It's a known fact that the taper communities of most larger taping-friendly bands are very close-knit. Unfortunately, that can also lead to some tapers feeling excluded and unwelcome. This kind of attitude is more the exception than the rule — you'll find that most other tapers are extremely helpful and welcoming, but occasionally there's the one guy who tries to make things difficult for everybody involved; let's talk about this person, and how NOT to be this person.
Every Taper Is Equal.
One of the first things to remember: no matter how good your equipment is, it doesn't make you any more important than the other tapers there. Simple as that. There's no rule on the books that says the more expensive equipment goes up first, and there's certainly enough evidence that says that, occasionally, the tape recorded with the miniature microphones and minidisc recorder will completely roll your Schoeps tape. It's not fair to other tapers to exclude them based on what they're running, and it's not fair to assert that your equipment is much better. So follow this simple rule if you're one of the first in the taper section: set up, but leave plenty of room for others in the prime spots, too. If you're taping outside the taper's section, don't turn down anyone who asks for a clamp if you can accommodate it. They're just trying to make it easy on everyone else, too.
That being said, don't take up too much real estate in the section. Keep your equipment set up in a way that's unobtrusive; a simple rule is, if the equipment can't fit into a standard reserved-section seat, you've got too much stuff. This way you're staying out of the way of others around you, and there's enough space for other tapers to set up comfortably.
Another simple rule for keeping the tapers around you happy? Don't be afraid to patch. If you're setting up in the taper's section and you notice another rig has a nearly identical setup, there's no need to crowd the section with another rig. Politely approach the taper and ask for a patch, and chances are you'll get it. Everyone wins.
Another thing to remember: if the band's taping policy is audio-only, don't videotape. If you for some reason choose to sneak in a video camera, do not, under any circumstances, involve a legitimate audio taper. The last thing a good taping-friendly band needs is to have their policy pulled by a record label because they're unhappy with the audio tapers harboring video tapers.
Now let's look at the issues in dealing with concert venues.