How Long are Concerts Last? [Here’s What You Need to Know]
Do you know How Long are Concerts? If you want to put on or attend a show, you should expect the entire production to last anywhere from one hour to three hours, depending on the type of artist performing.
Popular acts usually have concerts that last between 90 minutes and 3 hours, whereas smaller concerts with lesser-known acts usually last between 45 minutes and 90 minutes. A concert can last as little as 30 minutes or as long as 3 hours, but this is uncommon, and these events are usually referred to as flash performances or festivals.
When and Where is the Concert?
These are the two practical logistics that usually impose fairly strict time constraints on a concert. If a show is scheduled for a weekday at a lower-key venue in a city with a legal noise ordinance that goes into effect at, say, 11 p.m., and the show begins at 8 p.m., you can bet the event will end within three hours. Venues are very careful to follow any legal rules because the penalties for breaking them can be severe.
On the other hand, if it’s a larger show in a more insulated location on a weekend night, there’s a good chance the show will last until late at night. Bruce Springsteen and the Grateful Dead, for example, have performed shows that have lasted far longer than four hours on multiple occasions.
A setlist is commonly regarded as a blueprint for performance. Some bands strictly adhere to a setlist and ensure that it remains consistent and unchanging. This is common for a short tour or festival, where the band has a few dates to cover and wants to play the same music every night. However, many bands are notorious for repeating the same exact setlist (ex: Korn, Sum 41). At most, a few songs will change during the tour.
The nature of the tour can also influence a setlist. When promoting a new album, an artist may decide to only play music from that album. Some bands have been known to perform an entire album in its running order for a show. When an artist goes on tour to promote a new album, this album will have the most songs in the set.
If you want to learn more about it, we have a special setlist profile on the site (donut chart on artist pages).
During a tour, however, it is common for an artist to make minor changes to the setlist. This is done to add some variety. Changes are made in some cases to accommodate fans. Fans are increasingly being polled via websites and social media ahead of a concert tour stop and asked which songs they would like to hear on that leg of the tour.
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The World’s Shortest and Longest Concerts
For a lesser-known artist or group, shorter concerts could be as short as 20 minutes. Or as long as an hour for someone who is more well-known but may not yet be considered a legend. The length of time they can play before the audience loses interest is determined by how much music they’ve released and how well-known they are. These shorter sets are also frequently combined. For example, a well-known artist who plans to play for an hour may ask a lesser-known artist to open for them, and the opener may play for as little as 20 minutes or as long as 45 minutes. Depending on how many groups play, how long each group plays, and how long the breaks are, the entire concert could last two or three hours.
When estimating the time required for stage rentals, keep the number of groups performing in mind.
The Longest Concerts are
Chile Gonzales at the Cine 13 Theater in Paris on May 16, 2009 – 27 hours. The Canadian pianist entertained his audience for approximately 27 hours and 44 seconds. Throughout the concert, he sang 300 songs and told anecdotes. Did he or his audience ever fall asleep during the performance?
Live Aid lasted 16 hours on July 13, 1985. Live Aid features 75 live performances. After all of the bands had finished playing, the entire concert lasted 16 hours. The event was planned to help Africa’s starving children.
Grateful Dead concert at the Winterland Ballroom from December 31, 1978, to January 1, 1979 – 6 hours. The Grateful Dead performed 36 songs, the majority of which were lengthy. The duration of this concert was approximately six hours.
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What Can Make a Concert Run Longer Than Expected?
When unexpected events occur, concerts frequently run longer than planned. An encore performance, in which the performer is encouraged by the audience to perform one or more songs not officially listed on the program, is one positive that can make a concert last longer than expected. Another reason concerts can run over their scheduled time is if a performer or band member fails to arrive on time.
Many unforeseen circumstances can cause a concert to last longer than planned. But the venue frequently encourages it in order to increase revenue and audience engagement. Regardless, most outdoor concerts are prohibited after 11 p.m. due to noise ordinance laws that vary by location.
Reasons for a Long Concert
A concert that lasts too long can ruin everyone’s fun concert experience. While there are numerous reasons for a concert to occur over time. There are few excuses for it not to occur. You could, for example, attend a concert by a singer who had spent the previous night partying only to appear on stage when the show was supposed to begin.
That’s not to say there aren’t valid reasons for a concert to last longer than it should. Here are some of the most common reasons why most concerts last so long.
- The headliner or supporting act is stuck in traffic and thus late.
- The performer is making a lot of demands in their dressing room.
- The headliner is preoccupied with something else and isn’t prepared to perform.
- The performing act is not obligated to begin on time.
Between the performing act, the venue owners, and the audience, there is a lack of trust. The performing act is frequently waiting for their audience to arrive while the audience is waiting for the performers to perform. This results in a lose-lose situation in which the show begins later than expected.
What is the Musical Genre?
Certain concert genres and styles are more rigid than others. Classical concerts with a traditional orchestra, choir, and other performers typically follow a fairly standard format of a 1 – 1.5 hours first part, 15-minute intermission, and so on. The second part will last 5 to 1 hour.
Modern music, particularly rock concerts, is more “loose” and casual. On an otherwise three-minute song, you might hear a random improvised and/or extended 10-minute guitar or drum solo. You might also notice some fan interaction and inclusion.
What is the Duration of Each Set?
Many concerts will include an intermission in the middle of the performance to allow performers to rest and change sets. This also allows audience members to stretch their legs, use the restroom, and purchase food or merchandise. Intermissions are usually between 10 and 25 minutes long, depending on the length of the entire concert.
Are there Multiple Groups or Acts in the Lineup?
A concert will frequently feature another band as an opening act before the main band, known as the headliner, begins to perform. An opening act will typically last 30-45 minutes but may last longer in some cases. Opening acts may take time away from the headliner, but almost never in a perfect 1:1 ratio, or else people will be understandably upset that they aren’t getting to see who they paid to see play.
Typically, a concert with an opening act will last at least 2-3 hours. A headliner may have more than one opening act, but this usually moves into a more multi-form style where there isn’t really a “main” performer, so the concert time may not be much or any longer.
Some long-form concerts, commonly referred to as “festivals,” will feature several to tens of bands, with multiple acts performing at the same time in some cases, and are intended to be a full-day event. Many festivals last a few to several days, such as the infamous Burning Man event, which lasts nine days.
Multiple Set Events
Many concerts feature more than just a headliner and an opener. For example, a radio station or a festival may organize an all-night or all-day event featuring a handful or more bands. If you’re planning such an event, you may need to consider multiple concert stage rentals or, if you’re participating in a festival, renting your own stage.
The Wright Group Sets the Scene
Whatever the length of your event or concert, The Wright Group has portable stage rentals, seating, tents, and anything else you might need to make the magic happen. Contact us today, and we’ll make sure your event has everything it requires from start to finish.
If you’re going to a concert, you should know how long they last so you can plan accordingly. How long are concerts? Concerts usually last 90 minutes to two hours. In addition, there is usually a 20-minute intermission in the middle of the concert. The length of a concert is determined by the band or artist’s popularity, the number of performers in the program, and the type of venue.
The average length of all types of concerts, including pop, rock, rap, EDM, jazz, and classical, is 90 minutes to 2 hours. Festival concerts are typically longer in duration.
You now have a better idea of what to expect at any upcoming concert you may be attending or organizing. Finally, if the fans enjoy the music, they will want to stay as long as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How Long are Concerts
How long is a concert usually?
Popular acts usually have concerts that last between 90 minutes and 3 hours, whereas smaller concerts with lesser-known acts usually last between 45 minutes and 90 minutes.
What is the longest concert ever?
Kevin Ker, Shawn Armstrong, and Epidemic Music Group (all from Canada) performed the longest concert by multiple artists at the Earl of Whitchurch, Ontario, Canada from March 17 to April 5, 2017.
What do people wear to concerts?
Shoes are one of the most important aspects to consider when deciding what to wear to a concert. For festivals and outdoor shows, sturdy styles like white sneakers and lug-sole boots are often the most comfortable and protective. You can easily pull off an espadrille or sporty sandal for a more laid-back daytime event.
What time do most concerts end?
Gigs typically last between 2 and 3 hours, depending on the number of supports. And how quickly they set up in between. Most show with doors at 6.30 start between 7 and 8 p.m. and end between 10 and 11 p.m.