Is It OK For Arcade Fire To Have A Dress Code At Their Concerts?

Michael Nelson | November 18, 2013 - 6:27 pm

UPDATE: Arcade Fire have issued a statement:

To everyone really upset about us asking people to dress up at our shows… please relax. It’s super not mandatory. It just makes for a more fun carnival when we are all in it together. So far these have been the best shows we have ever played.
See you soon.
Arcade Fire


Last Thursday, Arcade Fire announced their North American arena tour, tickets for which go on sale this Friday, November 22. But as Slate points out today, the band is making an unusual request of potential attendees: Dress to impress. Not joking; if you go to Ticketmaster, and click on any date of the upcoming Arcade Fire tour, in the “Please Note” section — alongside the usual disclaimers about ticket sales — is this directive:

NIGHT OF SHOW: Please wear formal attire or costume.

Arcade Fire made this same request when they played a handful of exclusive-access club shows leading up to the release of new LP Reflektor, at which point it seemed pretty reasonable: Those shows were occurring right before Halloween, and they were really hard to get into.

But demanding that 23,000 Kentuckians dress up like an extra in Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby to see a rock band at the KFC Yum! Center? I dunno. I also don’t know about these schmancy VIP Experiences which offer “crowd-free merchandise shopping,” but that’s another debate for another day. Today, we’re debating the dress code — which I’m frankly assuming won’t be strictly enforced (or enforced at all), but even so: Is it OK for Arcade Fire to make such a request of fans? I’m voting “no,” but I wore a Grave Miasma shirt to work today so I may not be the target market for this one. What say you guys? By request, LET’S TAKE A VOTE.