Arcade Fire & That Dress Code

I’m sure that by now, anyone who is interested in music & pop culture have heard that Canadian art rock group Arcade Fire have requested that formal attire or a costume of some sort is to be worn to all shows on their upcoming arena tour  (you can see for yourself over on ticketmaster) .  This request has caused quite the stir amongst those who were interested in purchasing tickets for the 2014 tour.

Initially I was taken aback by the fact that people in attendance were being told to dress a certain way.  It’s not as if people are attending a graduation or a funeral (events that you would usually dress up for), it’s a rock show taking place in arenas that usually hold well over 10,000 people.  (a quick look at the capacity for the first 3 venues show numbers of 22,000, 19,000 and 24,000).  After some conversation with a couple of friends, the answer to the question of why people are required to dress in this manner, could be any of the following.

  • Since their debut almost 10 years ago, Arcade Fire have grown into one of the biggest bands in the world.  If you take a look at bands from the past who have been named in this same group, they were always allowed a little more leeway than your average musician.  Maybe Arcade Fire are just using their new found title to see how far they can go.
  • I might catch some flack here, but Arcade Fire have often been referred to as “hipsters”.  With the creation of their alias The Reflecktors, it appears that the hipster in the band is evolving…could this just be part of the evolution?
  • Perhaps Arcade Fire were just stick and tired of looking down from the stage and seeing nothing but plaid shirts and v-neck t-shirts (I’m completely guilty of this one) in the crowd.  Why not change things up and see if they could dress the place up a little …it seemed to have worked really well for James Murphy.
  • Or maybe they’re just trying to have a little fun and create a different kind of atmosphere for the crowd.  Maybe they thought that by asking for a dress code the interaction between the band, the fan and the music would somehow morph into something a little more memorable.

In the end there is no fine print saying that you will be not be allowed into the venue if you do not comply with the request because it really is just a suggestion.  With all of the seriousness that surrounds our daily lives, it might be a good idea to throw on that onesie that looks like a unicorn and enjoy yourself for an evening.


About the author


Jeff is one-fourth of the group that makes up HAFILAX. His usual ramblings can be read right here on the website. If reading isn't your thing, he also hosts the Basement Tapes podcast.