How Long Are Concerts?

Concerts typically last anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours, with an intermission of 15 minutes in the middle of the concert. However, there are no hard rules when it comes to how long concerts last. A concert can be very short or long depending on various factors.

However, when it comes to festivals, set times can be as little as 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. That said, DJ sets at festivals have the potential to span for hours at a time, particularly on smaller stages.

Of course, this varies quite a lot. It’s best to look at previous setlists from the band to get a clearer idea of what to expect, which we explain below.

What Determines the Length of a Concert?

Here’s everything that can impact how long a concert will last.

The Setlist

Bands will often stick to similar setlists that don’t majority change from one concert to the other. This is common for short tours or festivals, so if a band played for 2 hours at a tour concert, expect the following ones to have roughly the same duration. https://www.setlist.fm/ has up-to-date set lists for many popular artists.

However, keep in mind that concerts can be in very different contexts. For example, if a band is playing a headline show one day and a festival the next day, then their setlists can be quite different. This is due to potentially shorter time frames allowed for festival gigs, while artists sometimes change their setlist choices for festivals to make their music more accessible to people that might not yet be fans of them.

The Artist

Some artists like to make their concerts longer than usual, while others prefer to stick to the average. It’s all about the artist’s personality and, of course, popularity. Bruce Springsteen is a pretty extreme example, where his sets can often be 3.5 hours long and his fans love him for putting in such a stellar effort every concert.

Also, if an artist is still trying to grow their audience, they may try to make their concerts longer on purpose to gain some traction and win over more fans. On the other hand, they might not have enough material to cover a long set.

Genre

Another factor that can affect the length of a concert is the music genre. Some genres, such as rock and heavy metal, typically have longer songs that can exceed 10 minutes in duration. On the other hand, genres like pop and punk tend to have shorter songs. 

So, two concerts from different genres may not last the same duration even if the number of songs is the same.

DJ sets for example can often span for hours whereas rock and pop concerts follow more traditional concert lengths.

Choice of Songs

A new band may only have a few singles and maybe an album to choose songs from. In that case, their concert won’t likely last that long.

On the flip side, established artists with a vast discography will have more song options to pick from, which may result in longer concerts.

Encores

An encore is basically an extension of the actual concert. Artists may decide to include an encore in response to extended applause from the crowd. 

While not all artists respond to encores, most actually do. In fact, when touring, fans are often very displeased if bands don’t play an encore. Bands often build encores into their actual set times since they are expected by many fans. 

Acts

Some artists like to split up their concerts into acts, similar to theatre plays. In that case, the artist will take multiple breaks in-between acts, making the concert last for a longer time. 

Summary 

That was a quick overview of how Long concerts last on average. Things like music genre, encores, song choice, and others can affect the duration of the concert. But as a general rule of thumb, concerts tend to last between 90-120 minutes.

Brian Clark is a multi-instrumentalist and music producer. He is passionate about practically all areas of music and he particularly enjoys writing about the music industry.

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