Standing-Room-Only Concerts: Tips and Tricks


Standing-room-only concerts are a great option for college students. They usually offer cheaper tickets, are located in intimate venues and allow people to interact with others. These events do have pros and cons associated with them, though. Here are some tips and tricks on how to have the best experience in the highly-chaotic environment of standing-room-only concerts.

Prepare. Before you even get to the venue, there are a couple things to prepare for. Most importantly, make sure you have enough food and water in your system. Drink water the entire day leading up to the concert, and make sure you have a solid meal a few hours before you go. This does seem like common sense, but if you show up to the venue and happen to get a really good spot, you won’t want to sacrifice it just because you’re thirsty or hungry. Prepare early so you can be in your spot for the long haul.

Pack. Another thing to do in preparation is to bring what’s needed but don’t over do it. You probably shouldn’t bring a large bag, although a Kavu or a satchel might be able to provide you with the essentials. If you’re afraid of getting thirsty during the performance, bring a water bottle if allowed, or other small things like chapstick and kleenexes. What’s important, though, is to not sacrifice movement. To get a good spot or to be able to easily move through the crowd, you will want to be spry and flexible. Have only a small bag if necessary, but keep your items minimal. 

Crowds. The hardest part of a standing-room-only concert is by far the crowds. It really is like Black Friday except rather than a playstation, you’re fighting for spots to stand. On top of this, once your spot is secured, others rarely have respect for your personal space. Be prepared to get pushed, nudged and jumped on. 

You do have some ways to cope, though. First, be solid. I always like to plant my feet, and if someone is trying to force me back or sideways so that they can take my spot, I fight back. Isaac Newton’s third law of motion says that every action has an equal and opposite reaction—I try to make that come true in a concert venue. When someone pushes you from behind while you’re dancing, back up on them. When someone is trying to scoot you to the left, lean into them toward the right. Be forceful. You probably worked hard to secure the spot you’re in, and you’ve probably been standing there for over an hour—don’t let them take it from you.

While you are being solid, though, still stay fluid. If there is an inevitable need to move, then go with the flow. Defend your honor, but remember that you’re there to have a good time. Usually people get the idea that they can cut through the crowd parallel to the stage. While it is annoying, just let them through.

Dance! With that being said, don’t forget to just let the music move you. Yes, you are surrounded by hundreds of strangers, but what you are there to experience is the musical act. Don’t be afraid to dance! The other concert-goers might be older and have cooler clothing, but you bought the tickets to have a good time. You will never see these people again, so go all out! Sway, jump, do whatever makes you happy. Just remember to not impede others’ space unless they impede yours first.

As long as you think ahead, plant your feet and dance, you’ll be on track to a fun evening!