Basically it is not too complicated to visit a concert:
Get ticket, go there, enjoy!
But, if you wonder about anything, this guide might answer some questions for an inexperienced concert visitor.
Use what you think may apply to you. The variation between venues, events and countries is huge, so be prepared that things might not be exactly as expected.
Booking or buying in advance is in most cases to be preferred. How this is actually done vary a lot between events. Keep in mind that very popular artists may get sold-out within days from the tickets are released. However, a few venues keep a small portion of the tickets to be released just before the event starts to decrease black-market trading.
Avoid buying tickets on the black market, you will pay a lot extra and the risk of getting forged non-valid tickets is significant.
A place to sleep:
If you live in another town, check and arrange ways either to get transport home or a place to sleep. Youth hostels and cheap hotels are available many places.
Walking around in the city until dawn is usually a very bad idea. You will most likely be tired to death, be cold, have hurting feet, not to mention that not all areas in a big city is 100% safe for a young person dressed up for an EA concert.
Die-hard muffins usually show up in front of the doors hours before they open up to get the most desired places in the very front row. This can be a cosy social opportunity to get to know other muffins or a pretty miserable experience that will ruin the whole concert. The clue is being prepared!
- Dress for the weather. Being wet, cold and having hurting feet for hours is not a good start. An umbrella is always a good idea, either as a sun shield or as an umbrella.
- Bring food and something to drink! This really can't be stressed enough. It is not healthy to go an entire day without eating or drinking, and it may be a very long day, an estimated 1-4 hours in the queue, 2 hours waiting for the music to start, 1-2 hours concert, 1 hour in signing queue, and then the time it takes to get home. You are usually not allowed to take food or drinks inside, so eat and drink just before entering and you will be full of energy for a long evening.
- You should also consider to bring a book or something else to do while waiting, because if you are going to wait for a really long time, it might get boring after a period.
Security check at the doors:
Huge variation between venues. Some have no control at all, others are very thorough.
Things often checked and removed are bottles and drinks, weapon-like accessories, recording equipment, advanced cameras without press permit (you should get a receipt and get those back afterwards). Some places have hard id-check, so bring some valid identification. Things that also might be removed some places includes umbrellas, walking sticks, "spiky things" (like bracelets and necklaces) and small pocket cameras.
Not all venues have one, so be prepared that you might have to carry jackets and bags around.
It is pretty uncommon with theft during concerts. But it is pretty easy to all by yourself lose wallets, mobile phones, glasses etc., so try to keep valuable things in a safe place.
Food and drinks:
Many venues have no food to offer so you better not be hungry when you enter.
Remember to drink (non-alcohols). If you do not drink for hours and then spend 2 hours wildly jumping in front of the stage, you increase the risk for feeling ill or even fainting.
If you are at a place serving alcohol, ask yourself if you are there to get drunk or to enjoy a concert? Not much of a point paying for a concert you did not see or do not remember, is there?
If you are allowed to bring cameras in, please keep a few things in mind.
It is nice to be able to take some pictures as a memory, take some of your friends before the concert and maybe a few under it.
But, it is kind of rude standing in the front row with a camera over your head for the whole concert. You ruin the view for people behind you, you disturb people dancing around you and not the least you will concentrate too much on handling the camera too really enjoy the concert.
Use the camera only briefly during the concert. 200 blurry pictures are not better than 2 and video quality from mobile phones vary from bad to horrendous. Try instead to enjoy the concert with all your senses.
Flash only works for about 3 metres/10 feet. Further away it would just be annoying for the person you try to take a picture of. At worst the flash would reflect on the back of the heads of the people in front of you, causing bright parts on the picture. The camera then tries to adjust for that: As an end result the stage area gets even darker on the picture! If you experiment a little with exposure time and other options you might get better results. You might even find an option to turn of the annoying artificial "click"-sound. Another option for getting good lighting is the age old concert photographers trick of catching a strobe.
Take a few seconds to checkout where the emergency exits are. If the extremely unlikely happens and you are forced to leave the venue, the emergency exits are usually the best and fastest way to do that. When panicking most people automatically tries to get out the same way they got in, that is often not a very good idea.
Do NOT steal!!
Stage decorations, clothes and accessories the artists drop on the stage during the show is NOT something you can take!! For an artist, like EA, who makes clothes and decorations herself and is on tour with a limited budget, theft of it is a major setback. If something is given out it is usually dropped or thrown out in the audience.
Where to stand:
(This also very much determines what to wear and, not least, what NOT to wear)
"At the front"
Kind of best position for the ultimate concert experience. Good view of anything happening on the scene. Good sound, if the venue is known for its very poor acoustics this is normally the only safe place to get a good sound, since you get the music direct from the speakers on the stage without any echoes. Normally a lot of dancing/jumping here as well, often very nice and friendly atmosphere with lots of smiles and happy people.
The die-hard muffins generally tries to get these spots. As a bonus it is normally a good place to get things thrown out or given from the artists.
Be prepared that you might get things thrown at you that may ruin the outfit and/or camera. (This is particular true at metal-concerts where beer, red paint etc., might be thrown out over the front rows. At EA's concerts, however, it is more commonly "tea" and crumbles and even opened teabags.).
If you are small - try to stand close to people your own size. If you are tall - please let the shorter people be in front of you. Shared experience is so much better.
Can be claustrophobic and crowded. Be prepared to get some bruises and stomped toes. Sometimes the front row get blocked by lots people with cameras ignoring everyone else around. Hard to get a place if a the artist is popular.
It is common at concerts that people push their way to get to the most desired positions at the frontrow. If only a few do that, it may be considered rude but harmless. However, when 100's or even 1000's of people simultaneously push it is something completely different. If you then fall or are pressed against a fence you are in serious trouble. It might seem like a fun idea to get people around you to start pushing, but it can actually be really dangerous.
"In front of mixer board"
The music nerd place. Normally the best sound (since the sound mixing has been tuned to this position. Normally few people. Relaxed.
Cons: Normally bad view of the scene.
"In the middle"
Popular place. People stand relative still, the sound is normally good. Not too crowded.
Cons: Sight often blocked, especially if you are short.
"At the sides"
A lot of space. normally a good view, but from an angle so the artist seldom "sings/speaks to you" .
Cons: The sound can be bad. Earplugs a must if you are close to the speakers.
If you aim to be close to the front you have to think of a few things.
Comfy clothes (tight corsets can get very uncomfortable). Good shoes that can take a stomp and are steady (no spike heels). No spikes or other sharp things sticking out. Avoid loose long ribbons or hair that can get stuck in surrounding peoples outfits. Costumes with faerie wings, or other big parts are rude to wear if you are planning to stand in the front, because they would cover others vision - and in addition they will probably get ruined. You will literally be in body touch distance with other jumping people for the whole concert. In addition, you should avoid wearing long skirts/dresses/coats, because these are likely to get stepped on if you're in the huge crowd at the front.
If you are sure you want to stand in the back or at the side you can dress more freely. Ribbons, corsets, high heels, anything is fine there.
Other than that - dress so you feel beautiful, confident and happy!
Pockets (if standing in the front - bags can be a pain when dancing)
Ear plugs (never go to a concert without them)
Pen and items you want to get signed (for the after-show signing, the pen is nice for backup if Emilie's pen break when it is your turn)
Money (if you want to buy cd's or merchandise)
Warm jacket (for waiting outside and for the trip home).