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My Experience Camping Out For A Gracie Abrams Concert

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

A few weeks ago, right after spring break, three friends and I made a trek up to Georgia to see one of my favorite artists, Gracie Abrams. We planned to drive up the Sunday before the show and prepare to sit outside the venue for several hours. I had never camped out for a concert before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Here’s what my experience looked like!

So, my friends and I drove up Sunday morning from South Florida to Orlando. We then decided to check the weather for Georgia before packing a bag and hitting the road once again. When we did that, we learned that we would be sitting outside in high 20-degree weather. As a native Floridian who hates the cold, I was not excited about this. But, it was all to get a good spot to see my favorite artist. With the cold weather in mind, we packed all the blankets we had, and several sweatshirts, and got in the car.

Based on the directions, we were supposed to get to Georgia in about seven and a half hours. Plenty of time to get several hours of sleep before we camped outside the venue. Well, seven and a half hours turned into nine very long hours. So now we only had about three hours to get some sleep and make another 45-minute drive to the concert venue in the morning. 

We got up at 5:00 am and ended up getting to the venue shortly after. Once we got there, we got our numbers in line, numbers 20, 21, 22, and 23. We laid out a comforter on the ground, put on all our layers, and prepared to sit for the next 13 hours. Let me tell you, the weather app said it was 27 degrees out, but it felt like sub-zero. We were freezing. 

Even though we felt frozen, we made the best out of our situation. I mean, we were about to see Gracie Abrams take the stage in a few hours. We made a few trips to the car just to blast the heat, and even sat in the local coffee shop right next to the venue to escape the cold. We also made friends with the people around us. It seemed like everyone around us had the same interests. All day, Taylor Swift’s discography could be heard from someone’s speaker. I don’t think anyone was complaining. 

We were about six hours in, playing Uno with some friends we made in line, when we heard music coming through the walls. I think everyone in line collectively gasped. Then, we heard Gracie’s voice as she was sound checking her song, “Where do we go now?” Being super fans, we all knew this was the song she was opening her set with. It felt surreal to hear one of your favorite singer’s voices in person for the first time. Suddenly, the wait didn’t seem too long and the cold didn’t seem too bad. It all just started feeling real.

At around 6 pm, the staff started separating the lines by VIP packages. We had early entry, so we were the second group to go in. The hours we devoted to sitting in line paid off because we were first in the early entry line. However, our great moods were quickly gone when, after asking several times, we were told we were in the wrong line and would have to go back to the general admission line. Obviously, my friends, old and new, were not happy with this. We went back and forth and back and forth with security and event staff until, finally, they said they would let us in after the first two VIP groups. Although in frustrated tears, I accepted this decision and was just excited to get inside.

And finally, we were in. We somehow got third row and had a perfect view of the entire show. I can wholeheartedly say it was the best concert I have ever been to. The theme of “Where do we go now?” being a monumental part of the day didn’t just end when we heard her sound check it. Gracie came out and opened with that song, and within the first minute of the show, she came over, locked eyes with me and made me feel like it was just me and her in the venue. It was one of the most special moments I’ve ever experienced and will never forget. So, even though it was chaotic, cold, and long, I would do it all again in a heartbeat to experience this concert another time. 

Franki is a sophomore at UCF majoring in Journalism with a minor in Sports Business Management! When not writing, she can be seen listening to Gracie Abrams, Taylor Swift, or Harry Styles, watching a hockey game, reading a Jane Austen novel, or spending time at a Disney Park!