I’m a massive Justin Bieber fan. If you didn’t already know this from all my social media posting about his latest Purpose World Tour in South Africa recently, feel free to follow me here.
Now before you click dislike and carry on merrily with your day, this isn’t a post about Justin Bieber. Although I could potentially write a memoir about the man’s incredible talent, rock hard abs and make-you-melt eyes. But I won’t. At least for now. Rather, this is some advice, some knowledge through experience, on attending massive live events such as this one.
I realized I’ve been quite acquainted with Golden Circle, loud screaming fans and standing in queues forever from my experiences at both Justin Bieber concerts in SA, One Direction, One Republic, The Script and U2, to name a few. So here are a few things I’ve learnt while attending live concerts.
- You’re never too early
Just when you’ve mastered a plan to wake up early and be first in line, there’s usually someone else earlier than you. No matter what the security regulations may be. Do whatever you can to be as early as you possibly can, but always be ready for disappointment. In the rare case that you are the first one, I wouldn’t do a victory dance all too soon. The battle hasn’t yet begun.
- Come prepared
Crowds for Golden Circle or General Admission (the unreserved standing area in front of the stage) usually start gathering from the early morning on the day of the concert. This means there’s a long, long, long day of waiting around and doing nothing until the evening when the concert actually begins. So come prepared. I’m always a fan of home-prepared snacks and food, which helps when food stalls are an uncertainty or not accessible. (A message to the girls in front of me at the JB concert who were struggling to order McDonalds and get it delivered in the queue.) I also like to carry energy sweets, Energade or Super C sweets for example, or anything you can pop into your mouth when you body feels like it is crumbling from standing for so long and desperately grasps for some nutrients. Or the floor.
- Train your bladder
If you want to make your way to the front, and stay there, going to the toilet is a luxury you won’t have. Although public toilets are sometimes stationed around the outside of the stadium, sometimes the opportunities to use them are few. You’re lucky to use the facilities once, so take it easy with the drinks and sip slowly.
- Not everyone is your friend
I love the atmosphere of a live concert. Everyone dancing and singing the songs at the top of their lungs (sometimes louder than the actual performer), or watching the excitement build as the time gets closer. But before all of that hoo-rah and moment of glory, there’s the battle field. The war zone if you will. The fight for a position to get as close to the front as you possibly can. Most times, security measures fail dismally as the determination of a super fan out weighs any height of authority. So it becomes every man for himself. That cool group of teens that you helped find the right gate, will stop at nothing to get just one space in front of you by walking just a little faster than you. Everyone is ready to disown you if it means getting even a half a step ahead.
- Less is more, but more is enough
In accordance with the previous point, you’ll want to be able to move around quickly without anything holding you back or weighing you down. Take what you need, but also, actually take it. The thing you think you might need, take it. You’d hate to be stuck right in the middle of it and realize you don’t have your power bank because you falsely trusted in your smartphones battery life.
- Personal space doesn’t exist
If you hate people being all up in your grill, then perhaps a comfortable reserved seat is a better option for you. Here you’ll encounter all kinds of bodily connections with complete strangers. Once you’ve made the treacherous move into the actual golden circle/general admission area (assuming you’ve fought the screaming beasts and dodged the angered security), chose a position and then get comfortable because you’ll be staying like that for the entire time. It’s quite something when you can’t scratch your own nose because two girls have maneuvered themselves quite snuggly under your boobs hoisting your hands into the air for the duration of the show. At least when it’s time to throw your hands in the air, you’re already there.
- Have as much fun as you possibly can
After all this nonsense has passed, and the lights dim to the start of the show, enjoy it! Don’t be too hung up on the person on the left whose hip is joined to yours or the person behind who is non-sexually spooning you from behind. Let it go, and get your money’s worth by living in the moment of the show. When you look back at it, everything will be a story to tell. Whether good or bad. It will be one hell of an experience.
Share your concert moments in the comments below.