The air is humid. Your skin feels as though it is melting off your body. You’re sweating 24/7 and apply deodorant what seems like hourly. What does this mean? Yeah, it’s summer, but more importantly, it’s concert season! A study from 2015 showed that 32 million people in the U.S. alone attend music festivals each year.
As I’m aware of the fact that Affinity has many young readers, it has come to my attention that many of you are bound to attend one of your first concerts in the following months. So, being the concert junkie I am, I entertained the idea that advice may be helpful for any of you first-timers. Below I have listed some important things to remember when attending a concert, whether it be to enhance your experience or ensure your safety!
Concerts can be chaotic and confusing the first time you attend, so I’ve compiled some advice on what to bring and how to meet the bands you love.
- If there’s one major thing I have learned from my various past concert experiences, it’s that bringing a bag to carry your items in helps tremendously, especially if you’re attending a festival. Important items you want to bring with you to your concert or festival include the following: your tickets, bottled water, money for food and merchandise, sharpies and CDs (for if you think you may be meeting a band you like), a portable phone charger, and maybe even a deck of cards if you plan on getting in line early!
- Now, it is important to keep in mind that many venues are not allowing backpacks anymore as a safety precaution. This being said, if you intend on taking a backpack to your concert or festival, it would be smart to check the venue’s website to make sure they will allow you to take it in. Alternatively, you could always take a purse or drawstring bag to carry your belongings.
- For many first-time concertgoers especially, I know meeting the band you love sounds like an absolute dream. As fun as it may be to meet your favorite band, don’t get too caught up in that idea. After all, they are just normal people at the end of the day, and the best part is the actual concert itself. Don’t be so obsessed with meeting the band that you don’t enjoy the concert! You’re there to have fun!
- This being said, here are some tips on how to meet your favorite band. Now, obviously, many larger bands have meet and greets before their concerts that fans can purchase tickets for. If you already have meet and greet tickets, congrats! You’re all set. If you are attending a not-as-popular artist’s concert or a festival, though, meeting them can be attempted in various ways. Some artists stay after their set and meet people inside the venue or out at their tour buses. The majority of the time, they will tweet if and where they will be meeting people. Opening bands for concerts, as well as bands at festivals, often hold small meet and greets at their merchandise tents. Once again, they usually tweet if this will be happening. And then there’s the best way to meet someone: if you’re at a festival, you might just see them walking around! Never be afraid to go up and say hi. If an artist is ever, and I mean ever rude to you when you meet them, stop being their fan. I’m not kidding about this.
Anyone that has attended a concert in the past knows they can get quite intense. They are rowdy. They are loud. This all adds to the experience, of course, but it is always best to be aware of your surroundings and ensure your own safety. Below I have listed a few safety tips to make you feel at ease during any concert you may attend.
- First, let’s talk about mosh pits. Depending on the size of the concert and band that is performing, there may be a pit. If you have general admission tickets to be in a pit, you will have a wild (but very fun) concert experience. There are a few things to note when you’re planning on being in a pit. If someone falls, pick him or her up. Even at the heavy metal concerts I’ve attended where people are pushing each other around in circle pits, everyone is nice enough to help each other out. It’s the right thing to do, as it ensures others’ safety as well as your own.
- If you’re at a rowdy concert, watch out for crowd surfers in the pit. Broken noses from crowd surfers hitting people in the face with their feet are a lot more common than you’d expect. If you yourself decide to crowd surf, be safe about it and make sure you do it on your back. Otherwise, people’s hands will be all over your body parts “where the sun don’t shine,” and no one wants that.
- Next, make plans for after the concert. If you’re with friends, it’s best to select a post-concert meeting spot in case you lose each other. This is obvious, but NEVER let anyone drive you home drunk. If your concert is at a bar in a seedy part of town, be wary as you leave. It’s best to follow crowds of people and avoid walking alone to your car. If you need to, you can always arrange for an Uber to take you home.
- Lastly, if you see any suspicious activity, report it immediately to the nearest security guard. In this day and age, you can never be too careful.
Remember, the most important rule when attending a concert or festival is a very simple one: have fun! These are memories you’ll look back on fondly for the rest of your life, so live in the moment and enjoy yourself!