Your Concert Essentials

The summer concert season may be coming to an end, but with many artists announcing upcoming tours, not even the cool weather will deter music lovers – myself included – from hitting the streets several hours too early in order to secure a good spot at a show. For first timers and casual concert goers, the task can be a little daunting. You never know what to bring, and what not to bring, what you can and can’t carry into the venue, and so on and so forth. Which is why I’ve compiled a list of things that I consider my concert essentials, so hopefully, the next time you’ve got a show coming up, you can glance at this for assistance!

1. A portable charger.

You don’t realize just how quickly your battery dies until you’re at a show desperately trying to get a video of your favorite part of a song with 3% battery life. While you could bring a second battery (expensive!) or bring a camera with you (bulky!), a portable charger will save your life, and if you’re rolling solo, it’s a good way to make new friends. My portable charger of choice is this Concept Green one that I snagged on sale at Office Depot.

2. Bottles of water and some snacks.*

*This tip is specifically for those who want to get there early! Just don’t expect to be able to bring them in with you. Some venues will allow you to bring in unopened bottles, but most venues have a no outside food rule. I usually try to bring snacks with me because I like to arrive at the venue a couple hours before doors, but if you expect to be there right as the show starts, or right when doors open? You may as well go eat beforehand because nothing at the venue will be under $5. That’s a meal at a fast food joint of your choosing.

3. A light sweater.

If your event is indoors, they might have the A/C blowing at full blast, even in the dead of winter. I know, no one wants to carry around a jacket when you’re just trying to dance, but trust me. There is nothing more uncomfortable than literally freezing your buns off waiting for your favorite band to come out after because you forgot your cardigan in the car.

4. Comfortable shoes.

This is kind of a given, but you will see people in the pit trying to stay upright while wearing heels. (If you can do that, more power to you! That’s sick.) If you plan on being in standing room and you’re unsure of what kind of crowd you’re going to be in, I highly suggest closed toed shoes. I’ve worn boots to nearly every show I’ve gone to because I tend to get stepped on, but sneakers, flats, or any comfortable shoes that you could move around in are essential. Leave your sandals and flip flops at home, or expect to move out quickly to avoid getting stepped on.

5. A Sharpie.

Back to tangible items to bring, a Sharpie or pen is usually a great idea if you plan on meeting the artists later and wanna get something signed. Their Sharpie may dry out, or a fan may have accidentally walked off with it, or the merch people needed to borrow it right quick, but the line needs to keep moving. It’s small, and can fit in a pocket or purse.

6. Money.

If you intend on buying merch, then you may want to bring cash AND card with you. It’d be just your luck that a credit card machine goes down, or the venue has poor reception, and all you have is the form of payment they can’t take. Shirts usually run between $15-45, so plan accordingly! Check with fans from previous dates to get an idea of price range, and see if there’s a photo of the artist’s merch online. Just try not to spend more than you intended. (The merch table is my ultimate weakness, so I’ve been there.)

7. Pack light!

It’s an unfortunate fact that women’s clothing doesn’t have pockets large enough to even hold a cell phone, and that men’s pockets are much much larger. If you don’t wear men’s pants or won’t have someone in tow who does, it’s important that you pack light. Many girls at shows carry their IDs and credit cards in their bra or shoe, but if you’re not comfortable with handing someone a sweat coated credit card, bring a small bag that will carry only your essentials. No, every lipstick you own is not an essential. Your medication or inhaler is probably a better option for that space. At the very least, you should have your ID on you to get in, and maybe your cell phone. Maybe money if you plan on buying out the merch table. Big bags and purses are usually not allowed inside venues due to safety issues, and trust, you do not want to be lugging that thing around all night.

Am I missing any essentials? Is there something that you bring with you every time that I didn’t put on this list? Let me know in the comments!

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