Today has been a somewhat productive day as I’ve been packing. Sadly, no I’m not going on holiday, I’m actually packing to go queue for a concert tomorrow...except the concert isn’t until Monday night so I’m either extremely bonkers / dedicated / insane / a combination of all three.
I’ve been spoilt by my favourite band over the years. I’ve seen them individually in tiny venues with a handful of people after they split up, then they got back together and had this amazing front standing zone in front of the stage. Now, anything less than being front row at a concert I feel a little disappointed. Honestly, that feeling of being at the front and your favourite band being right there is like nothing else and that’s really why I queue for ridiculously long periods of time.
This blog post is a little longer than normal but I thought today I’d share with you my top tips for queueing for a concert. Obviously everyone’s will be different to what I find works for me but I needed a blogtober post and this topic is very relevant to my day today.
- Book a hotel
When I was in my teens I thought nothing of queuing overnight for a concert. However, as I’ve got older I’ve realised that for safety / sanity / making sure you don’t faint during a concert it’s so much better to book a hotel. It means you can still queue before people can arrive to the place by public transport ensuring your one of the first in the queue without the hassle of queuing completely overnight. If your hotel is near enough it also means you don’t have the stress of finding a toilet, you have somewhere warm to go if it’s cold, you have somewhere to charge a phone. For me the hassle of not having to find a toilet is the biggest thing, otherwise you’re always like oh the cafe next door will let you use theirs but you have to buy something, a McDonalds is a 24 minute walk that way, it’s just unnecessary stress! Basically I just love a hotel when I’m concert queuing.
- Be comfortable and warm
Pillows, blankets, duvets, 12 jumpers, 100 pairs of leggings under your jeans, sun cream, winter coat, waterproofs...you name it I bring it! You’re sat on the floor for hours on end and believe me it gets uncomfortable really quickly. I’ve got my overpacking comfy things down so much now that I can usually get comfortable enough to have a couple of hours sleep whilst queueing! You never can predict the weather either and I’ve found even on most warm days it does get a little chilly when you’re just sat queueing.My favourite bands annoyingly tend to tour in cold months too so layers are everything. It’s also worth remembering to ditch all your layers / blankets etc an hour or so before the concert as you don’t want to take them in with you which is where again having a hotel to put things in becomes very handy. Plus if you have lots of stuff, the security at the door will take longer searching you meaning you may lose the spot you’ve been queuing for all day which you do not want!
- Hand warmers
Ok, this one only applies when you’re queuing when it’s cold. But last year my friend and I discovered the absolute amazingness of hand warmers. Lots of different ones are available but we’ve found the ones that you can only use once and you shake to activate are the best. You shake to activate them and then slowly they warm up all day long - plus they last a good 8 hours or so! Feet warmers (yes really!!) are also available too! If you have any possibility it may be cold you need these in your life.
- Food & Drink
This one seems a bit rubbish to put on my list but whenever I’ve queued I’ve always taken a bag full of snacks, sandwiches and water. Sometimes where you’re queuing could be quite far from anything so it’s nice to have nibbles on you so don’t don’t have to make the trek for food/drink too often. Remember, drink plenty of water! I have a tendency to faint at standing concerts so I try keep as hydrated as possible up to a couple of hours before a concert. Obviously you don’t want to need to dash for a wee when you’ve finally got inside so water consumption is stopped a couple of hours beforehand! I also always make sure I have a packet of Dextro energy sweets on me, I just find whenever I start to get that faint feeling it gives me a little extra boost to get through the night.
Again another really obvious point but you have to remember things to do. You do not realise how long queueing 15 hours + is until you’ve actually done it. Your phone battery seems to drain in record time too so make sure you invest in a good portable phone charger - it will be the best thing you ever purchase. Bring a book, bring a pen and a notebook, bring something to colour, bring your games console, bring playing cards...anything really that you think will help you get through the day. When you’ve been queuing hours and you still have hours to go it’s so wonderful to have something you can take out your bag to help the hours pass a little faster. It’s also worth factoring in that it may be raining all day so take something you’re able to do whilst holding an umbrella!
I do a lot of things alone but personally I would not queue for a concert by myself - though if you wanted to I don’t see why you couldn’t. However if you go with a friend it’s so great that you have someone to hold the fort whilst you go and have a walk round to stretch your legs (which you’ll need to do often otherwise you can’t physically move for hours...) or to go for food etc. The friend/s you go with must also be someone you can talk to lots and get on well with. You’re going to be with the people you’re with for a very long time so it’s good if you have someone you always have plenty to talk about with otherwise I can imagine the day will feel even longer. It’s also worth being sociable to others in the queue, people will often be passing excess snacks around or offering to get you stuff from the shop when they go which is lovely. You have the love of the band your seeing in common so it’s easy to start talking to people. You’re going to be sat with these people all day and stood with them at the barrier at the concert so it’s worth just chatting even a little to them.
I didn’t want to list make sure you remember your tickets and that your camera is charged etc as I figured that was just too obvious. I know my things are obvious too but they are just the things I find improve my queueing experience. I’ve probably forgot something really important I should’ve wrote on this list so no doubt I’ll end up editing it but the tips above are my top of the head top tips. I hope if anyone is going to queue for a concert they find this helpful.
Have you ever queued for a concert? I’d love to know other people tips too!