Photography by Samir Hussein/Redferns via Getty Images

What’s the Deal with Arcade Fire’s “Hip and Trendy” Concert Dress Code?

"Sue me for wanting something nice."

Arcade Fire doesn’t want their fans to wear flip-flops, and the Internet is angry.

The Canadian indie rock band, whose fifth studio album “Everything Now” drops on Friday, is playing a Brooklyn concert the evening prior to celebrate the release. The concert is kind of a big deal — it will be live streamed exclusively through Apple Music into the homes of Arcade Fire fans everywhere. Which is why, one can only assume, Arcade Fire set out strict rules for those attending the free event. Because when you’re a HIP & TRENDY™ band, you need a HIP & TRENDY™ audience dancing undistracted in the crowd to maintain your HIP & TRENDY™ image.

Via Twitter user @DavidKlion, here’s the message allegedly sent out to ticket holders (who BTW had to apply for tickets by answering ‘What do you like about the first single from the new album?’)

So they want people to look nice and to have phone-less fun! What’s the problem with that? Those who have visited Berlin’s Berghain (widely considered the best club in the world) will understand that it’s far cooler to have a well curated, un-connected crowd. That is, of course, for those who actually get in. For the many who are turned away at the door for lack of being “hip and trendy” —  or for those kicked out for trying to snap a pic inside — an “anything goes” attitude would probably be preferred.

Apparently the Internet, where the idea of picking one’s battles is verboten, doesn’t like being told what to do. We might not be able to have nice things IRL, but at least we can have funny things online.

And so begins the mystery: who the heck sent that ridiculous email? And why the heck don’t they like white and red?

Here’s what Win Butler — lead singer of the band and notoriously eccentric dresser — had to say about the outrage.

Here is how the band *officially* responded.

And here is the statement “faxed in” from album’s social media manager.

Wow, those are some on point tongue-in-cheek responses. It’s almost as if Arcade Fire foresaw the controversy? Almost as though this was a strategic marketing ploy all along? After all, this isn’t the first time the band has faced backlash for trying to implement a dress code. In 2013, the band requested audience members wear formal attire or costumes. They later walked back on the rules, saying that while dressing up is encouraged, “it’s super not mandatory.”


Whether or not the drama was staged is yet to be revealed— either way, I’m very okay with them turning away flip-flopped fans at the door.