General Admission Concerts (and how to survive them)
I went to see The 1975 live for the third time yesterday in Los Angeles and it was amazing; concerts, in general, are amazing. This concert was located in The Palladium on Sunset Blvd and it was sold out. As expected, it was completely packed. This is a good thing of course, especially for the band/artist but not so much for the fans, more so, when the event is general admission. Now, don't get me wrong, general admission can be a beautiful thing but it can also be so frustratingly bad. I had a little of both yesterday.
The good: I was able to see one of my favourite bands, I was surrounded by great friends, we all looked really cute, I made new friends, we laughed and cried and danced a lot, I was able to see one of my favourite bands.
The bad: Waiting in line for over 8 hours, being stuck in a crowd that could literally knock you down and kill you (not literally but basically), tall people in the crowd, rude people, drunk people.
Because of the great and bad experiences (more good than bad) I had yesterday and in the past, I thought I would write a set of guidelines to help you survive general admission concerts.
1. Get there early.
The earlier you arrive, the better chance you have to be up close to your favourite artist/band. This also means you will have a better chance of being away from the middle of the crowd, which means you will most likely avoid the pushing. Plus, it is always good to be leaning over a railing/fencing than to be leaning on someone else.
2. Don't push.
I know first hand the anxiety you may feel when your favourite is 3 feet away from you and the urge to find your way through the crowd of people keeping you from doing so but before you decide to push, remember that there are other people like you that want to do the same (aka there is going to be chaos). You would also be pushing into the people who have been waiting to get close to the stage for hours, its not fair.
Additionally, you may get stuck behind someone who is tall and this can be very frustrating. If you wish, you can kindly ask them to let you go around. I have done so in the past and surprisingly, people are okay with this. If they aren't, try and make your way around, nicely of course.
3. Wear comfortable clothing and shoe wear.
Chances are you will be waiting in line for a long time and standing through the events because it is general admission. Wear comfortable clothing. If you do decide to be in the crowd or pit of the venue, expect lots of pushing and pulling and sweaty bodies of overly excited fans. If you have long hair, I recommend bringing a hair tie because you will have your hair pulled. Lastly, wear comfortable shoes. In midst of all the pushing, you may lose a flip flop or fall over, and don't forget all the stepping people will do over your nice (maybe new or expensive) shoes.
4. Don't bring expensive electronics.
Unless it is absolutely necessary, I recommended not bringing big electronics that you love and spend loads of money on. Aside from being distracting and giving the people behind you an obscured view, these things can be easily damaged. If you plan to use it for only a little, it may become a burden to carry. However, if you decide to stand behind the crowd and take amazing pictures and videos, I do recommend it.
Note: Though taking pictures and videos are great for remembrance, don't forget to embrace the moment. Many times, people get so caught up in filming and getting good pictures that they forget to actually take in the experience of being there and listening to their favourite music, live. These moments are beautiful, plus, you can always look at pictures and videos online right?
5. Carry with you a small bag if needed, if not, avoid.
Carrying a bag/purse can be one of the most annoying things for general admission events. You also pay the risk of losing your bag and no one wants that. If it is a necessity, bring a small bag that is easy for you to carry and hold close.
6. Bring cash.
Concert events like to sell merchandise before and after the show. Many of these venues do not accept a credit card. Make sure you bring extra cash to have with you just in case.
7. Make sure you have a secured ride before the event.
A lot of concert events end pretty late. Make sure you know your ride situation before coming to the concert. It is better to play it safe. If you are over 21, you may drink. If you do, do not drive and endanger your life and the life of others. You can always use car services like Uber or Lyft to catch a ride back home! I have, I believe they're great.
Be respectful and responsible and do not forget to have so much fun. Dance like no one is watching (if you have enough space). These events can be pricey, so make the most of it. Enjoy life and the moment. This is something you will most likely never forget.
Here are some pictures of my The 1975 concert last night: