I saw this sign posted in a Carnegie Mellon Computer Sciences building. I thought it was an interesting enough principle and spoken in clear terms. It’s not so far off the “golden rule” that tells us to treat others as we would wish to be treated, but there’s something even more concrete about how they put it:
Guitar shows tend to attract decent and easy going people. Guitar and music shows are fun and the people who attend are, by and large, really very good. I wouldn’t do a show if this wasn’t true. Yet, like in every crowd there’s the occasional knucklehead who thinks they have certain unalienable rights to play a rock concert in the middle of the show, or pay their $8 only to stand at the entrance door all day harassing the general public as they walk in with gear (or worse – in the parking lot).
This sign got me thinking about the “Reasonable Person Principles” we should have for the Sonic Valley Guitar Show (or any guitar show for that matter). I actually think the first four major bullet points apply, and I would keep them:
- Everyone will be reasonable
- Everyone expects everyone else to be reasonable
- No one is special
- Do not be offended if someone suggests you are not being reasonable
The smaller, sub-bullets should be specific to the surroundings of a guitar show environment. For those I would say “in practice this includes:”
- As a vendor, you will keep your stuff in your space. Don’t assume open space is yours to grab. Talk to your neighbor and pay attention.
- Volume levels are subjective but you must be reasonable at all times. Everyone knows amps need to be turned up for short periods so they can do their thing. But, keep it to a minimum.
- You are not the only one loading in and moving out and your gear isn’t all that matters.
- Don’t play annoying music, or the same riff incessantly. Don’t be offended if someone asks you to switch it up. They probably have listened to you all day.
- Treat every guitar and its owner with respect. Ask before removing guitars from stands. Be honest about a guitar you have no intention to buy, but want to play but be reasonable about it. A vendor will probably be happy to let you play it. But, if a vendor says no, don’t pitch a fit. And remember, the guitar isn’t yours until you buy it.
- People will respect the conversations and space of others and not interrupt a purchase or discussion about a purchase in progress. If someone is talking to a person about a guitar with the intent to purchase it, don’t interrupt the discussion even if you really want the guitar. In addition, if you are not going to buy the guitar, or have no idea what it is let the other person who is interested in it have a conversation.
- There’s nothing offensive about any given price, but don’t be upset if it requires further discussion.
- There’s nothing reasonable about hunting for gear in the parking lot – rain or shine. There’s nothing reasonable about paying $8 and just standing at the front door all day waiting for gear to walk in. Don’t be offended if someone calls you out.
The closing paragraph might be something like this: “Sonic Valley Guitar Show is a gathering of musicians and instrument enthusiasts. It is a mixture of professionals and hobbyists and is a community. Remember, you will more than likely see each other again, even if at the next Sonic Valley show. Let people remember you at your best.”
What do you think? What are some of the other “reasonableness principles” we should instill in the show?