UK sophomore Payton Willenbrink eagerly waits on the Ticketmaster site, presale code ready to paste, in order to grab her very own tickets to one of her favorite artists, Taylor Swift.
In March 2020, the world was thrown into the COVID-19 pandemic, with concerts during this time practically going extinct. Now that time has passed and guidelines and precautions have been placed, show announcements and world tours have come back like they were never gone in the first place. With the gap between the start of the pandemic and now, people who have never been to a concert before, due to age or the pandemic, now have the opportunity to go. So, the question arises: how does one prepare to go to a concert in 2023?
"I prepare for concerts by drinking lots of water and eating a good meal beforehand," Willenbrink said.
One of the most important things when going to a concert is to stay hydrated the whole time and eat before or when you get there. A concert is a loud environment where you may be standing for long periods of time, and you may be doing a lot of dancing and singing. Drinking water and making sure you have a full stomach always helps avoid things like fatigue when attending a show.
"I bring some extra money to concerts because I usually buy merch," Willenbrink said. "I have a lot of t-shirts from concerts that remind me of how fun it was."
Often, artists will have posted booths or sections around the venue full of merchandise such as t-shirts, hoodies, water bottles, hats and more. In 2023, more performance venues have been going cashless for concessions, so having both cash and a card on hand is a good idea if you want to buy merch.
"If I can, I like to find a predicted setlist for the concert I’m going to and make a playlist to listen to beforehand," Willenbrink said. "I think concerts are fun even if you don't know every word to the songs, but it definitely helps make things more enjoyable."
Many artists have a setlist of songs they play at every show on their tour, so if knowing every lyric of every song is important to you, finding the setlist online or on streaming platforms is a few clicks away and can be quite useful. If you are going to the first show of the tour, many fans or websites make predicted setlists to find an idea of what the artist might play at their shows.
"I like dressing up for concerts but I don't let a good outfit make or break if I have a good time," Willenbrink said.
A fun outfit that fits the aesthetic of the show can make your concert experience that much more fun. Many fans have popularized wearing elaborate outfits for concerts, a great example being Harry Style's "Love On Tour" outfits. If you're not sure what to wear, inspiration can be drawn from Pinterest, other fans' outfits, merchandise from the artist or even your favorite outfit from your closet.
"I tell everyone that has never been to a concert to not take yourself seriously, you will have the most fun if you don't care about others watching you," Willenbrink said. "Dance, sing or scream the songs you love, and don't worry if you don't know every word!"