It’s no secret that I go to a lot of concerts. And, I know a lot of my readers are concert-going “veterans” like me.
But, there is also a big group of people out there that don’t go to concerts every week. They may only go a couple of times a year – at most. For those of you that aren’t “live music junkies” like me, I’ve pulled together my Top 10 list of “do’s and don’ts” while attending a concert.
Keep reading to find out what they are. And for those of you that are already pros, feel free to share this with your non-concert going friends!
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#1 – DON’T BE THE LOUD TALKER!
This is probably my number one pet peeve. Don’t talk during the concert!
It’s fine to share a few quick comments with the person next to you from time to time. But, don’t carry on an entire conversation during the show at top volume.
I understand that for some people it’s tough to get a night out, but going to a concert is not the place to catch up with your friend or spouse. Go to a bar and have your conversation. It’s much cheaper!
Tip #1: I wear earplugs during shows so that I don’t lose my hearing. But, I’ve found an added benefit of the ones I wear – Vibes – is that they also cut down on the background noise, so I don’t hear people talking around me as much.
#2 – DO LOOK FOR CHEAPER PARKING OPTIONS
Going to concerts is expensive, and one of the most expensive things about it can be parking. If you are going to a show at a Live Nation venue, Live Nation usually buys all the parking lots around the venue as well. Then they either try to sell you parking as an add-on with your ticket, or just charge you a ridiculous amount when you get there.
Some venues are located where you have no other options, but if you are willing to walk a little further, you may find cheaper parking just a few minutes away. Look for private lots or on-street parking.
Tip #2: Many people Uber or Lyft to concerts to save on parking. While this might work well going to the show, beware leaving the show. The cost for Uber and Lyft is based on demand. When demand is high after a show, the price for a ride can skyrocket. To save costs, either wait around for prices to come down, or walk a couple of miles away to a less popular pick up point.
#3 – DON’T BE THAT PHONE GUY OR GIRL
I take pictures and video during shows. I have to for my blog. I know it annoys some people when they see everyone with their phones out. Well, they need to get over it. Everyone’s concert experience is their own, and if you want the memories then go for it.
But, please have proper phone etiquette. Don’t hold your phone over your head. Also, turn off the flash! It won’t help you get a better picture or video, and it is annoying to others around you.
Tip #3: When I take pictures or video, I try and hold my phone at nose level. That way, no one around me has to watch the show through my screen, and I don’t either!
#4 – DO EXPLORE YOUR TICKET OPTIONS
I used to be that person that bought tickets the minute they went on sale – no matter the show. When certain shows didn’t sell well and venues started discounting tickets, or tickets started popping up on third-party sites, I’d kick myself for paying full price.
This year I’ve taken the attitude of playing the “wait and see” game for shows that I’d like to see, but don’t have to see. I’ve managed to grab some good deals for a few shows. It doesn’t always work out, but it’s a great way to save money.
Tip #4: The key to ticket buying for a lot of shows is patience. Don’t panic if tickets sell out. And whatever you do, don’t pay for the “premium” tickets on Ticketmaster. They want you to panic when everything else is gone and pay those ridiculous prices. Wait it out. You’ll be happy you did!
#5 – DON’T BE A SET LIST HATER
My pastor does a children’s sermon every week, and a lot of times he passes stuff out to the kids after the sermon. His favorite phrase is “you get what you get and don’t get upset”. This is what everyone should say to themselves when they aren’t happy with a set list.
I don’t believe any artist intentionally puts together a set list that they think the crowd will hate. They pay their bills with your ticket money, so why would they do that? But, sometimes they get it wrong IN YOUR OPINION!
I recently went to a Snow Patrol show. As we were walking out of the venue, we asked the guy walking next to us how he liked the show. His response – “they cut “Shut Your Eyes” and played that dumb song instead”. The dumb song was called “Dark Roman Wine” and when lead singer Gary Lightbody introduced it, he said fans often requested it and they rarely play it. Lightbody thought it was a special treat for the crowd. Our new friend thought it was “dumb”.
Tip #5: Want a set list? I seem to have a knack for snagging them after the show. Want to know my secret? Comment below or e-mail me and maybe I’ll share it!
#6 – DO CUT YOUR COSTS WHEN INSIDE
As I mentioned above, concerts are expensive. And one of the biggest costs is buying food and drinks inside.
We almost always grab dinner before the show. We also tailgate a lot, which is another great way to eat and drink cheap before you go in.
Tip #6: Water is also expensive inside. Many venues let you bring in either a sealed bottle or an empty water bottle that you can fill once inside. Do it! No need to pay for expensive bottled water once inside. Always check directly with the venue on their rules.
#7 – DON’T SHOUT OUT SONG REQUESTS
Guess what? Unless you are at a show where the artists asks the audience for requests, THEY AREN’T GOING TO PLAY REQUESTS! The set list is set – hence the name.
All shouting out requests does is annoy the people around you and the artist. If you didn’t get the song you wanted, play it in the car on the way home.
Tip #7: Also, yelling “I love you [fill in the artist name]” is annoying. Yes, we all love the artist. We wouldn’t be there if we didn’t. But there is no need to yell about it throughout the show.
#8 – DO HAVE FUN, BUT NOT TOO MUCH FUN
Concerts should be fun. And for some people, that means having a few adult beverages before or during the show. However, don’t ruin your concert experience by drinking too much in the parking lot.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people pass out in their seats, or just not even make it into the show because they drank too much beforehand.
Not only is it a waste of money on your part, but you could be disturbing everyone around you. We went to a Dave Matthews Band show in Camden a few years ago. The woman a couple seats down had too much to drink and was vomiting in her seat. Security came over to escort her out, but her friends insisted that she was fine and could stay. So, for the next several songs, I had security standing next to me with a flashlight shining in my eyes, arguing with the group that their friend had to leave. Just go already!
Tip #8: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. If you are drinking in the parking lot on a hot summer day, alternate between alcohol and water. If you stay hydrated, you are less likely to have issues later.
#9 – DON’T CARRY A BIG PURSE OR BAG INSIDE
Heightened security is today’s reality. The venues have to run everyone through metal detectors and check every bag. It’s for everyone’s safety, but it does make the process of getting inside cumbersome.
I never carry a purse or bag inside a show. The only things I need inside are my earplugs, ID, money and credit cards, and my phone. It all goes in my pockets.
Tip #9: If you have to carry a bag, consider something very small. Leave the huge purse at home. If you need a larger bag, get a clear one so that it can be easily inspected when you enter.
#10 – DO BUY THE TICKETS!
One of the hashtags that I use all the time is #justbuythetickets. I have been lucky enough to have some amazing live music experiences. I saw Temple of The Dog on their reunion tour shortly before Chris Cornell died. Many years ago, I saw Prince in a tiny club in Vegas during his residency there.
The reason I go to so many concerts, is that I love the feeling I get when I’m there. Seeing your favorite band play a song that you love is an experience like no other. Sure, the tickets can be expensive, but there are some things in life that are priceless!
Tip #10: When you are at a concert, you do you! If you want to dance and sing, go for it. If you want to sit in your seat, close your eyes, and just take in the music – do it! Don’t let anyone around you dictate your live music experience to you.
I hope you enjoyed this list and it helps you enjoy your next live music experience even more. I’ll see you at the next show!
Are you a live music junkie too? Do you have more tips for our readers? Share them! Please comment below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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