In honor of ALL THE AMAZING shows coming up in the next 3 months or so, I have decided to create a survival guide to public events to ensure you maximize your fun having while listening to sick beats, killer lyrics, and head crushing bass. If you have ever been to an event such as EDC in Los Angeles, or just a crowded concert, then you KNOW some people simply complain and whine the entire time because of some discomfort they have (perhaps you are one of those people). Either way, this guide will teach you how to prevent whiners from sapping your fun, or help bring your attitude from whining—->WINNING. This guide has two tiers, by the way; the first tier is for small venues (1-1000 people) and large venues, while the second tier typically only applies to larger venues (1000+ people). Take notes, and get prepared to have your face melted starting this Saturday at HARD all the way until Steve Aoki in December!
Tier 1 (Small/Large Venues)
1.) Acceptance. If you are going to an event that involves rock music, EDM, or even country, you MUST realize that people are going to get up and dance. These events do not typically involve sitting at a table and sipping wine. People are going to get sweaty, they’re going to get hyphy, and most likely they’re going to start shuffling; so just accept it! Don’t try to fight the mob, just accept they are going to be that way and don’t let it bother you. Also, if you are a germ-a-phobe, then you have 3 options: a)bring hand-sanitizer, b)just say ‘fuck it’, or c)don’t go! The music will be LOUD, so if you don’t like it to the point that your brain feels like it’s rattling inside of your skull, then wear earplugs; it won’t ruin your experience… LOTS of people do it.
2.) Get your ticket… BEFORE. Purely and simply; to save money. Nearly every single event I’ve heard of has pre-sale tickets, and even after those sell out, typically prices go up as the event gets nearer. At the door tickets just suck. Craigslist/scalping is even worse.. and a little stressful to be honest. Just plan ahead, and avoid all the headache.
3.) Get tipsy… BEFORE. If you plan on drinking or partaking in other mind-altering substances, then get a buzz going before you go. This is because it will be cheaper for you once you get there to keep it going, that’s it. Simple, but overlooked quite often I’ve noticed. Note: don’t get HAMMERED before (I’ve made this mistake); you won’t remember half the show, and could potentially get sick, or worse.
4.) Come prepared. This is different from drinking before. What I mean is having at least some sort of plan or outline of how you’d like the night to go. There are certain things to consider: Who are you going there with? Who are you leaving with? What is your desired location on the dance floor (ie. will you need to continually get drinks or would you rather be in the front row raging all night)? What will be your drink of choice (simple, but important)? What time will you be arriving (ie are the opening bands good enough to see)? If you cannot answer these questions, take 5 minutes to brainstorm, jot a couple of notes, and make sure you answer them. Trust me, the build up, the show, and the wind down will all be much more enjoyable.
5.) Costume choice is CRUCIAL. Don’t you hate when a girl complains about breaking her dress strap or a guy whines about scuffing his brand new shoes? ME TOO. There’s an easy solution to this predicament; DON’T BRING THINGS YOU CARE ABOUT. Honestly, if you already know you’re going to be dancing your ass off, then you probably know you will be sweating profusely… dress accordingly. You don’t go to the gym in a suit and tie do you? Do you go swimming in jeans? Nope. So treat a live show as a workout-buy cheap things if it’s festive; it allows you to be more creative anyway!
Essentially, that is all you need to do in order to survive smaller shows. There’s not a lot to it, but if you’re an avid concert-goer, than you know as well as I do that some people just don’t think things through before they head out. Obviously, larger shows will include all of Tier 1, as well as Tier 2 (dedicated only to large venues), so pay attention if you’re planning on hitting one of these this year.
Tier 2 (Large Venues ONLY)
1.) The Corner of Get a Map and F-OFF. Hopefully most of you have seen The Hangover, and if you have, you know most people don’t like being asked directions; especially by 60,000 people. If you’re going to an event with multiple stages/multiple performers/multiple days… then make sure you know where each stage is, who is playing at each (that you want to see at least), and of course, on which day. I’ve gone to events without this knowledge, and it’s incredible how much time you waste searching as opposed to bee-lining it straight to your destination. It’s a little bit of work before (and a little printer/pen ink), but it will save youhours by the end of the event, TRUST me. My friend Nicolee Dichirico happens to be quite an expert at this from what I’ve seen (she posted her HARD schedule on Facebook). Aim to be like Nicolee, and you will have a much better time.
2.) Consider the bare essentials. Mainly I’m talking about essentials to life: food, clothing, and shelter. Make sure you pack enough underwear/outfits to last the trip… duh. Make sure you bring enough food/have enough money/are good enough at mooching to get you fed at least a couple of meals a day and of course rehydrating yourself. And then there’s sleeping. Eventually you should probably sleep, even if it’s a two-day event… so plan on that, and you should probably have an idea of where you will be doing this. If you’re a pickup artist, who knows? You might be able to sneak your way into someone else’s bed (although planning this is not recommended). On top on surviving, consider other things involving your enjoyment at said event: glow sticks, alcohol (and other accoutrement), condoms, etc… I don’t think you need details. Just think about your wildest dream occurring, and be prepared for it to happen, because it just might.
3.) Come prepared, pt. 2. There are certain preparations necessary for large venues in addition to those listed in Tier 1. For instance: a meeting point for the END of each night. This is crucial, because if it’s a large enough event, you will have absolutely ZERO cell service. This means no texting, no calling, no Facebook, no email. It really sucks looking for your friends for 2 hours after all the music is done playing… so don’t let it happen. Another thing to consider (which I highly recommend), is using the buddy system. If you come with 30 people, let’s say, it will be hard to keep everyone together, so have one or two people who will be your ‘wingmen’ and not leave your side. A third tip, if it’s an all day event, usually people want to take a break midday, so have a meeting place for this time as well (the same spot usually works).
4.) Be NICE to the Security. Quick story here- most people I see at shows are complete douches to the Security guards, and it surprises me, because they can actually help you out. How? Well, I went to Together As One last New Year’s, and the person I had bought my ticket from had purchased it on Craigslist, and the original seller, once getting CASH for the tickets, immediately turned around and refunded them. WHOOPS! So, as a couple of my friends got their tickets scanned and consequently sent back to the ticket booth (for being crazy and trying to push past everyone and rushing the guards), I took my time and was really polite to the guard… and he didn’t even scan my ticket. As you can see, it can pay off to treat them with some respect; maybe you’ll need directions, maybe you’ll want to get to the main floor even when it’s ‘past capacity,’ or maybe you want a free water bottle. Being nice and sweet talking a little bit goes a LONG way in getting these favors. And gay jokes aside; try it, it will work.
5.) Get there EARLY (optional). This is just a personal recommendation… not for everyone, but at some of the larger shows, just about EVERY artist performing is worth seeing, so you want to make sure you get as much entertainment for your money as possible. Not only that, but you will probably get in faster the earlier you get there. I’m not saying you have to be one of those people who camps out a day before (which I have done), but an hour before it starts, two hours… no harm done, PLUS you get to have your pick of where you stand. It’s a win-win.
Those are all the tips I have for you surviving public events and shows; take them to heart, they will absolutely help you enjoy yourself much more. If you already practice all of these habits, then print this out and GIVE it to a friend of your’s who may be lacking in ‘survival skills.’ Either way, you should get some use out of this guide for years to come. I hope you enjoyed it! As a little treat to you guys, I have attached literally every major event (minus Burning Man, which is sold out I believe) I can find in California coming up in the next 3 months, when it’s happening, and the link to purchase tickets. I know, I know, I’m so thoughtful So make sure you kick ass the rest of 2011, and get to as many of these shows as possible!
Get your tickets to all the events you are going to now!!!
Aug 6th (L.A.): HARD Summer Music Festival - http://fla.vor.us/186680-HARD-SUMMER-MUSIC-FESTIVAL-tickets/HARD-SUMMER-MUSIC-FESTIVAL-Los-Angeles-The-Los-Angeles-State-Historic-Park-August-06-2011.html
Aug 10th (Fresno): Snoop Dogg - http://snoopdoggfresno.eventbrite.com/
Aug 12th-14th (SanFran): Outside Lands - http://www.sfoutsidelands.com/tickets/
Aug 13th (SLO): Con1ouum - http://con10uumslo.eventbrite.com/
Aug 21st (SLO): Stone Temple Pilots - http://ev12.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/SEGetEventInfo?ticketCode=GS%3aVTIX%3aVTIX11:VABR0821%3a&linkID=twvali
Sept 16th (SLO): Bassnectar - http://ev12.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/SEGetEventInfo?ticketCode=GS%3aVTIX%3aVTIX11:VABR0916%3a&linkID=twvali
Sept 17th (SLO): DEV feat. Dillon Francis - http://dev-dillon-joshuaj.eventbrite.com
Oct 15th (SLO): Designer Drugs - http://designerdrugsslo-joshuaj.eventbrite.com
Oct 29th (L.A.): Escape from Wonderland - http://fla.vor.us/wafform.aspx?_act=eventview&_pky=102605
Nov 12th (SLO): Kill the Noise - http://ktnslo-joshuaj.eventbrite.com
Dec 1st (SLO): Steve Aoki - http://steveaokislo.eventbrite.com/