I feel like I start every new post with an apology for not being as active as I used to be. I’ve got a lot going on with starting my own business (yes, I really did say my own business), auditions and other stresses that need to take priority for now.
However, next week I’m taking my younger brother, Ethan, to his first ever concert (Ed Sheeran!) so I thought it would be nice to do a sort of Concert Survival Guide for anyone who’s never attended a concert before/ hasn’t been to one in a very long time. So, what do you need to do in order to prepare for a concert? What do you need to take? How do you need to act? Where should you stand? Should you stand or sit if it’s seated? What should you wear? So many questions people ask before going to their first concert, or just concerned about general concert etiquette. I hope this post helps give you a rough answer for all of those questions and that you can create your very own Concert Survival Guide!
Knowledge is power.
Make sure you know what the running times are! Knowledge IS power when it comes to concerts. If you’re travelling via public transport or not, if it’s going to be a HUGE concert, chances are you’ll need to plan ahead.
Sometimes venues (depending on how big the concert is) ask attendees to arrive about 30-60 minutes before the performance begins. This is to ensure the show starts as close to the stated time as possible and for the night to run smoothly for everyone. This is something you receive in an email / confirmation email in regards to the tickets and what the venue expects of you. You’ll also find what items you can and can’t take into the concert in those emails. Usually venues don’t like;
- Big umbrellas
- Big bags
- Food and drink (some allow water bottles if the lid is still sealed and the bottle is unopened)
- Huge signs, posters and banners that can cause other members of the crowd to have a restricted view of the performance
- Professional cameras / video cameras
The list goes on, but it makes sense considering these things will either drag you down whilst you’re trying to enjoy yourself. They can also be damaged, stolen, or lost and the venue won’t have any particular way of finding your items for you. Also, it’s common sense to not take in things that will restrict the view for other people.
Now onto something not many people consider when planning on going to a concert. If you’re driving, roads are sometimes closed off due to vast amounts of people so it’s very likely finding a parking space will be a mission in itself. But be mindful about where you do park as car parks (especially in big cities) can be very pricey and sometimes cost more than the night itself. Know your location, know your budget (hence knowing the running times so you can work out how long you’ll need parking for) – by doing that you’ll know exactly how much you’ll need to spend and where to go before the masses beat you to it!
Public transport is a completely different story. Although I spend 80% of my time on a train, concert evenings can be insane. Some train stations close early (again depending on how big the concert will be) and some dedicate certain entrances for different locations to avoid having thousands of people trampling into the same place trying to get all across the country. It’s worth checking the train times beforehand and if the station/ train company has any other information on their social media. Buses are pretty much the same story, but some buses completely stop certain routes and change pickup times and locations so it’s always worth double checking online beforehand, and checking in with the driver on your way in if you intend to travel back via a bus.
Collect all the relevant information about the evening so you can make the best decisions for your wallet (aka travel expenses) and have the best time without the worry or stress not knowing!
Should I take….?
Don’t take anything you don’t need! Taking unnecessary things to concerts is just not worth it. Chances are the venue/ security won’t allow you to take whatever it is in with you, so there’s just no point brining it along only to have it taken away. Like I said in the point above, you will receive an email or some sort of verification of the things you can and can’t take to the venue. If not, contact the venue themselves to see what’s allowed.
For me, the most important things to take with you to a concert are;
- Your phone (Obviously! You can take a pre and post concert selfie, as well as capture snaps of your favourite artists/ bands AND have contact to family/ friends if anything were to happen)
- A portable phone charger (charge your phone on the go if you’re going to be a good few hours. You’ll regret not taking one once your battery hits 18% and the main act hasn’t even hit the stage yet)
- Cash (Some places charge for using card machines/ to withdraw cash within the venue, so some spare cash can’t do anyone any harm! Buy yourself a programme, a shirt, or even some refreshments. But remember to keep enough change for parking if you drove in!)
- Tickets (Please don’t forget the tickets)
- Yourself (Please don’t forget to bring yourself to the concert)
These are all the things you need to keep yourself safe, and to have a fantastic evening surrounded by likeminded people with some of your favourite artists or bands doing their thing right in front of you..
Should I wear…?
Dudes, wear what you feel is comfortable and cool (as in literally not figuratively aka ‘so cool, man’). Concerts get sweaty and chances are you’ll have some sort of beverage spilled on your shirt. Need I say anymore? Concerts aren’t fashion shows so don’t worry about wearing something fancy or eye-catching, just wear what you think fits the occasion. Also, ladies (and some gents) don’t wear heels unless you’re sat down. Trust me. Heels. Hurt. Like. HELL. Save your feet from that nightmare, wear flats/ comfy shoes.
Most fans prefer to wear the band or artists merchandise from previous tours/ merchandise from different eras of the band/ artist. But don’t feel like you have to wear something relating to the band or artist you’re seeing! Just do you and enjoy yourself. Don’t worry about what you look like, because no one will notice. Everyone will be too busy dancing, singing and enjoying the moment, just like you will be doing.
One of my biggest pet peeves is people (particularly parents allowing their children to do this) STANDING ON CHAIRS!!! Please be mindful and respectful of others behind you. If you’re stood on chairs/ obstructing their view of the performance, you’re ruining their night. They didn’t spend hard-earned money just to see the back of someone’s head and arms flailing around in the air. If you’re a parent and you allow your child to do this…. 1) it’s not safe and 2) what the heck are you doing?! Everyone is there for the same reason, just because you want that perfect picture of Little Mix or Harry Styles, either for yourself or your child/ niece /nephew /sister /brother /mother /father/ aunt /uncle /grandmother etc don’t ruin the fun for others by stopping them watching the show the artist or band worked hard on creating for their fans.
If water is being passed out from the security at the barriers, please pass it to the back. The amount of times people have fainted or felt sick at concerts because water hasn’t been passed back to them is ridiculous. Look out for your fellow comrades and be as helpful as possible. Even if you just tell someone else to pass some water on in a certain direction.
If someone falls, help pick them back up. We’ve all been that person who falls over in front of everyone. If someone around you falls, don’t get angry or mad, help them back up. Chances are they’re hurt (or their pride is hurt) and will appreciate the simple act of kindness.
Under no circumstances should you ever push or shove your way to the front. Not only is it rude for the people already stood there, chances are there are no spaces left at the front so you’ll make things worse by making whatever little space that’s left even smaller. Everyone wants to be as close to the artists and bands they love as possible, but don’t be a brat about it. Also, pushing to the front can cause unwanted arguments and sometimes can put you in danger of being hurt by accident due to the lack of space available.
If you lose your concert buddies or buddy, decide on a meeting point if you guys get separated, before the concert begins. My best friend and I saw One Direction about, 3 years ago and I lost Lisa. It was so scary. I climbed to the barrier to get a better view of the crowd to see where she was and I got punched even though people could see I was trying to find someone. We ended up in the same place (thank God!) and vowed to have a ‘meeting point’ if anything like that were to happen again. So don’t be stupid like I was that night, pick a place to meet if you or your buddies get lost or separated and head there in order for you all to find each other.
Overall, be kind, make friends, create a judgement-free zone and
enjoy yourself. Dance like no one’s watching, sing at the top of your lungs and get as sweaty as you want. It’s a night of music and fun. Make it a night to remember for all the right reasons. But if you do notice something’s wrong or you’ve got a bad vibe about something, tell a member of security / venue staff IMMEDIATELY!! Keeping yourself and others safe is a basic but very important thing to do, especially in places such as concerts.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post and if you’re heading to see Ed Sheeran or any other band or artist anytime soon, have the best time possible! I’ve no doubt you’ll be hearing all about Ethan’s first concert in a few weeks, so we can most definitely share our experiences then! Remember to stay safe and be kind to others and the night is yours. Until then, have an awfully big adventure and a fantastic first concert (or a fantastic concert if it’s not your first!)