In my twenty years on this planet, I’ve seen over one hundred bands and musical artists live. I’ve been to many concerts and music festivals and there isn’t much that I enjoy more than a good performance. The majority of my friends were met at concerts and shows, and we often band together to travel when our favorite acts tour. Here’s a glimpse into the always-hectic, always-edgy schedule a concert goer follows:
AT LEAST ONE MONTH BEFORE THE CONCERT:
I always buy my tickets for a concert the minute they go on sale, after much excited squealing and checking my finances. When the tickets go on sale in relation to the actual event date depends on the band or artist: some low-key, unknown bands may sell tickets a few weeks before the show, while world-famous artists like One Direction have sold tickets for tours that were scheduled to take place one-and-a-half years after the initial ticket sales. I personally fear that every show I want to go to will sell out in the first hour, big band or small indie artist, so I’m pretty stern about buying my tickets as early as possible. If I can’t be online at the time the tickets are released (due to work or another commitment), I will go through my entire contacts list in my phone and ask someone to grab a ticket for me. It usually works out in my favor.
RIGHT AFTER ACQUIRING THE TICKETS:
I scream. I shout. I praise God and Jesus and every other deity in existence. I do a little dance. I thank the stars in the sky and the planets for aligning in such a way that would make me lucky enough to nab these precious concert tickets, and then I calm down, print them out, and tweet every other fan I know excited questions such as “OH MY GOD, DID YOU GET TICKETS TOO?!?!?” We then form a small e-clique of people who are attending the same show and revel in our happiness.
THREE WEEKS BEFORE THE CONCERT:
It’s time for logistics planning. I look up bus and train schedules, subway maps (about ninety percent of the shows I attend are in New York City), and map directions if driving is the only possible method of travel. Another big help with transportation planning is using the buddy system: I often band together with friends so nobody travels alone, as getting lost with friends is nowhere near as terrifying as getting lost all by yourself. Travel planning may seem like a last-minute necessity to most, but I always try to get it out of the way early enough so that, in case you discover you actually can’t get to the show, you have enough time to sell your tickets to someone else who can go.
TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE CONCERT:
As frivolous as it may be, this is the most important part of concert preparation: outfit planning. I like to dress well for what I call “relaxing shows:” shows where I’m just showing up to support bands I’ve seen countless times before, where I am in the back of the crowd chatting with friends and not concerned with the rough-and-tough pit in the middle of a sea of people, where I can stand and let the music do the talking. For the times I want to be in the crowd, like at Thirty Seconds to Mars or Green Day or other rock bands, I throw fashion out the window. A crowd of thousands of people is guaranteed to get sweaty and hot, so my go-to outfit is a tank top, jean shorts, comfortable shoes and the tiniest cross-body bag I own to store my cell phone and driver’s license in.
THE NIGHT BEFORE THE CONCERT:
I have to solidify and double-check everything. If something can go wrong, it will. I make multiple back-up plans and multiple travel routes if necessary in order to counter any and every emergency or roadblock. I get in touch with my travel buddies to confirm meet-up times and places. And, of course, I have to make sure I definitely placed my tickets in the correct purse or pants pocket.
THE DAY OF THE CONCERT:
It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here! I usually get up three to four hours before I have to leave in order to give myself enough time to shower, fix my hair, do my make-up, get dressed and generally make myself presentable. My friends and I convene at the agreed meeting spot and head to the venue, or if I am traveling alone I simply make my own way and find friends already in line at the venue. On very rare occasions do I line up hours and hours early to a concert (not since my Tokio Hotel days).
AFTER THE CONCERT IS OVER:
Wow, what a night. My post-show routine varies depending on the band: if I’m at a semi-well known band’s concert, I usually find the members after their set to take pictures and congratulate them on a job well done. My favorite part of the entire concert experience is meeting the band members afterward and telling them how much I love and support them. If I’m at a large-scale concert, I refrain from tracking down the band members unless I have some sort of guaranteed meet-and-greet after the show. When the night is done, I travel home with ringing ears and a big smile. This is what I love.
Do you love concerts? Which musicians have you seen live? Share with us in the comments!
Written by Nikki Mancuso