Skip To Content
    Updated on Feb 1, 2019. Posted on Aug 10, 2018

    21 Tips And Tricks To Make The Most Out Of Going To A Concert

    From someone who spends wayyy too much time going to concerts.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    Hey! I'm Sam, and I'm a concert addict. If I'm not spending my free time at a concert, then I'm usually spending it planning for the next one I want to go to.

    As someone who goes to a lot of concerts, I've learned many tricks to enhance my experience at them: whether it's finding ways to make carrying all my things inside easier, or to cut down on spending money at the show, from one concert-goer to another, I'm here to share some of my favorite hacks.

    MTV

    ^Me throwing all my advice your way.

    1. Bring a sealed water bottle with you. Most venues allow guests to bring one, so do it! Once you get inside, a bottle of water will probably cost $5+, and while you may need to buy another one inside, you'll be so glad you brought your first water of the night from home.

    Akiyoko / Getty Images

    Stock up on cases of sealed water bottles from Amazon, Jet, or Walmart.

    2. Explore all of your transit options! You may think driving and paying for parking is your best bet, but other travel methods such as by train, bus, or ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft may be more efficient and cheaper.

    Getty Images

    Also, be sure to look into other great options like off-site parking with cheaper rates and special discounts, free shuttle service from nearby parking lots and transit centers, even modes of transport like ferries and monorails! Every venue/city has different offerings, so really take the time to find the travel choice that works for you. Plus, leave lots of extra time for travel! Traffic, crowded public transport, and higher ride-share rates will only get worse the closer it gets to show time. So if you can get there on the earlier side, take advantage of it!

    Pretty please do yourself a favor, and sign up for Uber or Lyft, or BOTH ASAP. They'll become your saviors, trust me.

    Pssst... sometimes you can buy parking passes for your event in advance from Ticketmaster, Live Nation, or StubHub!

    3. Invest in a good cooler for tailgating. If you're planning on driving or meeting up with friends who brought a car, (and you're of legal drinking age), tailgating in the lot is super fun when done responsibly.

    amazon.com

    Some venues charge as much as $18 for a small, watered down cocktail, which is SO not worth it. This cooler can hold up to 16 cans, is easy to carry, and easy to clean!

    Promising review: "I'm very impressed with the build quality, extra pockets, and overall size of this cooler. It's a great cooler when you need something quick to go to a tailgate, or concert, or picnic, etc., and don't want to lug and pack a really big one." —Tom V

    Get it from Amazon for $16.36 (available in four colors).

    Check out more awesome coolers to up your tailgating experience.

    4. Take a photo or keep a note on your phone of where you parked your car!

    Medvedkov / Getty Images

    This is especially useful at big arenas and stadiums where tens of thousands of people are driving. You're gonna be excited for the show, and may not remember where the heck your car is. Then it'll take you that much longer to find it and leave the lot. YOU'LL THANK YOURSELF!

    5. Look into upgrading your seats before the show. At the time you bought tickets, getting those cheap nosebleed seats seemed GREAT, but the show is getting closer and you're starting to feel FOMO when it comes to not being as close to the stage as possible.

    @taylornation / Kevin Winter / Getty Images / Via instagram.com

    If you bought your tickets from Ticketmaster, you can call them to pay the difference to upgrade to the new seats you want!

    6. Or upgrade your tickets to an amphitheater show through Live Nation's text message upgrade system. Once you sign up, you'll receive texts closer to/on your show date with a link to upgrade your seats, upgrade to VIP clubs and boxes, upgrade to preferred parking, and SO much more!

    Live Nation / Jones Beach, Samantha Wieder / BuzzFeed

    Thanks to this amazing system, I've upgraded my seats quite a few times. But my favorite was upgrading my literal nosebleed seats at a OneRepublic concert last summer to the FIFTH row on the floor for just $20 a ticket. Best.deal.ever.

    Check out more info on how to upgrade your entire concert experience through Live Nation.

    7. Pack snacks and easy meals like a sandwich, chips, a banana, and string cheese to avoid paying $10+ for just a hot dog or other expensive food. Most venues allow people to bring their own sealed food because of food-related allergies and dietary restrictions. Your best bet is to bring it in clear ziplock bags!

    amazon.com

    But if you decide to go with the chicken tenders and French fry basket, I'm not judging you, because sometimes it's just so needed.

    Stock up on food storage bags from Amazon.

    8. Rock a fanny pack, especially if your concert plans include an all-day or weekend festival. They make some really trendy fanny packs these days that'll make your life SO much easier.

    Maitland Quitmeyer / BuzzFeed, bit.ly, bit.ly

    Get the quilted fanny pack (left) from Amazon for $19.99 (available in four colors), Herschel Supply Co. polyester fanny pack (right top) from Urban Outfitters for $25 (available in three colors), or the leather fanny pack (right bottom) from Free People for $48 (available in three colors).

    To learn more about the super trendy and v helpful quilted fanny pack, check out a BuzzFeeder's review (#5).

    9. Buy a clear bag ahead of time, just in case. Many venues, like NFL stadiums, have clear bag policies for anything bigger than a small purse (for safety precautions).

    amazon.com, Yi Yang / BuzzFeed

    Promising review (of the tote bag): "I purchased this bag to use at an outdoor music concert. I was able to fit my water bottle, rain jacket, sunscreen, bug spray, coin purse, rain poncho, small towel, pullover shirt, and a few extra little things into this bag and had plenty of room. I had no problem getting through security and the crossover shoulder strap came in very handy so I could carry in my lawn chair too. As luck would have it, there was rain during this event — at times it was coming down quite heavy. This bag kept everything dry. I was happy to also find out it has dual zippers across the top for getting into it. It is sturdy and I would recommend this to anyone who needs a clear bag for events where these are required." —Bonnie C.

    To find out more about just how amazing the stylish clear purse on the right is, check out a BuzzFeeder's review (#1).

    Get them from Amazon: tote bag for $6.99 and the clear purse for $35.99 (available in four lining colors)

    10. Get a portable charger or a solar-powered portable charger!

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Chances are, your phone's battery won't last the whole show, and even if it does, there's an even better chance the battery life will be holding on by a thread when you're leaving to go home.

    Get them from Amazon: portable charger for $17.99+ (available in five colors) or the solar-powered portable charger for $20.89+ (available in two colors)

    11. Choose off times to go to the merch shops at the show, otherwise you'll be facing hella long lines.

    Peopleimages / Getty Images

    Some of the best times to go are when the doors to the venue first open, during the opening acts (depends on who the opening act is), and right after the last opening act (if there are multiple), before the main act comes on stage. This is just my personal experience. If you decide to go during these times and see a ginormous line, that is out of my control, don't @ me after and blame me.

    BTW, BTW, BTW, sometimes, artists can be found very early on autographing merch at these stands. Usually at music festivals, but sometimes at their very own concerts, too. So, if you see that happening, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE TOWARD THE MERCH TABLE AND LIVE OUT YOU DREAMS.

    12. Although, waiting until after the show ends to buy merch online is really your best bet because you can look at the crowd and see what items look like in person. Plus, some artists offer special limited-time discount codes after the show.

    Samantha Wieder / BuzzFeed / Via store.taylorswift.com

    For example, Taylor Nation (aka Taylor Swift's team) emails out a 20% off code after each tour stop to fans who attended the show and the code's good for 48 hours! So you have two whole days to think through what you wanna buy!

    BTW, some currently touring artist merch shops I'm currently loving and wanna buy everything from include Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Beyoncé, Niall Horan, and Maroon 5, just to name a few!

    13. Snap a photo of the set times and look up the setlists in advance. That way, you can pick the best times to step away to buy merch, get a refreshment, or use the bathroom.

    Samantha Wieder / BuzzFeed

    The venue box office can usually hook you up with artist set times, and this site is usually a good reference when it comes to figuring out song setlists. Just be aware that things at a concert rarely ever run exactly on time, and set lists of course have the ability to change.

    14. Keep a poncho on you in case the forecast calls for rain at an outdoor show. Most venues have a policy that the show will go on, rain or shine. In fact, some of the best concert memories I have include singing and dancing with my friends in the pouring rain.

    amazon.com

    Sure, you can bring a rain jacket, but think of how much easier it'll be to just throw the damn poncho out once the show is over. Also, don't even think of bringing an umbrella. That is a major no no. Also, it wouldn't hurt to bring a trash bag to sit on so you don't get your bootay all muddy and wet. :(

    Promising review: "Great to have in pocket or bag! I bought them because I had some outdoor concerts and I was glad I did. It began to rain. The hood with drawstrings is great for wind, as well. The quality is excellent. Doesn't rip easily like some I have paid a lot more money for." —JERRY

    Get an eight-pack from Amazon for $14.99.

    15. WEAR COMFY SHOES! Chances are you'll be doing a TON of walking, dancing, and maybe even jumping. Not only that, but you'll be around a LOT of people. Avoid wearing sandals and heels, or using the night to break in new shoes. BTW, slip-ons are a great option.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Get them from Amazon: women's slip-on shoes for $12.97+ (available in seven colors, and sizes 5.5—11) and the men's slip-on shoesfor $28.57+ (available in seven colors, and sizes 4.5–13)

    16. Have a pair of water-resistant boots ready so your feetsies stay protected, comfy, and warm. Trust me, you'll be a much happier camper if they're shielded from puddles and mud.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "These men's boots look rugged AF in a grungy street-style way — which is a way I like very much! The rubber tongue and waterproof sole make stomping through all kinds of murky puddles almost fun. I'm sure these are also excellent for things like actual hiking or muddy music festivals (which I've avoided for the past few years in my old age). For now, these look pretty great and keep my feet dry and safe from putrid city puddles, which, tbh, are more terrifying than the huge rats." —Elizabeth Lilly

    Check out more of this BuzzFeeder's review (#3) of these amazing boots.

    Get them from Amazon for $43.38+ (available in sizes 3.5–12).

    Check out even MORE rain boots to keep your feet protected at your next rainy concert or music festival.

    17. Protect yourself from loud sounds by tossing some ear plugs in your bag before heading to the show. And if you're bringing the kiddos, these earmuff protectors are a great choice.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    If you're someone who loves concerts and goes to them often, it's an especially good idea to give your eardrums some extra coverage.

    Get them from Amazon: 50-pairs of earplugs for $12.62 and the kid's earmuffs for $12.95+ (available in eight colors)

    18. Throw some pain relief medication in your bag! Loud noises and lots of people is the perfect recipe for a headache, and you wouldn't wanna ruin your experience because you didn't have some pain reliever handy.

    amazon.com

    These individual packets of Advil Liqui-Gels are a great choice, because they're pre-measured for you and super easy to throw in your bag and go! You can also get these in tablet form, but TBH, the Liqui-Gels are far superior.

    Promising review: "Great deal for the price. My husband and I both get headaches out of nowhere, so these packets are perfect for when we aren't home. I just toss a few packs in my purse and I don't have to worry." —shopaholic

    Get a 50-pack (50 packets, two capsules per packet) from Amazon for $8.55.

    19. Be aware that, depending on the layout at the show, a mosh pit might form or people may crowd surf. If you're in general admission at a rock concert, get ready, be careful, and have fun with it!

    Peopleimages / Getty Images

    If you'd like to avoid such interactions at all costs, opt for a seat or stand in the back or the side of the crowd. That stuff tends to happen in the front and middle of the floor.

    20. PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN! For real. Take a few photos and videos here and there, but don't watch the concert through your phone, PLEASE.

    Fgorgun / Getty Images

    More often than not, you'll be able to find videos other concertgoers took on YouTube or social media. There really is nothing like having the experience of the show ingrained in your head, rather than just trying to record every second.

    21. Last, but most certainly not least — HAVE FUN! You are at a concert that probably doesn't come around very often. Not to mention, you may have spent quite a bit of money on this special night, so enjoy it. Don't let anything get in the way of your dancing like no one is watching and rocking your heart out.

    Bernardbodo / Getty Images

    HAPPY CONCERT-GOING!!!

    MTV

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides here!

    Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form