I know concerts are one of my favourite places on earth – you’re surrounded by people who enjoy the same music as you, watching an artist perform their songs, being able to forget about reality for a few hours. And with the number of tours being announced, it’s important to know exactly what you need to ensure the most seamless, enjoyable time. These are my top tips for going to a gig, from someone who’s been to a lot.
- Invest in a bum bug if you frequent enough gigs – these are lifesavers. They’re incredibly lightweight and can hold your phone, tickets, wallet, smokes… You don’t have anything over your shoulders, taking up more space than necessary, and it’s not as hot as a bag on your back. They’re also kind of in fashion now, so you may as well give it a go.
- Wear runners – trust me. It might be tempting to wear some cute shoes to go with your outfit, but when push comes to shove, and shit hits the fan, you need to be able to be more mobile and agile. I find that runners don’t weigh me down and are comfortable. You never know when you’re going to have the opportunity to crowd surf and the last thing anyone wants is to be kicked in the head by a crowd surfer wearing boots.
- Adding onto runners – buy some inserts/insoles. These are little gel things that go in your shoe. If you’re like me and prone to shin aches or foot cramps if standing for too long, an insert changes your life. They help support your heel and arch. I highly recommend them if you queue often, or are at barricade frequently.
- Dress appropriately – I guarantee you, that cute outfit that you planned is not going to look nearly as cute at the end of the show. So, you may as well be comfortable. If you’re standing, dress a little on the hotter side, meaning wear shorts or tank tops if possible. And only bring one layer – you’re not going to want to hold onto more than one jacket or coat, because good luck with coat-check. Standing will get hot – there’s a bunch of bodies pressed up against each other that will be dancing, jumping, and moving. It will get sweaty. It’s not glamorous, and neither will you be at the end of it.
- If you’re not like me, go have a filling meal before – because chances are, you’re going to be in the venue for about four or five hours, and the food at arenas and stadiums is garbage and expensive and you may have an overpriced drink or two, and if you’re just at a regular gig in a bar or some other venue, there won’t be any food. The best thing is to load up before the gig. You’ll save time and money inside the venue.
- Bring a little snack – I know this sounds like a mom-thing, but I’m always too excited to eat the day of a gig, but when the excitement has dwindled, and I’m sitting in a queue or close to the stage, I inevitably get hungry. The little Kellogg’s snack bars or bar peanuts are great to tie over the hunger, without feeling like you’ll explode from food.
- Bring deodorant – A travel-size bottle of antiperspirant will go a long way. Stick it in the bum bag and keep it in case of emergencies. You will thank yourself because you won’t stink on your way out, and sometimes, if people around you notice they’re getting a bit gross, they may ask you for it if they see it. This is a double win.
- Try and peak at the setlist beforehand (you can do so online) – I know some people hate doing this, but I do this to get a better gauge of how long the band’s set will be and what time I’ll probably be leaving the venue. This allows me to plot ahead of time, what buses I can catch, and whether or not I need a taxi. A quick exit plan gets me away and out of the venue before the real chaos ensues, which are the drunk loiterers outside and the venue’s security. There’s also less disappointment at the end of a band’s gig if you know they weren’t going to play a song, rather than getting to the gig and thinking, ‘Well damn, that sucks.’
- Merch queues – now this is a tricky little situation. If you go to the merch stand as soon as the doors open, you may not have a great spot in standing. If you go at the end of the night, the items you want may be sold out. So, I recommend that if you’re with a friend, you send one of you to the merch stand, and one of you holds your spot in the crowd. This can be a bit more difficult depending on the size of the show, how many people are in standing, and how nice the people at the show are, but sometimes, if the merch is fire, it’s a risk worth taking.
- Lastly, eliminate anything that may stress you out – turn off your phone or notifications, especially if your mom is triple texting you, trying to ask you about the show but you’re too busy fighting for your life in standing. Those problems are for tomorrow. No big bags, high heels, or using your phone too much so your battery isn’t nearly dead by the end of the show and you still have to get home.
And of course, enjoy yourself. Live music has been something we’ve all been deprived of over the last few years. Artists have been releasing some amazing music, and it’s fantastic to watch them live. So, do it, buy those concert tickets. Money always comes back, but memories, are forever. 😉