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I'm writing an English piece as part of an assignment for our class, but I was unsure whether to add an apostrophe here:

I went to see the Arctic Monkeys concert last week.

or

I went to see the Arctic Monkeys' concert last week.

To me, the first version seems correct, but they both make sense. Is it more of a stylistic choice? Or is one grammatically incorrect?

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    @PeterShor Because the Artic Monkeys (or rather The Arctic Monkeys) is the name of the band. You could also have been to the Blur concert in the nineties, the The Clash concert in the eighties (notice the repeated definite article) or the Ed Sheeran concert in February. The name is plural but usually the concert is described by the name of the act,not owned by the act. You could have been to Ed Sheeran's sell out concert or the sell out concert by Ed Sheeran but not the Ed Sheeran's concert. Similarly you don't say the The Artic Monkeys' concert.
    – BoldBen
    May 22, 2020 at 22:21
  • @BoldBen The only reason you don't use the definite article with the proper noun and a possessive is because you wouldn't normally use it with a proper noun without a possessive. Donald Trump often refers to himself as the Donald. In his case, if he held a concert, you could say I was at the Donald's concert and it wouldn't sound strange. So, your comment is kind of a red herring in terms of this actual question. May 22, 2020 at 22:36
  • Basically a matter of tone/emphasis. The non-possessive is more "normal", but the possessive version might be used if you wished to emphasize The Arctic Monkeys somehow "possessed" the concert vs simply having their name on it. It's subtle.
    – Hot Licks
    May 23, 2020 at 2:15

1 Answer 1

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At the risk of launching a pedantic discussion of band names that start or don't start with the (or The) . . .

Arctic Monkeys is the name of the band; there's no the (or The) involved.

For the sake of comparison, let's take another band with a non-the (or non-The) name, but in this case singular: Metallica.

I went to see the Metallica concert last week. (ok)

I went to see Metallica's concert last week. (ok)

*I went to see the Metallica's concert last week. (not ok)

Do you see where this is going?

I went to see the Arctic Monkeys concert last week. (ok)

I went to see Arctic Monkeys' concert last week. (ok)

*I went to see the Arctic Monkeys' concert last week. (not ok)

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  • @EdwinAshworth: Is there one? No. The OP's question displays not two acceptable stylistic choices but rather one choice grammatical and the other not. May 24, 2020 at 3:49
  • @EdwinAshworth: Applying your "same question" would lead the OP to believe that *I went to see the Metallica's concert last week and *I went to see the Arctic Monkeys' concert last week are correct, when in fact, they are not. At issue is not style or a plural possessive proper noun, but rather the use of the definite article; use it in the attributive case but not in the possessive. May 24, 2020 at 15:37
  • Ah. Got it at last. Yes, I'll delete the dupe-CV. I doubt whether 'I went to see Arctic Monkeys' concert' would be idiomatic, though, however grammatical. It's a rare case. Reminiscent of Boston Red Sox and agreement in the US. // I've checked; almost all attributive, with one set of misplaced article hits. May 24, 2020 at 15:48
  • @EdwinAshworth: I agree that it's entirely unidiomatic in the plural possessive case. The good news is that, in speech, the errant apostrophe in I went to see the Arctic Monkeys' concert goes unheard. May 24, 2020 at 15:57
  • You might still get arrested. May 24, 2020 at 16:41

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