musicians, primarily those who compose pop music, will split the setlist into acts, similar to how a play is divided into acts. Some may pause performances, extending the show’s duration.
6. The Encore
Not every band or artist will do an encore, but it might be the deciding factor in how long a concert lasts. Some musicians will even do three encores, which has a direct influence on the length of the event. In fact, three encores are not uncommon.
Bands like The Grateful Dead and groups like Pearl Jam are among the most prominent performers to make an encore linger considerably longer than planned.
Bruce Springsteen performed an 11-song encore in two sections on many occasions in 1988, and in 2012, he made headlines by playing so late that he violated a curfew in Hyde Park.
One Grateful Dead gig lasted an incredible six hours, much of which was due to the encore.
If an artist wants to do an encore (which they generally do since fans anticipate it), it might significantly lengthen the estimated time of a show.
What makes this even more intriguing is that the artist may practically select how long it will endure at the moment.
If they’re having a good night, it may last as long as the setlist. If not, that’s generally when you may hear hidden treasures from the band’s early albums (for example, AC/DC or the Rolling Stones).
Our setlist prediction service is based on previous concerts; we utilize AI to forecast the likely setlist for the next show, and the results are fairly accurate.
Look at the “popularity” gauge to get an estimate of the likelihood of a certain song being played.
So How Long Does a Concert Last?
A concert lasting 90 minutes to two hours is typical for a band that has finished a couple of albums.
This can expand with more known bands that have a lot of big albums and songs to their name, but it is a general rule that the performance will run roughly 90 minutes.
Bands and artists must consider the venue and the surrounding neighborhood. If you play loud music after 11 p.m. in the United Kingdom, you may be breaking the law.
Support acts, sometimes known as ‘guests,’ will be performed by larger performers. These Mini-concerts preceding the main event might take up to 45 minutes.
Some major musicians have two or three backup bands. Although this has no effect on the length of the concert, it does lengthen your evening out.
A concert can go anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours, which is a fair guideline. There is usually a 15-20 minute break in between.
However, because musicians have complete control over their music, it is equally true to claim that performance can run anywhere from two and a half to three hours.
A setlist can be discarded or dramatically altered. The most popular songs in an artist’s discography may be avoided for the course of a tour in favor of new, more experimental compositions that may be far longer than what fans are accustomed to.
And every now and then, you’ll come across an artist who just can’t stop playing and will deliver an encore that lasts all night. If you’re going to a concert, you can generally get a setlist online (check our partner at setlist. fm).
This should give you an indication of how long you may expect it to be. The evening will be extended with opening artists, and an encore might be massive.
What is the Shortest Concert Ever Recorded?
At a charity event in 2009, Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii performed Chopin’s “Military Polonaise” in the shortest performance on record, lasting only 24 seconds.
It should be noted, however, that this was a spontaneous performance rather than an official concert.
How Much Do Concert Tickets Cost?
This varies based on the performer and the location, but concert tickets normally range from $12 to $100.
There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, with certain tickets costing substantially more (or less). It all depends on who you want to see and where the concert is being held.
Some artists, such as Lady Gaga and Post Malone, have charged hundreds of dollars for a single ticket.
Because they aren’t as well-known, lesser performers may be seen for less money. It’s incredible to see an artist’s tiny presentation before they go on to play stadiums.
It is also critical to get your ticket as soon as possible, as prices may rise when seats sell out.
On the contrary, you might take a chance and try to obtain a decent price by waiting until the last minute, since some scalpers and fans may try to sell remaining tickets before the performance day.
Make sure you’re purchasing from a reputable third party.
What Should I Bring to a Concert?
You may wish to carry a small bag or purse with your essentials (e.g. wallet, phone, etc.).
However, if you’re going to a rock event and will be standing in general admission, you probably won’t need to carry anything other than your ID and debit card. Carrying anything additional may be a nuisance.
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