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Everything you need to know before going to a concert for the first time


Thinking of attending your first concert? We got you, girl!

Every music lover has dreamed of seeing their favorite artists perform live. And with the number of concerts popping up lately, there's never been a better time to head out to your first show. We have *all* the deets on concert lingo, how to purchase tickets and what to wear, so you can have the most amazing first concert experience possible. 

Concert lingo
venue: where the concert is held (primarily theaters, stadiums or concert halls)
opener(s): the opening act(s) for the main performer
headliner: the main performer of the concert 
GA seating: general admission seating where concert goers stand in front of the stage during the concert
front man/woman: lead singer of the band 
pit: the audience area in front of a stage directly behind the front row

Buying tickets 

Our best advice is to use the ticket link in your fave performer's IG or Spotify bio. Avoid buying tickets off of eBay, Facebook, Gumtree, viagogo and GetMeIn.  If you buy the tickets online, you can expect to get them in your inbox the week of the concert. To get tickets to a show that's sold out, continue to check the ticketing website and keep an eye on social media (or, check out websites like StubHub and SeatGeek for legit resales).

Venues? Concert venues come in a range of sizes. Bigger artists like Dua Lipa play in huge stadiums, while smaller artists like mxmtoon perform in smaller venues such as concert halls. But don't be mistaken— small concerts have amaze energy too. We recommend going to both types of concerts at least a few times in your life.

Standing or sitting? There are pros and cons to both standing and seated tickets. GA tickets get you closer to the stage and give you a higher chance of being noticed by the performers. Cons include bad visibility in certain situations and little access to a bathroom during the show. A seat ticket is definitely more comfortable and makes it easier to snag snacks when you get hungry. Cons include a lower chance of interacting with the artist(s).

Getting in


Check the venue's health and safety mandates before heading to the venue. Most venues require a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination along with a mask. Some venues only allow clear bags in the concert hall. You can find all this info on the venue's website. When you arrive, you'll walk through security and get checked in with your ticket. After all the formalities, you are free to rush into GA, buy merch or take pics for Insta (we recommend stopping in the restroom before openers). 

Concert attire


Planning your fit? Say yes to merch tees, printed pants, comfy/stylish shoes and minimal jewelry. Avoid layering—flannels are cute until you're standing in the middle of a swirl of sweaty fans. For accessories, crossbody bags are a super cute way to keep your car keys, cash and phone safe and secure during the concert. And while sunglasses are a must for IG posts, they prove to be pretty useless in a dark theater or venue. Don't forget to pack hair ties: Once you start dancing, you'll be glad you can tie your hair up and keep cool. 

Safety tips 


Stick together. Whenever you're in a crowded place like a concert venue, make sure you go in a group of two or more. Have everyone charge their phone completely before the concert, make a group chat to keep everyone updated and buddy up when going to the bathroom. 

Wear sensible shoes. We know, we know: Skechers might not match your stellar fit, but no one wants a sprained ankle at their first concert. Your feet are going to hurt (guaranteed), and sitting down isn't always an option, depending on your type of ticket. Wearing sneakers instead of heels will save your feet a lot of pain. After all, you want to be dancing around and having a fun time with your squad—not worrying about breaking your ankles all for a few more inches.

Prep ahead for sensory experiences. If you're sensitive to loud noises, flashing lights and large groups of people, talk to your friends and make preparations for the concert. Have a friend film the performances with flashing lights so you can listen to them later and bring a small stuffed animal or fidget toy to play with when the crowds make you anxious. Wear earplugs to muffle the sounds of the concert and screaming around you. Most importantly, have a game plan to exit the venue with a trusted friend if the night becomes too hectic. Just because you're sensitive to certain experiences doesn't mean you can't have the time of your life at a concert with your buds. All it takes is a little prep and a good support system.

Avoid the mosh. People can get seriously hurt in these dance circles, and there's always a chance that the chaos of the concert will prevent you from receiving immediate medical attention if you're injured. That being said, don't be afraid to try out the general admission section—just stay vigilant and bring a buddy. If the crowd is getting too rowdy, grab your friends and steer clear of the commotion. 

Bring a portable charger. A dead phone is not something you want during your first concert, so pack a portable charger. Throughout the night, be sure to check in with your parent or guardian. Record your fave performances to watch back later, but keep the scrolling to a minimum. There will be plenty of time to catch up on Insta later. 

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! At concert venues, you have to relinquish all your Yetis, water bottles and protein bars at the door. And while the water at the concession stand might be overpriced, it's definitely worth it to stay hydrated. To make sure everything goes smoothly the day of the show, hydrate the week prior. Additionally, be sure to eat a good meal before you get there.

Go with a trusted adult. If you're younger than 16, it's a smart move to bring a trusted adult with you into the venue. Ask your cool older cousin to tag along or invite your upperclassmen friends from the track team. If you're entering the venue alone, have a parent wait in line with you before you go in. This is the perfect time to make a game plan for where to meet after the show.

Cute Instagram inspo


A fit check, ofc! Make sure you show off your concert fit. Pose outside, in the empty venue after the crowd disperses or in front of any cool spots you and your friends find before the show.
An amaze photo of the performer. This is a must. Make sure to snap a few (or a few dozen) photos of the openers and performers to post on your IG. These make for awesome stories and spice up your feed between selfies and pics of your dog. 
An artsy photo of your tickets. If you have paper tickets, take an artsy photo of them outside the venue or with the performer and stage in the background. Tbh, it's too aesthetic *not* to post.
A chaotic fangirl post. If you heart ending your photo dumps with some humor, post a chaotic photo of you and your baes fangirling about the performance. Blurry pics + merch hauls = hilarious content.

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💖 6 K-pop artists you need to watch in 2022

Tag us in your debut concert photos for a chance to be featured @girlslifemag!

Slider image via @theamaeontour on Instagram | All GIFs via GIPHY


by Cara Lamina | 6/7/2022