Over the last couple of weekends, I was fortunate enough to shoot loads of acts, firstly at the Nottingham Acoustic Gathering at The Maze, and then at Macmillan Fest, held in and around Rescue Rooms in Nottingham.
Whilst I've worked alongside other photographers on a gig before, these were the first occasions when I've had reason to be critical of any of them. Being inexperienced myself, and (still) making loads of mistakes, I'm somewhat reluctant to criticise other photographers. And, I appreciate that different photographers have different styles, and everyone is trying to get decent shots, but...
If you are shooting with a lens so wide that you need to be standing right in front of the singer (i.e. inches away from their face!), you might want to reconsider your choice of lens. Even if your style requires a 24mm lens, and even if you've cleared it with the artist, you're coming between them and the audience. For me, as both a music fan, and a performer that shouldn't be happening.
Flash photography at gigs is fucking irritating and distracting, whether it's from an iPhone or from a huge 600EX speedlite on top of a DSLR camera. Again, if it is absolutely necessary (e.g. for a crowd shot) keep it to a minimum (as most did). I saw several photographers at Macmillan Fest shooting continuously with flash through performances, justifying it because they didn't didn't have fast enough lenses. If you don't have the right kit for the job, don't turn up, it's that simple. There's no real excuse when both the Canon 50mm f1.4 and 85mm f1.8 lenses cost less than £250...
If you're doing both of the above, you're probably really annoying absolutely everyone in the venue. Stop, now.
Finally, be selective in what you shoot, and what you publish. Not 2,000-odd badly composed shots, taken indiscriminately on the off-chance that there might be one or two okay in-focus ones in there.
Just for balance, here's a link to Carrie-Ann Pollard's coverage of Macmillan Fest for Already Heard (here). She got great, consistent shots across all the stages, without flash, and without getting in anyone's way, least of all mine ;)
The Hivemind, The Maze 85mm f1.8 @ ISO4000, f2.2, 1/200s
Taken By The Tide, Rescue Rooms 85mm f1.8 @ ISO3200, f2.2, 1/200s
As December Falls, Rock City Basement 50mm f1.4 @ ISO3200, f2.2, 1/200s