Have you ever been in the awkward predicament of having to defend your favorite artist based on their political views? If so, you’re not alone.

The United States feels divided on the political spectrum now more than ever, and many artists aren’t afraid to be vocal about where they stand. While it’s easy to either dismiss an artist’s public political stances or choose not to stream a song, what about deciding to show up in person? Would you be able to see an artist perform live if their political views differed from your own?

Attending a live concert is so much more than just showing up. Your ticket — whether pricey or inexpensive — goes back to the artist and crew. You’re paying to listen to the show, sure, but you’re also paying to be a part of an environment of like-minded people. This is where politics come into play.

A prime example of a polarized political setting: country music. With audience demographics that show fans largely hailing from parts of the country with strongly conservative political orientations, this genre has no shortage of artists who have made headlines for political stances reflecting this mentality. Jason Aldean made headlines over the past few months after he dropped the track “Try That In A Small Town.” While he didn’t write the song, the track features the lyrics: “Cuss out a cop, spit in his face / Stomp on the flag and light it up / Yeah, ya think you’re tough / Well, try that in a small town.”

Some artists – notably Sheryl Crow and Jason Isbell – criticized the song. But conservative politicians and media figures were quick to jump to its praise, including former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor and GOP Presidential candidate Ron DeSantis. When Aldean defended the song during a show in Cincinnati, the crowd chanted “U-S-A.”

Aldean isn’t alone; Kid Rock been outspoken about his socially-conservative views and even released merchandise to support former President Donald Trump in 2016. He’s been known to spark controversy at shows; he made allegedly transphobic comments during a performance at his 2017 annual Fish Fry and has used homophobic slurs multiple times on-stage.

Aaron Lewis, the former frontman of Staind who now performs country music solo, is known for his political commentary just as much as his music. His song “Am I the Only One” criticizes Bruce Springsteen and touches on the removal of Confederate monuments. Earlier this year, he brought-up the Hunter Biden laptop controversy during his show and then spewed anti-Ukraine sentiments at another gig. He also once led a “F*&$ Joe Biden” chant.

Controversy isn’t limited to artists of one genre. Chris McMahon of the deathcore group Thy Art is Murder was kicked-out of the band due to the “breakdown of his character.” His former bandmates claimed that everyone has the right to free speech, however “they are also free to receive the consequences that come with it.” The dismissal followed a social media post by McMahon where he said a transgender child’s mother should be “burned to death.”

Those who have been outspoken against right-leaning artists have also felt the burn; Maren Morris said people are streaming songs like “Try That In A Small Town” “out of spite.”

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“It’s not for the love of the music,” Morris said. “It’s to own the libs.” Morris also made headlines after confirming to the Los Angeles Times that she is leaving country music due to its political barrier. Almost immediately, people flooded her Instagram comments, telling her that she’s never been a country star. Conservative political commentator Tucker Carlson even called her a “lunatic” and “not a real country music singer.”

So, what about the other side of the spectrum?

Miley Cyrus is an example of someone who is equally as outspoken about politics during her shows. Cyrus doesn’t really hold back on anything she feels; she famously called-out former President Trump during her iHeartRadio Festival performance of “Party In The U.S.A.,” noting that she won’t stop “fighting for justice.” She also performed a Tiny Desk Concert on NPR where she delivered a diss track at Trump, dubbed “Golden G String,” singing, “So the mad man’s in the big chair / And his heart’s on an iron vault / He says ‘If you can’t make ends meet, honey, it must be your fault.”

Pop-punk’s Hayley Williams has also made it a point to bring-up political issues on-stage; while performing at the debut When We Were Young Festival in Las Vegas last year, she sat on the stage for a few minutes and delved into the true soul of punk music — speaking on how punk is now the space for young women, people of color, and the queer community.

Punk developed as an anti-establishment art form, growing out of the idea that you can do whatever you want. Green Day certainly garnered attention for their blunt diss of former President Bush in “American Idiot,” and the group have been outspoken during shows. In the UK, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong told the crowd “F**k America, I’m f**king renouncing my citizenship,” calling the U.S. a “miserable excuse for a country.”

And while avoiding political statements as a general rule during performances, Taylor Swift made waves when she dropped the track “You Need To Calm Down.” The equality-first anthem criticizes homophobes and its video featured numerous queer and trans performers before ending with a call to her followers to support her Senate petition in favor of the Equality Act.

Then, there’s some artists who don’t take a side at all during their shows. Country star Tim McGraw has made it known that he doesn’t wish to take a side in the ongoing country music political atmosphere, and won’t create culture wars with his songs.

Oliver Anthony, who has quickly risen to fame with his single “Rich Men North of Richmond,” has stirred-up many politically-charged thoughts, and while fans were quick to call the song a conservative anthem, Anthony said that he’s calling out D.C. politicians on both sides and “knocking the system collectively.”

It would be easier if artists’ politics weren’t in-your-face, but that’s impossible to ask. At the end of the day, artists are people just like the rest of us, and they have a right to their own opinion. Just as it should be possible to be friends with someone whose political views differ from your own, it should be easy to attend a show if an artist’s views are on the other side of the spectrum as yours.

However, it all comes down to how vocal an artist is about their views during the concert. I would opt out of a show that revolves around politics and includes chants around the president. I wouldn’t purposefully subject myself to a crowd where I feel uncomfortable.

If an artist’s political views differ from your own, but they stick to their music the entire show — without dipping into certain topics — then: why not attend? However, if the artist is generating energy that you don’t like, along with a crowd feeding on that energy, it’s a simple choice. You can still support an artist by listening to their song on your own time — there’s Spotify for that.