How to Prepare for a Concert
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to the overall concert experience, so to help make planning easier, we’ve rounded up a list of tips on how to prepare for a concert.
Check out the concert prep suggestions below, broken down by the following categories:
Research Seating Views | Complete the Purchase | Plan the Perfect Surprise | Decide What to Wear | Study the Setlist | Concert Photography Tips | Read and Write Concert Reviews | Enjoy the Show | Commemorate the Experience
Even before you decide on concert tickets to purchase, you may first want to study up on the types of seating views available for the show of your choice. Typically, music festivals are general admission only, so your view is probably going to look something like this:
But for most standard indoor/outdoor concerts, there will be reserved seating options. Our marketplace generally offers a wide variety of seats to choose from, including sections in close proximity to the stage…
…as well as those offering a more all-encompassing view of the performance stage and audience.
Among the things to take note of when researching seating views are ticket quantity available (so your whole group can sit together), seats with limited or obstructed views (noted in the details), seats located on the side or behind the stage, covered/open to the elements, and stadium-style seating (usually not available for Field sections at sports venues).
Check out our ongoing series of venue seating guides, which also includes a selection of theater venues as well.
Now that you know where you want to sit for the show, it’s time to buy those concert tickets. The Vivid Seats marketplace backs all confirmed orders with a 100% Buyer Guarantee.
In some instances, you may be buying concert tickets as a gift, and if the element of surprise appeals to you, we’ve got you covered.
Using our handy guide – How to Surprise Someone with Concert Tickets – scan through the list of ways you can pull off the feat, such as the classic “fake out” featured below.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to concert fashion. In the case of outdoor concerts, practicality tops the list as you’ll like be in the hot sun for a large portion of the day, possibly wedged in between fellow fans if you’re in a general admission area.
As you would expect, suggested clothing attire varies greatly across the concert landscape. Music festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, Stagecoach, and Austin City Limits of course come with their own set of guidelines.
If you don't quite find what you're looking for in those, you also can peruse our selection of 15 Easy Concert Hairstyles.
The topic of concert setlists tends to elicit different preferences, as not every fan always wants to know the songs that an artist is expected to play.
But for those that do opt for a little advance setlist sleuthing, setlist.fm is a great resource for virtually any artist. Setlist variation differs for each artist as acts like Phish and Dave Matthews Band have become known for making each performance vastly unique, while others prefer to stick to a pre-set tour setlist with little to no variation.
On occasion, we’ve taken the setlist.fm data a step further by recreating setlists using concert videos from major tours by the likes of Adele, Beyoncé, Billy Joel, Blink 182, Bruce Springsteen, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Garth Brooks, Green Day, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Maroon 5, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Cure, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and Weezer.
Documenting the experience is a must, and though concerts don’t always offer the ideal elements, it’s still worth it to try and capture a picture or two.
Brush up on your concert photography skills in advance by checking out some of the top tips we’ve found from various YouTubers and photography sites. Downloading some new camera apps may also be the trick to taking better pictures at a concert.
In the same vein as setlist research, some fans also prefer to read up on reviews prior to attending a show. If you fall in that camp, you’ll typically have a wide range of reviews to choose from including publications like Rolling Stone and Consequence of Sound and from fellow fans.
We welcome fan reviews for all live events, so simply visit the respective Vivid Seats ticket page for the event you attended to submit a review of your own.
With all the work you put in getting to the concert, by all means, enjoy yourself! And if you get really lucky, you may even have a chance run-in with one of your favorite stars.
Be sure to stop by the merch stand for a souvenir T-shirt or poster, ideally prior to the concert as inventory has a tendency to dwindle and you may encounter long lines as well.
If you know you’ll be situated in close proximity to the stage, keep an eye out at the end of the performance for a guitar pick or drum stick that may be tossed into the crowd. Additionally, artists that keep the show’s setlist taped to the stage may offer it up as a souvenir if you’re really lucky.
If neither of those scenarios pan out, there is something you’ll always have as a keepsake: your ticket.
Yes, the classic ticket stub has gotten tougher to come by these days, but there are many that still offer that particular ticketing option so keep an eye out for such listings.
Those looking for a creative way to store old ticket stubs (and Playbills) can read up on some great display options, both DIY and store bought.