A concert is the one experience where a group of strangers can come together in one room to bond over their shared love for a specific type of music. Eardrums turn numb for a few hours as the bass and drums blare through giant speakers as everyone sings and dances like no one is watching. It's a place where people can immerse themselves in the songs they listen to on their own everyday, and to hear it playing live right before their eyes is something almost unbelievable to live out in real life.
Alright, so I may be a bit overdramatic in my description, but going to a concert is a pretty fun time no matter what. To make sure you have the best experience regardless, though, here are some hacks from a concert expertise herself who thinks investing in the little things beforehand will make a great time an even better one. Once you get these tricks up your sleeve, you'll really be ready to rock out and have a blast like you've never had- and before you know it, you'll be a pro yourself!
1. Choose and lay out your outfit the night before.
It is always more beneficial to be prepared well in advance in the long run, especially if you plan to look fabulous for a fun night out. Instead of trying to pick out a last-minute look or searching for that one specific top that decides to get lost in that very moment, plan your outfit at least one day in advance and lay out everything a good while before you start getting ready. You'll be thankful you did it, especially if you wind up running late (or you just take a long time to get ready such as yours truly).
2. Check out the facts before heading into the venue.
It's easy to just get lost in the hype of a concert, but there are so many logistical things to check up on to make sure you actually get into the venue promptly and smoothly. Whichever venue you're attending, make sure you head to their website and look up when the doors open for entrance, where the parking or Uber/Lyft zones are and even their policies on bag sizes and cameras. These small details differ only by a little for every venue, but it's better to know these things well in advance so you don't have to face an issue later on.
3. Clear bags are the way to go.
In today's world where security proves to be a big fear at concerts and theme parks, there also exists the genius invention of clear bags. From backpacks and crossbody bags to totes and fanny packs, you can make your time going through security a whole lot easier by purchasing your preferred bag choice in clear and using that as your go-to concert bag. Not only do you not have to worry about the bag matching your outfit, but security just takes one look at your bag without the hassle of flashlights and opening it up and it cuts your time through the line to mere seconds. It truly is a win-win!
4. Make a timetable plan of how you're getting to and from the venue.
It's obvious that you're going to have to figure out how you will get to and from the concert, but sometimes it may require more work than you think. If you or your concert buddy isn't driving, you'll have to make sure your ride share app is up-to-date and has a working card on it as well as making sure where the drop-off and pick-up zones are at the venue (a la Tip #2). Especially if you choose to go via public transportation, you need to check the schedules and make sure you're on time with everything.
5. Look up a setlist before the concert actually starts.
In the fast-pace world that seems to revolve around the internet, it's no surprise that people post the setlist for every show date of a concert. If you're really into the artist you're going to see, look up their setlist to see when your favorite songs come on so you know when to start recording as well as to help keep track of your phone battery. Come to think of it, how did our parents do it back in the day?
6. Invest in a *good* portable charger.
Speaking of phone battery, you may not have to worry about that after all if you invest in a good portable charger. There are really good kinds out there now, and not only do the good ones have up to six full charges on them but they also are such a good investment. This is a must-have for a concert lover when you're trying to take all the videos you can get, and especially since the night of a concert is usually a long one, you're going to need your phone awake throughout the whole night.
7. Bringing more money is better than not bringing enough.
It's no secret that concert merch is unnecessarily expensive, not to mention the food that's served at the venues. Between getting a t-shirt, gas or a roundtrip train/bus ticket and even a water bottle to quench your thirst, you're guaranteed to spend at least $50 in one night. That sounds like a lot of money for most (and this doesn't even include the concert ticket itself), so it's best to whip out your emergency money and any spare change you can find and bring as much as you can just in case; it's better to be safe than sorry.
8. Screenshot your virtual ticket... just in case.
Most concert tickets are on an app or phone these days, but what if the app can't be accessed once you get inside the venue? Technology is never 100% reliable (especially when you're not on wi-fi), so I suggest taking a screenshot of your ticket's barcode before you leave home. I have never had my Ticketmaster app freak out on me before, but it's best to have a backup plan than to not be able to get in on tickets you spent a good chunk of money on.
9. Eat something substantial before you go to the venue.
If you're like me and absolutely love your food and need to eat at least three times throughout the day everyday, then you're taking advice from the right gal. You don't want to get to the concert you've been counting down for and have your stomach start growling immediately; whether you pack a protein bar in your clear bag or stuff half a sandwich in your mouth before you leave home, you aren't going to be leaving to have fun on an empty stomach. Don't make hangriness become a possibility on a night you want to have the absolute best time.
10. Know what your comfortability level is.
This is a pretty vague tip to include on here, but it's something that should be given at least some attention. Of course you want to have the best time ever at any concert, but you have to make sure you do everything you can to make yourself comfortable in order to have that much of a good time. This can include the tiniest details like making sure your hairstyle for the night keeps the hair out of your face all night to wearing the right shoes to walk and dance in or even making sure you're always with a buddy because you're afraid of getting lost in a crowd. No aspect is too small, and the little things count when you're trying to have a carefree time.
11. Always stay alert.
This is probably the most important tip on this list. "See something, say something" is a slogan we've all been hearing for nearly twenty years and one of the biggest thing it directs itself towards is big events such as concerts. In today's world where anything can happen at any moment, keeping your eyes and ears open has to be a part of a night where you just want to not worry about anything. Always make sure you stay close with whoever you attend the concert with and decide on a meeting spot if you guys ever do split up during the night. Making sure your Uber/Lyft/train/bus is your correct one is also a big part of the deal, so please choose to be responsible so you can really enjoy your night.
12. Remember to live in the moment!
Even with taking the safety precautions and preparations into consideration, they both shouldn't blind you from remembering that you have to make sure you're enjoying yourself all the while. Concerts are one of my most favorite experiences to live out, and even with my phone in my hand half the night, I make sure to put it away so I can live in the moment and just have a blast. Nothing beats an experience like live music, and once you add your friends or family being with you and a whole crowd of people singing and dancing along to songs you've been listening to for just as long into the mix, is just magical.