Tips for concert-going

I recently wrote a letter to my school’s newspaper in response to a fellow student’s article, “A Freshman’s View: Summer concert ticket worth the high price,” from Volume 80/Issue XXI of the Rider News. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing an article related to music in my school’s newspaper– specifically, an article about summer concerts, which is appropriate considering we are approaching the start of summer vacation in a few short weeks. Articles of these kind are a welcomed change from the articles that have been published as of late, mostly relating to school events and budget cuts. The student made some great points in her article, which discussed the cost of attending summer concert festivals along with her opinions and plans for attending concerts over the summer. After reading, I wanted to elaborate on a few important things that concert-goers should keep in mind.

As a frequent concert goer, I can’t tell how many times I’ve been disappointed when I went to a concert, eager to see one of my favorite bands that was listed on the bill, only to find out that they were not playing on that particular date. While The Vans Warped Tour may advertise that there are 30+ bands scheduled to play, the reality is that only 20 bands or so might be there on any given date. Concert-goes planning on attending this year’s Warped Tour, Bamboozle Festival, or any other festival should make sure to check the concert website first and look at the lineup for that particular date. Basic lineups, listing what bands should be there on that day, are often posted ahead of time and set times can be secured often on the day of the show or a few days in advance.

Concert-goes should also do themselves a favor and do some research about the festivals they are looking to attend because it is important to know what to expect before attending the show. Needless to say, if you have been to jazz concerts, but have never been to a punk-rock concert, the experience is going to be very different. Message boards and other websites have countless concert reviews, often posted by fans, that are very useful. If you go to the concert not knowing that a certain band has a reputation for wild crowds and “mosh pits,” don’t be surprised or angry at people around you when you unknowingly find yourself in the middle of a situation you aren’t comfortable being in. Instead, go informed. Know that you want to stay in the back or on the sides away from the potential “mosh pit” area- or jump in the pit and have fun when that band takes the stage. The choice is yours.

Finally, it’s not a bad idea to check out Craigslist, message boards, and other online marketplaces and communities for event tickets. Ticketmaster often has extra fees that they like to tack on ticket prices, driving up the cost of tickets and making them at times unaffordable. Don’t miss out on seeing your favorite band because of extra fees and high ticket prices! While a certain amount of common sense should be used to weed out some of the junk posts on Craiglist that could be counterfeit, I have found that dealing directly with fans who have extra tickets to sell has only been a positive experience. Believe it or not, most fans aren’t out to get the best of fellow fans by “scalping” tickets; most of the time, they simply want to sell their extra tickets and get some of their money back.

If you decide to go to any concerts this summer, I hope you keep some of these suggestions in mind from a “seasoned” concert-goer. Most importantly, though, I hope you have fun and be safe!