So here’s the stitch, for whatever unfortunate reason you’re forced to go to a concert by yourself. Maybe your friends can’t go, don’t want to go or maybe you don’t have friends anyway – the point is that you are very alone and have nobody to depend on but yourself. This means that you have to deal with picking what clothes to wear, getting to the gig, dealing with cloak rooms and understanding the whole vibe of the place. All this pressure and burdening responsibility falls upon your sad and lonely shoulders as you go there and everyone else around you will probably laugh to their many friends and probably throw stuff at you for being alone.
Now when you think about the situation like this, you kinda quell just the absolute awesomeness that is seeing a live musical act do their thing. Not only is it music that you probably enjoy but it’s the people who actually play that music in the same place as you, how insane is that? Not to mention the vibe of live music that, depending on what kind of show you’re going to can be either incredibly energetic and raw or extremely serene and harmonious. Added to that you’re actually there, supporting an artist that you dig in a very real and physical way.
So now that we’ve established that live music is the bees knees we can get into a couple of ways to deal with the perfectly natural anxieties surrounding the solo concert voyage:
1. Making friends!
If you want to make friends and hey, why wouldn’t you, you should probably get there pretty early, maybe even before the doors open. It’s almost like a pre-established rule that this is the best way to make friends at concerts which means you’ll be surrounded by people with the same goal. What’s also awesome is that you’ll have an easy conversation starter like “Hey, are you seeing the band?”, to which they’ll probably reply “Yeah omg, I’m totally seeing the band!” and the rest of the conversation will flow just as organically.
In terms of getting there, public transport is probably the easiest and mostly stress-free way to go. That way you don’t have to worry about parking, insane city traffic or not drinking. Plus, when you’re on trains and trams you have extra time to think about the awesome time you’re about to have or just had.
The Cloak Room
Cloak rooms are seriously not that hard to navigate. I mean sometimes they even have big signs telling you exactly what’s going on and how much it will cost you and what goes in there so don’t stress about that at all. Just make sure you’ve got some change, as most cloak rooms only deal in paper and coins. The people who station cloak-rooms are also really cool and patient, it’s pretty much their job to deal with your stupid questions and like most people, as long as you’re nice to them, they’ll be nice to you.
In terms of clothing, wear what you’d wear to go to the movies with your friends (making adjustments of course for weather and how physical your moshing, dancing or swaying is going to be). However if that involves previously owned band merch then I’d probably not do that. Like with all things I’d advocate for wearing what you want but if you’re concerned about the perceptions of yourself based on your clothing, I’d avoid any kind of music related threads. I don’t really understand why but apparently it’s a thing? Seems kinda pretentious and snobby to me so if you’re not feeling confident with potentially upsetting the one or two pretentious and snobby people who will be at the gig then just wear something nice and comfy.
The Merch Stand
If you have the money to spare DEFINITELY buy something from the merch stand. Whether it’s a hoodie, a shirt, a hat or a physical copy of the music. It’s another way to directly support the act and it gives you a memento of the actual concert itself. In terms of payment I’ve never been to a stand that doesn’t have an EFTPOS machine but it’s always reassuring to bring some cash with you.
These points of advice almost all align themselves under the tenant of focusing on the music and the vibe. The awesome thing about doing anything by yourself is that you don’t have to worry about the person or people you’re with, all that really matters is your own experience. Yet at the same time, it’s not like you’re alone, you’re surrounded by a bunch of people who are all trying to vibe as hard as you. They will help you up if you fall down in the mosh, they will dig your bad dance moves and will be singing along badly to the same great songs. All of these occurrences are beautiful moments of communal connection and it’s a shame to miss out on them because of the worries associated with being alone in public.