If you are into your music, you should definitely go and see a concert. If you have never been to a gig or festival, then here is a guide to getting the best from your trip to see your favourite band.
Concert Tickets and Festival Tickets
Look around to get the best ticket prices for the concert or festival. It is always best to buy your concert tickets from a reputable ticket agent. Some gig tickets are security marked and can only be used by the person who bought them. Beware of ticket touts and ticket resellers as the ticket you buy may not be valid.
It is also good to have the tickets in your grubby little hands before you go to the concert. It is nice to look at the tickets in your bedroom and count down the days until you go. Sad, but true! Also, it can be a bit nerve racking collecting the tickets from the box office on the day in case something goes wrong. I have been ok so far, but it is always a bit uncertain.
Concert diary and Concert Listings
The first thing to do if you are desperate to see your favourite bands live in concert is to get hold of a gig guide or concert diary. These will show tour dates and can be found in the national newspapers, or on Concert-diary.com. Get together with your friends and choose a concert that is on a date you can all make, and at a concert venue you can get to. You may not be able to see the band you had in mind, but may see gig listings for another band you want to see.
Every year there are a range of music festivals held at the same locations. Every year the festival line up is different, with the band or artist of the moment headlining. Here is a list of UK music festivals:
- Bestival – Robin Hill, Isle of Wight, 8-11 September
- V Festival – Chelmsford and Staffordshire, 20-21 August
- Reading Festival – Richfield Avenue, Reading, 26-28 August
- Leeds Festival – Bramham Park, Leeds, 26-28 August
- Wireless Festival – Hyde Park London, 8-10 July
- Glastonbury Festival – Worthy Farm, Pilton, 22-26 June
- Download Festival – Donnington Park, 10-12 June
- Isle of Wight Festival – 9-12 June
- Creamfields – Daresbury, Halton, Cheshire, 25-28 August
- Lovebox – Victoria Park, London, 15-16 July
- T in the Park – Kinrossshire, Scotland, 8-10 July
Planning Your Concert Trip
Seeing an open air concert is a fantastic experience that will be memorable. My first live concert was going to see Bon Jovi at the Milton Keynes Bowl in the UK. A group of my friends got the concert tickets for what promised to be a great day out.
The first thing we did was agree how to get there. We decided to drive, as it would provide more flexibility. The two drivers also were happy not to drink any alcohol. The drivers worked out the route in advance so that they knew how to get to the concert. They also agreed where to stop on the way for food. Carrying walkie talkies or mobile phones helped with talking between cars to make plans.
On the way to the gig, we saw lots of other people who were also going to the concert. It was obvious from the t shirts and other branded things hanging out of the car windows.
You can also get to your concert using planned coach trips or public transport.
When you arrive, make sure you make a note of where you park the car. If you have gone to the concert by coach, it is vital to make a note of what the coach looks like. Make note of physical landmarks like lampposts or marker signs. The taller the better. When you arrive, the car park will be filling up. when you try to find you transport after the concert the car or coach park will be packed. The only way we could ever find our cars was to look for the third set off floodlights from the big fir tree near the fence!
We took our own food to the concert. There is plenty of food available at the concert venue, but it will be pricey. The Milton Keynes Bowl is a massive grass arena. We had a picnic and set upi a base where we would stay for the warm up acts. That way the rest of our group could always find their way back to us. Once the night had set in, we all moved down to the front to join the main crowd. It was standing room only, so we made sure we had a drinks bottle with us. Take a bag for your rubbish, but get rid of it before the main band comes on.
Where to stand
For open air concerts, you can choose where you stand. Most concerts are seating only. If you end up with tickets near the back your band will look like ants in the distance! If you go near the stage, you will have to be happy with the crush of people.
Make a note of where the toilets are. Also, make a note of where the exits are. At the end of the concert, it can be everyone for themselves in trying to get out!
Festivals are a fantastic experience. Go with an open mind about what to expect. Be prepared for all weathers, but don’t let the weather stop you form going. Make sure you take your wellies.
Other vital tips are to write down phone numbers in case your mobile phone battery runs out. Take a pocket torch. Dynamo torches are great as they don’t need batteries. Also, take something to sit on, whether it be a folding chair or a carrier bag. Standing up all day gets tiring, so you will be grateful of something dry to sit on. You may also want to take a walkie talkie for some free communication with your mates. The Motorola TALKR range are not only good walkie talkies for festivals, but they look cool as well. You can buy all your Festival essentials from Amazon
We hope you see some great concerts. Keep gigging!