Contrary to popular belief, attending a concert alone isn't the kiss of death. In fact, it can be quite an adventure. Believe me,I know. Over the past two years, I have attended many concerts alone, and actually enjoyed myself! Why go alone at all? Why not with friends? Sometimes it is impossible. Besides, if I always waited for a friend to go with me, I wouldn't have attended half the concerts I have. Here are my tips for insuring a pellaperfect time at your next concert.
The Pre-Show Prep
The most important part of attending a concert is the preshow prep. A successful preparation makes the concert much more enjoyable and gives you less to worry about. This is completed on your own time frame, but I like to use the following timetable:
The date the concert is announced: If tickets are for sale, I immediately buy them. Rockapella shows in the West tend to sell out quickly, especially in San Francisco, or Utah. Buy your tickets as early as possible. If the venue has assigned seating, this is a treat for the single PellaPusher. If you love sitting in the front row at Rockapella Concerts then do not pass up an opportunity to attend an assigned seat venue. Nine times out of ten there will be one front row seat available. Going alone has its advantages! To save you peace of mind, see if you can leave your ticket at the will call window. That way, all you need to bring is a photo id and the credit card you purchased the tickets with. I also recommend bringing a printout of your receipt if you bought the tickets online, your confirmation number, the name of the person who sold you the tickets, credit card statement, or any other item which proves you bought ticket. I cannot stress how important a backup document is. I have seen people nearly being turned away because their tickets never surfaced. However, they brought proof, and because of it, they were able to get into the show. It pays to be prepared.
Three Months before the Concert: Around this time, I start to make my travel arrangements. I know it may seem too early, but this gives you plenty of time to shop around and compare deals. Flights sell out very quickly, especially those that go to the bay area. I also recommend joining a frequent flier program, if you are going to use one airline the majority of the time. I use Southwest Airlines for all my travel needs. I like their flexibility with scheduling flights, their ticketless travel system, and their simplistic way of doing things. I've found that their flights are usually on time, and many of their first flights of the day are early. As an added bonus, their rapid rewards system makes is easy to earn a free flight. I really cannot say enough about this company. Once you have your airline ticket, then look into rental cars, and hotel rooms if needed. Again, being early has it's benefits. When booking ask about and specials they may have. Companies are not required to disclose their special rates, unless you ask. SO don't forget to ask. Main thing you need to remember with all these travel arrangements is that if you have a great deal, book it. It's entirely possible you may save a few dollars later, but you probably won't get the times you need to travel in.
Two Weeks before the concert: I call this confirmation time. I make a point of calling all my travel arrangements and confirming any orders I may have. This includes concert tickets, hotel rooms, airline flights, etc. After that, I take all this information and place in my travel luggage. This way, everything will be easily accessible. Be sure to include your concert tickets if a will call window was unavailable. I have left tickets at home before. Being able to purchase them a second time is never a sure thing. Another great tip I've found is to ask the hotel desk clerk about the weather. I've found that their honest accounts are an excellent tool when I begin packing.
A few days before the concert: I visit The Weather Channel and check up on the weather. I then obtain my maps and directions. For maps I visit my local AAA Auto Club . Remember if you have a Membership, maps are free. I visit Mapquest for directions. I also buy munchies, bottled water, batteries, film, and anything else I may need for the long wait in line. I also make sure I have paper and pens to record set lists, and any new email addresses I may obtain. I always bring a blanket or pillow to sit on. A toosh gets tired sitting for so long.
Concert Day: So the day has finally arrived for your first stag concert! If you have gotten this far, then the rest of this should be a piece of cake. With assigned seats, you only need to arrive 30-45 minutes before the show, pick up your ticket and go in. No waiting involved. General seating is an entirely different matter. I arrive hours in advance and begin the wait. As an only child, I'm used to spending time alone. However, I get bored too. This is why I bring a walkman, books, cards, and magazines. If I am extremely early, I take a quick cat nap. Eventually people start to arrive and as the line forms, start talking. Wondering how you take a potty break? Just ask the people behind you to save your spot and watch your stuff. I usually leave my blanket and food. Always offer your food to your line mates. If you hit it off, jot down their email address, and take a picture of them. If you get along well enough, sit with them. I have always found a group to sit with once I arrived at the concert.
Attending a Rockapella Concert stag may seem daunting, but it really isn't. Be glad to go Stag. You get to meet new people, and travel to new places. Face your fears, and go. Once you've done it, the concert experience may never look the same again.
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