The loud music, ambient lighting, and chaotic energy make concerts such a one-of-a-kind experience. Whether it’s listening to your favorite artist at a sold out stadium, or a small band at a hole-in-the-wall venue, concerts have a nostalgic spirit that cannot be replicated. 

Live music has been extremely popular since the 60s, and lately it has made a comeback and is a staple on every student’s bucket list. Being so close to New York City makes it convenient to go see a show. Since there are so many venues, it is easy to find an artist that suits your taste. 

It may look like a dream from the Instagram pictures, but going to your first concert can be a very stressful experience to prepare for at times. Take a look at this guide to make sure you’re all ready for the night!

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Buying the tickets

The most important item that you need for a concert is the ticket. Buying them can be complicated. Make sure if their concert will sell out quickly, you buy the tickets early or as soon as they go on sale. Some artists have presales. 

Before the ticket sale, do some basic research on major ticket sellers and confirm that the site you will buy from is reliable. Ticketmaster, SeatGeek, and Live Nation are some of the most well-known ticket selling sites that are credible. Once you choose the site to purchase from, deciding where you want to sit can also be difficult too. 

Take into consideration two basic options: Is it more important to you to enjoy the music or be closer to the artist? Some venues, like Madison Square Garden or the Prudential Center, are much larger than others like the Bowery Ballroom or PNC Bank Arts Center. It is usually easier to get closer to an artist if the venue is smaller, especially if the area closest to the stage is general admission.  

Transportation

Getting to a concert can be one of the trickiest things to figure out. Is it far away? Would you need to stay in a hotel? If you have to stay in a hotel, make sure to talk to your parents first and make sure that someone will be able to drive you and pick you up from the venue. It also might be a good idea to stay in a hotel if the drive home is far. 

For arriving to the venue, catching a train or getting a ride from a parent are the two easiest options for attending a concert if you cannot drive yet, or if you want to avoid the struggle of parallel parking or overpriced garages.

Another common question is: how early do you have to get to the venue? Getting to the venue about an hour before the gates open is always a good idea, especially to make sure that you have time to get something to eat or get merchandise. 

If you have a general admission seat and you want to be closer to the stage, it would be a better idea to get to the venue a few hours earlier to ensure that you will get a good standing spot. 

What to bring

Small backpack: Check with the venue to see their bag policy and if they allow any bags. It is always helpful to bring a small backpack that can hold a wallet, merchandise that you buy, or other miscellaneous items that you would need. 

Wallet: A wallet, with zippers especially, is one of the most important items to bring to a concert. At the minimum, it should hold your money and ticket. Be alert and keep your wallet on your person at all times so that nothing is stolen or lost. 

Miscellaneous items: Other small items that might be important to bring to a concert are a portable phone charger, umbrella, water or snacks if venue allows, and something to take pictures with. Do not bring anything extremely valuable to a concert in order to avoid any loss or damage.

These are some suggestions of what might make your night a bit easier. Some like to pack more and be prepared for any circumstance, while avid concert-goers, like  David Peck, French teacher, are more minimalistic. Peck has been regularly attending concerts for 45 years, the first being the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan. With such admiration for live music, Peck said, “The only thing I bring to a show is myself and my ticket.”

Junior Ariana Romero said she loves the community that a certain band can draw. “Music has a strong effect on people, and sometimes hearing it live holds an almost surreal feeling”. 

The impact that music has on people is something that will never fade even as it morphs into completely new sounds. Live music is able to bring together different generations of people and open the minds of many, and that is why concerts are such an incomparable experience.