After over a year and a half, the world is seemingly at a point that people are able to gather and enjoy things in person again. Something that I have been looking forward to as the world starts opening back up is live music. The adrenaline rush caused by the bright lights turning on for the first time, hearing the crowd roar at the first strum of the guitar, not to mention the unforgettable memories that last a lifetime. Live music and concerts are a big part of my life. I was crushed when I read that the Green Day concert I had tickets to had been postponed until further notice last May. Thankfully, we’ve gotten to the point where we can start to go to these events again. Just like anything else we’ve done throughout this pandemic, things are a little bit different this time. I was able to go to my first live music event in August of 2021, and while some things were a little odd at first, it’s completely worth it. Here are some tips and tricks that have helped me and my friends stay safe, feel safe and protect others while also enjoying art in one of its many physical forms.
First and foremost, getting vaccinated is the easiest and most reliable way to protect you and the people around you. By taking a step to protect yourself, you are inherently protecting your fellow concertgoers. Aside from the latter, most states and venues have a form of vaccine regulation. Washington State has regulations on concerts and live events that venues use to create their own policies. These regulations are dependent on many factors including the crowd size and location but are still enforced at each venue. For example, some venues have sections dedicated to vaccinated patrons, other venues require proof of vaccinations in order to enter the venue. If you’re already vaccinated, this step is pretty easy. Be sure to have a picture or a copy of your vaccination card with you to the venue as some places require proof for various reasons. I have been fully vaccinated since May of 2021 and attended my first live show in August. It was a three-day camping festival. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test was required for entry. Because I’m vaccinated, I only had to show the picture of my card in order to get a wristband for entry, after that, I was able to get into the venue and shops with ease.
It’s something else we’ve been told every day throughout the pandemic, but wearing a mask is another easy way to protect yourself at a show. Concerts and live events are more often than not crowded places where it’s nearly impossible to be socially distant. Wearing a mask decreases the distance air that an individual expels can travel when breathing, talking or simply existing. When you’re at a show, packed in shoulder to shoulder, the small action of wearing your mask adds a little safety net between you and the fan next to you. Plus it by wearing your mask, you’re showing others that you care about them and their health too. It’s important to at the least bring a mask to the show as different venues have different rules on masks. Since I’ve been able to go to events again, I have been to shows that require masks for entry and to others that only require them if you’re talking to a vendor. All in all, bring a mask to make sure you can get anywhere easily, and wear your mask to protect yourself and the people around you.
This tip is sort of a two-part tip. First of all, getting a clear backpack or fanny pack makes getting through security easier. Not only because clear bags are often the only type of bags that are allowed inside of venues, but also because the people checking your bag won’t have to take the items out of your bag in order to search it. The clear bag allows security to see into your bag without having to touch everything inside of it. The less that other people have to touch your things, the less contact between you and others which in turn means less of a chance of picking up something from an event. The second part of this tip is to carry an abundance of hand sanitizer in your bag. More often than not, and especially right now, venues won’t throw out hand sanitizer or baby wipes. And since you already have the clear bag, carrying in a bottle of hand sanitizer and or baby wipes isn’t going to be a problem. The hand sanitizer that venues have for the public runs out way too quickly, soap and paper towels run out in the bathrooms all the time and think of all the things that you touch during a concert. Carrying your own bottle of hand sanitizer for yourself and having extra for your friends can make the night way safer and more sanitary. My professional recommendation is the liquid spray hand sanitizer because it is easy to share, it only takes a couple of sprays to get the job done and it seems to last longer.
I don’t know how long these products have been around, but another way someone can stay safe at a venue is to have a sanitizing box. UV sanitizing boxes come in all shapes, sizes, and prices, but their purpose is to sanitize whatever you put inside of them. Since germs work the way that they do, and because your hands touch everything, our personal items such as our phones, keys and wallets can become the easiest sources of transmission. Having a UV sanitizing box is an easy way to keep your frequently touched items clean during or after a show. These products are just another step in protecting yourself and others, and they certainly aren’t required, but at the same time, they’re worth the money.
I love indoor venues as much as the next fan, they’re personal and indescribably amazing; but due to the way the world is, outdoor venues are much safer options. There’s constant fresh air, there’s more room to dance, there’s little to no unwanted echo because there’s no walls or roof. Outdoor venues allow more people to enjoy the show in an open space. Indoor venues are amazing, but until the world is a little healthier, enclosed spaces like that aren’t the safest places for crowds of people. Outdoor venues have better ventilation and more space for activity. Saying that, if we don’t go to indoor venues, they’ll shut down, and with winter months approaching, indoor venues are becoming more popular again. Indoor venues aren’t bad, in fact, they’ve been home to some of the best concerts I’ve ever been to, they just carry some extra risks and precautions with them.
Of course, there are so many things that a person can do to help protect themselves and the people around them. I am just happy that we are able to do these things again. After over a year and a half, we are finally able to dance together, sing together and live our lives together. In order to keep going to events and being around each other, we have to do our part to keep them going. We all know that people are going to go to shows and go to events that have crowds which is why it is so crucial to remember that we enjoy these events together; therefore, we have to protect each other. Obviously, it goes without saying that if you’re feeling any symptoms of COVID19 or under the weather at all to stay home. Missing one concert is way better than getting yourself and others sick. The world is opening back up, but things are not back to the way that they were. Saying that, with simple modifications, we’re able to do things we love and miss so much. Enjoy your shows. Enjoy your concerts. Enjoy the experience. Just don’t forget to protect your fellow fans and friends.