Concert Going Tips

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Summer months are packed full of must-see concerts and music events. Grab your girlfriends and create a memorable concert experience with these helpful tips.

 

Small Venue

Lots of concerts are performed in smaller venues with standing room only, where admission is general and you’re packed in close to your favorite artist. While these spaces make for a more intimate experience, they can be difficult to navigate, so follow these ideas for a more enjoyable time.

  1. Arrive early to claim a good standing spot.
  2. Avoid stepping away, ‘cause your standing plot will be taken if left empty. People will try to slide into your space if you have a good spot, so stand firm or next thing you know, you’ll be off to the side or all the way in the back.
  3. It’s best to go to the bathroom before you settle in for the evening. If you need to take a bathroom break, be sure your friends know where you’re heading and that they’re keeping an eye on your spot. Don’t go to the restroom in a group, venture out on your own, so you don’t all end up watching the rest of the concert from the back of the room.
  4. Sometimes, the best ‘seat’ in the smaller house is not the closest. Look for raised areas sometimes off to the side that gives a clear sight line to the stage and a nice overview of the venue. Take in the atmosphere of the building itself, especially if you find yourself in an older, historic theater. A concert is a sensory experience, but getting a close-up view doesn’t always  mean you’ll experience the best acoustics; don’t forget it’s the sound that makes you sway. The perfect mix will be directed to the mixing board, near that booth in the middle of the concert floor, which may be the best place to hear the harmonies that inspired you to buy a ticket in the first place.
  5. Many times after smaller concerts, the artist will stick around and greet their fans! This is a great opportunity to meet the person behind your favorite music, grab an autograph or even a photo! Don’t be afraid to ask a question about a particular song or discover the inspiration behind a certain lyric. If the artist “hits it big,” you can say you met him or her on their way up.

 

Large Venue

The common concert scene is a large venue with stadium seating and a distant stage. These events can be expensive, leaving you with nosebleed seats and feeling distant from all the action. Try these tips to heighten this extravagant event.

  1. It’s hard to know when to watch the big screens and when to keep an eye on all the action happening on stage, so look at both. By observing everything that’s going on, you’ll see the overall intention of the artist.
  2. Take a few moments during the concert to close your eyes and just listen to the music. Pay attention to each individual instrument and hear how the different parts add to the overall sound of the band.
  3. Notice the lighting and be aware of the mood that it creates as it compliments or contrasts the music.
  4. If you find yourself without a ticket to a sold out show, or decide last minute to go, always try the box office the day of. Many times artists and promoters will release unused tickets back to the box office when they discover not as many friends and/or family are coming, or the stage doesn’t take as many seats away as originally planned. Many times these suddenly available seats are only available at the venue and don’t show up on Ticketmaster or other ticket-selling services. Your spur-of-the-moment decision could score you a great seat to a sold out show!
  5. Concession prices are sky high these days. Take time to tailgate in the parking lot! Grocery store prices beat an $8.00 small bag of popcorn and a $5.00 bottle of water any day!

Many outlets provide a print at-home option for tickets, while this can be convenient, if you’re looking for an extra seat for the show, be cautious about the self-printed tickets. If the source isn’t reputable you may wind up with an invalid stub when you get to the turnstile.


Festival

Summers are packed full of a variety of music festivals from all day to weeklong events. Festivals can be exhausting and overwhelming because you’re out in the elements and there is so much to see and do, so take a look at these ideas to help develop a more effective and efficient festival.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes that won’t concern you if they get ruined in rain, mud, etc.
  2. Pace yourself, have a meal plan and get a good night’s sleep.
  3. Be on the lookout – bands mingle before and after sets during the festival, so keep an open eye out for autograph and photo opportunities.
  4. Don’t feel like you have to stay for the full set. Mix it up. Multiple bands are playing at the same time, so check out various bands at different locations throughout the festival. Plus, don’t be afraid to watch bands that create their own make-shift stage in random places. They usually have great energy, are really friendly and play innovative music.
  5. Have a bad weather back-up plan. If it rains, make sure you have a shelter in mind to hide under, or bring gear so you can stand outside and still enjoy everything that’s going on.

 

General Tips

No matter who the artist or what the venue, these suggestions can transfer from one concert to the next ensuring that you get the most out of your summer break.

  1. Arrive well-hydrated, or the heat will do you in. Chew gum to keep your mouth moistened.
  2. Stay with those who brought you. If you are separated, you’ll naturally want to text to communicate, since noise levels are usually above cell-speaking capability.
  3. Always take extra cash for merchandise. Artists receive most of their money from merchandise, so save up to support your favorite band by wearing their shirt.
  4. Don’t just follow your favorite artists on Instagram and Twitter, sign up for their Fan Club. You’ll receive additional notices on upcoming events, receive free merchandise and the ability to purchase the best seats at concerts.
  5. Dance and sing your heart out. Don’t be self-conscious about letting loose, just get with the beat, and boogie!
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