How to Attend a Concert
Many people choose to attend concerts to hear their favorite bands. Follow these tips, and avoid the annoying (and even dangerous) mistakes many concert-goers make.
Watching for the Band's Upcoming Events
1. Begin by signing up for online newsletters and Facebook pages of bands which you would like to see in concert as well as local venues. This will ensure that you are quick to find out about the latest 'gigs' in time to buy tickets. Not all shows are advertised on the radio or paper.
Some ticket and tour sites allow you to sign up for cell updates whenever your favorite artists add new dates in your area.
2. Visit their websites often to see new dates or itinerary changes.
3. Look for the ticket release dates. When you hear about a concert you're interested in, check ticket availability. Many popular concerts may sell out before you get a chance to buy your tickets.
Don't assume it is sold out until you are told so by the venue
Talk to people with similar music interests as you. They are likely to know about upcoming shows.
Venues often release "hold" tickets a day or two before the show. These are tickets the band or promoter has "held back" and must be offered for sale if not used. Keep checking back.
Bands that are growing in popularity may still be playing smaller venues. Although this is a great time to see them you should plan on getting your tickets early as possible.
Getting Tickets for the Concert
1. Encourage friends to come along. This will increase your safety and make for an altogether more enjoyable experience.
Start asking around when you hear about the show.
Coordinate who will buy the tickets since buying them individually will mean you sit apart. (Unless it is a general admission show.)
Keep in contact with your friends after you've decided to go. Make sure no one changes their minds or makes other plans and you buy a ticket for them.
2. Book your tickets from a reliable company. Either go through the venue website, the band website, an authorized ticket website or authorized ticket site, such as the box office. Compare prices between websites to confirm you are getting your tickets at a reasonable price.
Booking online or in person will offer you the same chance for good tickets. Spending the night outside the venue no longer offers the opportunities for good seats, unless general admission for this venue means standing room close to the stage. In this case, the earlier you get to the venue the higher the likelihood that you will be front and center.
Find out the date and time tickets go on sale and try to book at that time.
Online sites may offer bad seats for your first search. Unless the show is a guaranteed sell out you can usually refresh the search a few times and find better tickets.
If your under 18, have a parent or adult guardian purchase the tickets for you, this doesn't have to mean they spend their money, you can pay them back.
Buying smaller numbers of tickets will usually result in better seats. Trying to buy 10 tickets at once will probably have nosebleed seats.
Purchases online require a credit card. Box office purchases can usually use cash or credit.
3. Select the method of delivery that works best for your timetable and situation.
You can avoid some fees by getting an e-ticket that you can print. These are easy to duplicate and since you don't know if it's valid until it is scanned people may shy away from buying your ticket should you need to sell.
Most venues offer "Will Call" service. This is when you buy your ticket and have it waiting for you at the venue for pick up.
Will Call will require you show a driver's license and the credit card used to buy the tickets.
Most require the names match on the credit card, the driver's license and the name the tickets are being held.
You should avoid waiting until the day of the show to pick up your will call tickets. Lines will be long and you won't have time to correct a mistake (such as your tickets not being there but your card was charged).
Picking up your tickets from Will Call ahead of time also gives you an option should an emergency happen and you must sell your tickets on short notice. Since the buyer can't pick up your tickets from will call.
The Will Call window is usually open during the box office's regular business hours and extended hours the day of the show.
Smaller venues may have later hours and not offer Will Call service. Call and ask before you assume.
4. Avoid auctions unless you are willing to risk counterfeit tickets or paying high prices plus shipping.
Preparing for Going to the Concert
1. Check the weather forecast. Most concerts are outside and it won't be fun if you don't come prepared and it is raining while you didn't bring a raincoat. Listen to the radio, watch the weather forecast on TV or even check the internet.
2. Have an early night. Having an early night means that you won't look awful and that means you will be able to enjoy the concert without falling asleep in the middle of the concert. Sleep is very important so it would be ideal if you have 8 to 10 hours of sleep.
3. Call your friends. Check that everyone is coming and no one has anything to do that day or that they are ill. This means that you and your friends can sort out how much money they need to bring and that they know what transport you are getting to the concert e.g train, bus, car. If A teacher and students are coming with you, pick your best friend to stay with when the teacher is unavailable.
4. Determine the start time of the show by checking your ticket. The venue website can also update you of changes.
Some bands actually go on stage at the time indicated on the ticket. There might be opening acts before the main artist performs, but don't arrive too late.
Country bands, adult contemporary artist and more family oriented events will start closer to the ticket time or at the ticket time.
5. Coordinate your departure time allowing for traffic.
Some concerts and bands have a fan base which likes to tailgate (huge parking lot party) before the show. The venue can tell you if this is expected for the show you are attending. These festivities can start in the morning and go until show time. Plan to leave early, take food, beverage, toilet paper and a change of clothes. Don't leave your belongings unattended or your car unlocked.
6. Coordinate supplies or items you will need in advance. Make a schedule and share it with anyone attending with you.
Plan your wardrobe ahead of time.
Withdraw a reasonable amount of cash from the ATM.
Pack your tickets, ID, money, cell phone, camera (if allowed), parking passes or any other confirmations.
Try to eat before you leave since food at concert venues is usually poor quality or very expensive.
7. Carpool or "caravan". Once you have your tickets, you may be surprised by the number of people going who you know. Usually, the larger the group the better, and this cuts down on parking fees, gas, etc.
Arrange a neutral meeting place, perhaps someone's house with adequate parking and centrally located.
Determine a mutually agreeable time to meet for the carpool. Habitually late friends should be told an earlier time.
Larger cities offer mass transit to the venue. Leave early enough to avoid the rush just before show time.
8. Dress appropriately for the weather but assume the interior of the venue will become quite warm. Dress in layers and consider a light jacket if it's cold. If you are attending at an outdoor venue then consider the weather in advance. The chances are that you will be standing around for a great deal of time waiting for something to happen.
Avoid wearing high heels or sandals. These will feel very uncomfortable as you are standing up for most of the day. High heels will give you a risk you having a twisted ankle. Sandals won't give you a broken ankle but you will still feel uncomfortable or have your toes trodden on. Trainers or sneakers are the best to wear for the concert.
If you bring a jumper or coat these should be stored in the cloakroom facility as it is too hot to wear.
If you are female, try not to wear anything that might get sexual attention if you don't want it, it's honestly not your fault if you do, just a extremely handy tip.
Avoid wearing too much makeup. This won't look great if you are crying or sweating. Sometimes the place of concert can get very hot. If possible don't wear it at all. If you don't feel comfortable without it, then just wear waterproof products and use a little bit.
Not all venues have coat checks and the ones that do may be very busy before an after the show. It's best you bring something manageable.
9. Be ready for some searching and frisk. Assume your bag will be searched upon entering the venue. Some bands and venues also have attendees patted down or frisked for weapons or prohibited items. They will have women pat down women and men for checking other men. Listen to instructions on the way in and the process should only take a few seconds.
Hide your camera if you forgot to leave it in the car.
Try to carry a bag that is easy to manage while at the show. The less you carry, the better.
Bags should be worn over your head or easily fit between feet on the floor. The best bags close completely to avoid being picked as you walk through the crowd.
10. Keep your ticket on your person at all times. Should you leave your seat for any reason you may be asked to show your ticket to return. You also may be subject to ticket searches once you have already been seated.
If you often leave your seats to mosh, dance, cruise the crowd, etc., store your items in pockets or with a friend and leave your bag at home.
11. Leave your food and beverage at home. You will not be admitted with it and thrown out if you are caught with it.
12. Know what's not permitted. Some larger, international bands have started prohibiting phones in concerts because of the video and camera options. Check with the venue or artist sites for any drastic bans on items.
Smoking is prohibited in most venues. Some offer exterior or smoking areas. Be considerate and observe the rules regardless of the behavior of those around you.
The Morning of the Concert
1. Charge your phone. This is important if there is an emergency or if you and your friends get split up. Use the phone to call each other.
2. Have a nice refreshing shower. Use your usual toiletries.
3. Pack the essentials. Bring a small bag if possible. If you have a big bag it can get in people's way and it can weigh you down if you are in the standing area or waiting for the gates to open. All you need is money, phone, a snack, your travel card and the tickets.
4. Eat breakfast. You will be going to the concert until late at night and it is good to eat something.
The concert will last until late at night and having food in your stomach means that you won't be likely to feel sick in the middle of the concert. Food at the venue is really expensive so it is ideal you go somewhere to get something to eat.
Enjoying the Concert
1. Observe the instructions of security and staff at the venue. Notify them of anyone doing anything dangerous, improper or illegal.
2. Take pictures if cameras are allowed. If they aren't allowed you should use common sense and discretion before attempting to take photographs.
They may ask you to stop, confiscate your property or detain you for a portion of the show.
You may be able to plead ignorance once but don't abuse the warning. Apologize, put your camera away and don't let them see it again. Most security or staff would prefer to warn you than throw you out but don't push your luck by ignoring the warning.
Video is usually more frowned upon than pictures and bring about swifter actions by the staff.
Photos taken with camera phones are still photos. They may confiscate your phone.
If you are able to get it back that night, it may be damaged, missing the sim card, in a box with 20 other phones that look just like yours and not available until an hour or more after the show.
3. Determine if there is an opening act. Many people enjoy them, it gives you more bang for your money and it is a great way to see up and coming artists. Although sometimes these are smaller bands they are usually a style of music which compliments the headliner. If you are not interested, now would be a good time to locate your friends.
4. Arrive early and purchase a beverage, snacks or band merchandise from the merchandise tables.
Buying early gives you the best selection of band merchandise for sale.
5. Stay hydrated. If you get dehydrated, you are likely to faint or feel dizzy. Drink water now and then. Keep a water bottle with you if you need it.
6. Get your gear in time. Merchandise tables, beer and wine sales, concession stands often close before the show ends. Don't assume you will get it on the way out. It may not be available.
Plan to arrive early to buy merchandise, especially if a coat check or cloak room is offered. If you buy a t-shirt place it inside a jacket pocket to save having to pay for two cloakroom passes.
7. Enjoy the show. Many people leave early or before the final encore and the house lights go up. Feel free to stay and enjoy the show. You may even be able to slip into a now vacant seat for the finale.
You came to the concert to have fun, so be sure to enjoy the music. Make sure that you take lots of photos at the concert, so that you can look back on it in the future!
After the Concert
1. Collect your cloakroom items, any items you purchased and proceed outside following the show.
2. Pre-designate a meeting place away from the crowds to find your friends and transport.
3. Proceed from the parking area carefully. Many municipalities alter traffic patterns and have traffic officers coordinating the departing traffic.