Method to the Madness

Cullen Lowder

The do’s and don’ts of a good concert experience

Standing with your group of friends in the crowd, you pinch your legs as hard as you can to avoid peeing yourself. Sweat drips down the back of your neck, a group of people squeeze through the crowd next to you and you begin to wonder, why didn’t I go to the bathroom before? You scan the horizon for the Porta Potties. All of a sudden, the DJ calls for a rally and divides the sea of people down the middle. You find yourself caught in a violent, sweaty mosh pit. Stumbling away from the horde of people, you rush to empty your over-full bladder. After standing in the line for 20 painful and uncomfortable minutes, you suddenly comprehend that you just lost all of your friends. Not to mention you also just missed a surprise appearance from another famous artist.

Most people have been to a few concerts at some point in time. Out of those concerts, everyone has a favorite, whether that’s due to the venue, the performer, the weather or the size of the crowd.

Concerts come in all shapes and sizes, and each concert can be enjoyed provided you follow a few guidelines and plan before you go. First off, you should know what you’re getting yourself into. The music genre will drive what the atmosphere and crowds are like. For instance, a smooth jazz concert won’t have the most energetic crowd; however, a Slipknot concert will have violent mosh pits and people bouncing everywhere.

Crowd positioning changes from person to person. You could stand at the back doing your own thing at a concert and enjoy the gig just as much as anyone that stands further towards the front. Some people like the extra space that being in the back of a concert allows, while others get a rush from being only 15 yards away from stage. One effective strategy is to test the waters to see what you prefer.

Arriving at a concert on time is absolutely crucial. In most large venues, such as festivals, arriving hours early to get a front row spot and waiting for a certain artist to play is definitely worth it. By being close to the front, you are able to take advantage of the sound system and lights. However, if you arrive too late, it is inconvenient for you as well as everyone around you to try to wiggle through the crowd to get a closer spot. Nobody likes the sweaty person stepping on their toes trying to get to the front.

Drugs need to be absolutely avoided at all costs, especially at concerts. Concert settings are notorious for attracting people who take various drugs to enhance the experience. Drug use at concerts can lead to a variety of unfortunate events that include confrontation with police, users, bystanders or event staff.

Knowing your setting will let you know how to prepare appropriately. Wearing stilettos to a vast, all-day festival where you are forced to walk around might not be the best idea. An example of a proper electronic dance music or Rave wardrobe usually consists of tennis shoes (for constant movement like running or jumping), shorts/t-shirt (to avoid getting hot during the concert) and a fanny pack (great for storing personal belongings like a wallet or phone). In the country genre, people like to wear jeans, boots and cowboy hats to relate to the style of clothing worn by famous country artists. Dress accordingly for weather as well. Jeans and a sweatshirt might not be the most suitable option for a hot, summer concert. Backpacks are nice to keep personal belongings in, but some venues do not permit bags. Wearing something small, like a fanny pack, allows you to be able to store your items with the advantage of not having to lug around a bag.

A lot of people don’t enjoy concerts simply because they’ve had bad experiences at them. Always keep in mind you are there because, usually, you wanted to be there.Yes, it maybe be hot outside or the grass may turn into a mud pit, but never forget the good side of the scenario. By having a positive outlook towards the experience, you will be able to get so much more out of it and enjoy it. This idea in combination with the previous tips listed will leave you with unforgettable memories.

“My favorite concert of all time would have to be seeing The Script in Dallas at the Lady Ballroom,” physics teacher Ashley Favaron said. “It was my boyfriend’s birthday, and the atmosphere provided by the crowd and stage made the performance amazing.”

“The crowds just get bigger and bigger at ACL,” Henry said. “One time in 2014, all of my friends and I had to watch Skrillex in the very back of the crowd because we got there late. People were packed in like sardines.”

“Last ACL, a women in the crowd was advertising her drugs amongst the people around her,” junior Jackson Wallace said. “She ended up coming my way trying to offer me her drugs. At that point, my group of friends and I decided to go further into the crowd to get away from her.”

“My favorite festival of all time has been ACL,” sophomore Taylor Masters said. “I loved ACL because of how I was able to see all of my favorite artists in one place!”
“My most memorable concert would have to be seeing G-Eazy at Stubb’s,” junior Ella Deberardine said. “I love his style of music and the way he presents himself on stage.”