The team shares their tried and true advice for a memorable musical experience
Whether you’re packing up for a three-day festival in the desert or getting ready for a night at a city stadium, concert planning can truly become a thing. Anticipating the cell service, checking the weather, getting in the best position — the concerns all start creeping up under the excitement of actually seeing your favorite artist live. To maximize your next event, not to mention make it super easy, our Rolling Stone staffers came through with some weathered tips they’ve lived by: some that are no-brainers, some helpful reminders, and some new pieces of advice that might make your musical experience more memorable.
1. Wear earplugs.
An arguably rare but very important tip. Browse the internet, or your local pharmacy or hardware store, and pick up a cheap pair of earplugs. No need to get crazy with costs. A little protection goes a long way in keeping your eardrums from being blown out when you’re lost in the moment.
2. Be present.
Ah, the neverending push and pull of wanting to witness a moment and capture it at the same time. Let’s find some compromises together: snap pics before the set with your friends and save battery by letting Rolling Stone photographers cover you on those coveted shots (check the socials after!). That way, you can immerse yourself in your favorite artist’s music, connect with the people around you, and dance, cry, laugh all at the same time. Your future self, reflecting on that festival of a lifetime, will thank you.
3. Stay close to the soundboard for the best acoustics.
Creating good acoustics in a giant venue, not to mention a field, are a challenge for the artist and their team, but they’re going to be the best right near the boards where the pros are at work. Why? Who knows, probably science. (If you can’t find them, look for those people surrounded by some serious equipment likely toward the back of the crowd.)
4. Discover the best music at small stages during headliners.
While big crowds flock to the mainstage, stick around the smaller ones to discover new gems. Whether it’s stumbling into an unexpected set tucked away in the trees or a new artist going all-out acoustic in a little lounge, possibilities are endless when you open up to new experiences.
5. Add your concert ticket to your wallet app.
We’ve all been there: waiting with a crowd of people clouding up the phone signal. Save the time and battery it’ll probably take to reload your email and search for your tickets by saving your ticket to your wallet app before you leave home. Easy access is key to setting the tone for a fun, stress-free night.
6. Check the bag policy before you go.
Every venue is different, so check before you go. Small clear bags like a fanny pack or clutch are usually a safe bet to a) carry your essentials and b) get you (and everyone behind you) through security quickly.
7. Bring a portable phone charger.
We can’t stress this one enough. The anxiety of being at 2% is too real. While some venues have designated charging stations, they’ll probably be the second most popular attraction of the event, just behind the headliners. So be ready, be your own hero, and bring your own battery.
8. Have a designated meet-up time and spot with your friends.
Remember that dying battery? Well this is a perfect plan B. In case you lose each other for one reason or another, having a go-to check-in spot at a certain time throughout the day or at the end of the night will help you reconnect. Not to mention, give you enormous peace of mind.
9. Try a new venue.
If you’re a small, intimate venue kinda person, try out a big stadium tour. And if you’ve never experienced music in the great outdoors, do yourself a favor and buy those festival or amphitheater tickets, you won’t be disappointed listening to your favorite band serenade you beneath the setting sun or a sea of stars in the sky.
10. Buy your tickets from Vivid Seats.
If you love going to concerts, you might as well get rewarded. When you buy 10 tickets from Vivid Seats, you get a credit towards your 11th ticket. They’re the only ticket company with a rewards program and unlike frequent flyer miles, there are no annoying exclusions or black out dates, all events are included.
Bonus 11th tip: HAVE FUN!