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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Virginia Tech chapter.

It’s a big year for concerts and festivals. Performers like Adele, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Lizzo, Zach Bryan, John Mayer, The 1975, Luke Combs, and The Weeknd all have plans to take the stage in front of fans. Whether you have one night to experience your favorite artist or tickets to a music festival like Bonnaroo or Floyd Fest, a lot of preparation goes into getting ready for the event. 

For me, this is such a big year for music, I am fortunate enough to have tickets to my top two most listened-to artists: Zach Bryan in May and Taylor Swift in June. The first thing I like to do in preparing for a concert is to familiarize myself with the music. I like to make a playlist of the most recent albums and big hits of all the artists I saw play live and combine them into one playlist. I will binge-listen to all the music for a few months before the show so I can fully enjoy the live versions. As a bonus, at the end of the year, I have all the concerts I have been to that year all in one playlist, so I can go back to certain years and reminisce. 

I love live music. There’s something so special about the interaction between fans and the talented artist performing that happens at a concert. No two concerts are ever alike; So it is important to know the vibe, the venue, and the rules of the show to give yourself the best experience possible. 

A lot of venues have rules and regulations for items allowed into the vicinity. Be sure to Google the venue to see what you can bring. A clear bag is always a good investment for major events, like concerts, festivals, and sporting events. My go-to necessities include identification, cash, a credit card, chapstick or lip gloss, and a portable phone charger. These are all important things that could come in handy in case of an emergency. I also like to carry pepper spray in my concert bag, but many venues do not allow any type of weapon, including pepper spray, so it’s important to know what is allowed and what isn’t. While you are on your venue’s site, I suggest looking to see if they have any photos of the venue. Some sites have pictures of the view you will have from specific seats. Even if your venue does not provide this type of information, a quick google search will help you find other people’s view from your seat.

Another big thing to check out is parking arrangements. Ticketmaster went through immense scrutiny with all the fees that customers must pay on top of the tickets themselves and many of them don’t include parking. If your venue does not have reasonably priced parking or enough spaces, it would be smart to locate a parking garage or lot that allows you to pay by the hour. It may be a walk to the venue, but in the end, can usually save you a little bit of money. The same goes for hotels, if you have to drive a while to the venue, a lot of cheaper hotels book up quickly following the sale of big shows in the area. So you must jump on the hotel or Airbnb as quickly as possible and make sure they will actually rent the room to you. Many hotels’ and Airbnb’ have an age restriction policy, so it is important to read all the fine print.

The last step in my preparation for a concert is by far the most fun step in getting excited about the concert, the outfit. Now you have to first look at the possible weather conditions, if you’re looking to go shopping several months before it is a good idea to look at the weather forecast from the previous years to see the high and low temperatures. No one likes standing around in uncomfortable outfits, so I suggest finding something in advance to ensure the best fit to match your personal style. TikTok and Pinterest are perfect places to start for some outfit inspiration. 

Concerts and big events can be chaotic and if you don’t know what you are doing or where you are going you can get yourself into a potentially dangerous situation. No matter what your concert plans are it is important to do your research and be prepared so you can have the most magical concert experience.

Caroline Reed

Virginia Tech '24

Caroline is a senior majoring in Multimedia Journalism and minoring in Creative Writing at Virginia Tech. Caroline has been apart of HerCampus for four years and loves being around such a fun group of girls! She loves writing short fiction, poetry, and news articles. She enjoys watching old movies and listening to Taylor Swift.