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How Long Does a Music Concert Last? [ALL You Need to Know]

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Knowing beforehand how long an event like a music concert will last will help you better prepare your mind before attending. As a matter of fact, since humans are naturally timely, knowing the average duration of a concert helps you stay better organized. 

There are several other reasons and benefits to knowing how long a concert is gonna last. Some might want to beat the starting time of curfew, some simply want a make a proper security assessment, and some just want to better organize and analyse their journey to and fro the concert venue. 

However, they might be no straight answer to the question of how long a music concert will last. The answer will definitely not be a straight universal one as there are lots of variables involved. Different factors like the type of artist/band to how big or small the venue size is will always be a determining factor of the length and duration of any concert. 

For example, an acoustic set with only a solo performer may only last an hour or even for thirty minutes; on the other hand, a full-blown show with different band members, dancers and special effects might go on for three or even four hours. 

Just like we said before, the size of the venue will also greatly determine how long a concert will last. Larger venues may typically last longer when compared to smaller venues. This might be due to the logistics of getting people in and out of the very big space. 

However, it doesn’t matter if you are a fan planning to attend a concert or a musician/band planning to host a concert, there are certain questions you must not just ask yourself but also know the answers to. 

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you to a great extent in determining how long a concert will last. In this article, we will introduce you to both those questions and answers to those questions. 

How Long Does a Music Concert Last? Factors that Determine the Length of a Concert

Bear in mind that how long a music concert will last will depend on the performing Artist, type of concert, venue, and some other factors that will be considered here. 

These factors span from setlist, discography, style of music/genre, encore, audience participation, headliners, and supporting acts. 

What is a Setlist and How Does it Affect Concert Duration?

A setlist or set list is a written list or printed document showing the list of songs to be performed by a band or singer in a concert. Setlists are subject to change depending on the type of concert, audience, moment, and venue. 

Setlists are one of the determining factors of how long a concert will last. Imagine that there are 10 songs and each song will be performed for 6 minutes each. That is approximately an hour of performance. 

Evaluating that a typical rock band will have about 10-20 songs in their setlist, and a classical orchestra 5-10 pieces, the duration of the concert is dependent on how long each of these songs and pieces will take. 

Let’s say the rock band and singers decide to keep the duration of each of the song setlists at a particular time max (maybe 5min), it will help determine the total performance duration. 

This evaluation also works for the classical orchestra. And you can see how Setlist can affect the duration of a concert. 

What is Discography and How Does it Affect Concert Duration? 

A discography is a descriptive list of recordings by a band/singer. It also contains the recording category, composers, and release date. 

If it is a long-standing band/artist with more albums, because of their huge discography, you should expect the concert to last longer than that of a small band or artist with a smaller discography. 

What is a Music Genre and How Does it Affect Concert Duration?

A music genre is often referred to as a category into which some music is classified into. Each type of music in a category shares conventional equivalence. 

There are pop, rock, country, RnB, Jazz, country, hip hop, reggae, funk, afro beats, soul music, and to mention but a few. 

Now since most performances in a concert are often live performances, the duration of each song depending on the genre and artist are likely going to be extended or reduced. 

A jazz concert band will dedicate specific bars for improvisation. And sometimes every musician in the band will be allowed to solo. Other genres may feature dance, maybe a transition between the songs in the setlists, and other variety to spice up the concert. 

The Genre of music is another great factor that can affect how long a concert can last. 

What is an Encore and How Does it Affect Concert Duration? 

An encore is a performance by an Artist or band at the end of the concert by an audience request. The audience clap, shouts, and chants for a comeback performance by the artist that they need back on stage. 

Encore is also considered by Bands and artists as a way of appreciation to the fans for their support. 

Encore adds more time to the speculated duration of the concert. It is now left for the audience to decide when the artist begins to round up. As you don’t want to cut them off halfway. 

What is “Audience Participation” and How Does it Affect Concert Length? 

Audience Participation is the enthusiastic involvement of an audience during a concert. The audience plays an important role in a concert. The audience reacts to the performing artist and the artist reacts to the audience. And in a circle, it keeps going in a cyclic interchange. 

This may warrant the performing artist to improvise and even take more time during the performance. 

Who is A Headliner and How Does that Affect Concert Length? 

A Headliner is the main performing musician/artist/band in the concert. The headliner is the opening act and final act in the concert. Depending on the speculated length and kind of concert, an opening act may be between 30 minutes to an hour. 

An opening act is essentially a warm-up performance for Headliners. However, headliners would perform 90 minutes to two hours altogether with the final act inclusive. The duration is often assumed as headliners may end up taking more time thereby affecting the concert length. 

Who Are Supporting Acts and How Does That Affect Concert Length?

Supporting acts also popularly referred to as an opener is very comparable to an opening act and warm-up act. Supporting acts perform at the beginning of the concert before the headliners and featured acts. They rarely perform again at the end of the concert. 

Supporting acts affect the duration of the concert as they take a reasonable amount of time depending on the number to perform at the beginning of the concert. 

Other factors that influence the Duration of a Concert

There are a lot of other factors that may also influence the duration of a concert. These factors may be unforeseen factors and sometimes an unassuming facet during a concert. 

Water refill and how it influences the duration of a concert

Water is a very essential commodity in a concert, especially for singers. It is the best way to maintain vocal health. 

Water refill and drinking time have little influence on the duration of a concert. Some singers may have to pause during the performance to lubricate their voices with water. 

Bathroom breaks and how it influences the duration of a concert

There are considerable breaks that influence the duration of a concert, ultimately bathroom break is a natural phenomenon. Bathroom breaks are short pauses during a concert for the band/artist/orchestra to use the bathroom. 

The mere fact that you are drinking more water to keep the larynx hydrated and the vocal fold lubricated makes bathroom breaks an essential break for singers. This sort of break may not be considered in some concerts. Yet it is another factor that influences the duration of a concert. 

Setups and how they can influence the duration of a concert

Depending on the kind of concert, venue, and size, the setup may take 6 hours to 12 hours. These include the load in/load out, stage setting, light test, instruments, and sound check. 

Most setups for concerts are scheduled differently to have adequate time to deliver. Regardless, soundcheck often finds its way to the beginning of any concert affecting the duration of the concert. 

Different Types of Concerts and Their Typical Durations

The Variety of music genres and styles presents different types of Concerts. Just like the genre, there’s a specific concert for everyone. 

A typical duration for a Jazz music concert is between 1 hour and 30 minutes. Jazz band sets would perform for 45 minutes with 10 minutes break while at a concert hall, the jazz band would go straight for 90 minutes. 

A Classical music concert is a type of concert that can range from large to small scale. Offering other subtypes such as chamber, choral, symphony, orchestra, opera, recital, and children’s concert. 

Regardless of the kind of classical music concert, the typical duration for a classical music concert is between 90 minutes to 2 hours. A typical duration of a Pop music concert would be between 90 minutes and 2 hours depending on the artist and band. 

Pop music concerts feature lights and catchy tunes. The energy of the singers will get you on your feet. Rock music concerts are fantastic with a remarkable atmosphere. Rock music concerts may also feature punk, metal, indie rock, and folk rock. 

The typical duration for a rock music concert is between 30 minutes to 80 minutes and it varies depending on the artist and band. The following will be a concise table of different types of concerts and their typical duration. 

Type of concertDuration 
Jazz music concert1 hour, 30 minutes 
Classical music concert90 minutes – 2 hours 
Pop music concert90 minutes – 2 hours 
Rock music concert30 minutes – 80 minutes
Opera music concert2 hours – 3 hours 
Music Festivals90 minutes – 2 hours 
EDM and hip-hop music concert45 minutes – 2 hours

What are the Shortest and Longest Concerts on Record? 

The shortest concert on record lasted for 13 seconds and is recorded in the Guinness world records. The concert was in Tampa, Florida at the Ford Amphitheatre on 13th March 2007.

The shortest concert starred The Who (UK) in Tampa and was attended by 9,000 fans. Roger Daltrey (UK) the lead vocalist realized he was sick 13 seconds into the concert and couldn’t continue the performance.

It was rescheduled to 25th March 2007 and it was still a success. However, the 13th of March concert in Tampa is currently the shortest-duration concert. The longest concert on record is 437 hr 54 min 40 sec and it is found in the Guinness world records. This was achieved by multiple Canadian artists. 

Kevin Ker, Shaen Armstrong, and Epidemic Music Group at the Earl of Whitchurch, Ontario, Canada. The concert started on 17th March and ended on 5th April 2017. The longest concert was part of the celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary. 

ConcertDuration Genre 
The Who concert in Tampa 13 secondsRock
The Epidemic music group Canada’s 150th-anniversary celebration437 hr 54 min 40 secRock and Roll
John Cage’s World’s longest concert: Organ/ASLAP (As Slow as possible)2001 – 2640 (639 years)Classical 
Frank Marino at Agora Theater, Cleveland 6 hours (plus 6 hours of rehearsals)Rock and roll 
Phish, Dec. 31, 1999, and Jan. 1, 2000, Big Cypress National Preserve, Ochopee, FloridaApproximately 7 hours
Bruce Springsteen, July 31, 2012, Olympiastadion, Helsinki, Finland 4 hours, 6 minutesRock 
Bob Dylan, Jan. 12, 1990, Toad’s Place, New Haven, Connecticut4 hours, 20 minutesRock
The Cure, April 21, 2013, Foro Sol Stadium, Mexico City 4 hours, 6 minutesRock 

In Summary, How Long Does A Music Concert Last?

There is no specified duration for how long a musical should last. A music concert would last between 90 minutes to 2 hours. Depending on the type of concert, artist, band, and venue size. Regardless, we have also seen concerts that varied in duration. 

Nonetheless, one should estimate that the duration of any concert will be between 30 minutes to 4 hours. Not less or longer than that. 

Considering all the factors except on very rare occasions will a concert be shorter than 30 minutes or longer than 4 hours. You may want to consider this if you are planning to attend any concert.