Oh dear! Can you help me sort this out?

Ring, ring! Before my group can play tonight, we need to get together with you to figure something out.

Our gig is the top space in the region, but now they claim there isn't room for all 16 of us. Can you scope it out?

Then, after that, can you tell us who should stand by whom?

A number of us (four, in fact) are afraid of being observed by the audience, but the rest of us aren't as shy. Hope this is all the info you need!

Hints:

The four lines above simultaneously describe a common puzzle type and give the clues necessary to solve the puzzle.

• Should this really be an enigmatic-puzzle? Jul 3, 2017 at 3:17
• I believe that this is a "puzzle where the puzzler must deduce what type of puzzle it is." Correct me if I'm wrong!
– Eric
Jul 3, 2017 at 3:18
• Perhaps it's steganography - data hidden in otherwise unsuspicious text Jul 3, 2017 at 3:20
• I believe that enigmatic-puzzle more appropriate. To say more would be a bit of a spoiler, but if it's too obtuse, I will add a hint tomorrow.
– Eric
Jul 3, 2017 at 3:21
• Don't worry about it. It's just that there's been discussion over whether people are beginning to 'abuse' the tag Jul 3, 2017 at 3:22

I am not sure but i think the answer is

15 puzzle

there isn't room for all 16 of us

there are only 15 tiles and one space is kept empty so that the other tiles can be moved

can you tell us who should stand by whom?

this is basically solving the puzzle, to place the tiles in the right order

A number of us (four, in fact) are afraid of being observed by the audience

since its a square four tiles are not around the perimeter(as it can be seen in the picture above)

• You got the shape right, but not the correct puzzle type. The items in the square can be determined (hopefully!) by the text in the puzzle.
– Eric
Jul 4, 2017 at 6:33
• It could be a Rota Jigsaw Puzzle with 15 pieces. Jul 5, 2017 at 12:27

My guess (partial solution):

The group of 16 are chess pieces, in the top row of a chessboard. In which case it would be 8 pawns together, then RKBQKBKR.

• I like the answer! But what are the four that are "afraid of being observed by the audience"? Jul 3, 2017 at 3:28
• Not sure about that - hence the partial solution Jul 3, 2017 at 3:29
• This is clever and fits the second line of the puzzle well, but all four lines of the puzzle will be used in the final solution :) (and it is not a chess related puzzle)
– Eric
Jul 3, 2017 at 3:36