Dos and Don’ts of Attending a Punk Rock Concert
My first punk rock concert was in my sophomore year of high school. My brother was in college at the time and he bought a ticket for my friend and me. We made travel arrangements for the weekend and were very excited for the concert that included Less Than Jake and New Found Glory. While my brother gave me helpful advice, I left the concert losing some money, sprained my ankle, and had multiple bruises to top it off. Hoping that everything will work out for the others, I thought I’d share some tips that I learned after going to countless punk rock concerts.
First of all, you need to be as prepared as possible, especially in what you wear and bring. With punk rock concerts generally packed with people, you’ll want to pack as little as possible. Therefore, men will not want to bring their wallet and women will not want to bring their purse. I say this because those things can easily get lost in the crowd (especially if you want to “group surf”). But the main thing you’ll want to bring is the ticket, cash, and ID (if you’re underage or want to buy alcohol). Everything else can easily be left in your car, but be sure to store items you bring in your front pockets to ensure they are not stolen or dropped. However, if the venue allows for photos to be taken, you may consider bringing your camera, but remember this can be a problem if you are being pushed ahead and you don’t want it to be damaged.
In preparation, what should you wear? This is really up to you, but personally I suggest wearing pants instead of shorts and shoes instead of sandals. If you plan to make your way to the front, you will want pants as they will kick you a bit and you will need additional protection. Also, if you think sandals will be okay, imagine hundreds of people stepping on your toes. Also, bringing a sweatshirt or wearing a long-sleeved shirt is not a good idea. As you will soon discover, the places will be very hot and you will have nowhere to put your extra clothes. Unless of course the place is outside in cooler weather then that would be a good idea.
Now that you are ready to go, the fun can begin. But there are some things you might want to know before you get too crazy. First of all, you need to think about where you would like to place yourself for the concert. If you want to be left behind, make sure you are behind the “well” as it is something people enjoy throwing each other in a big circle. It can certainly be painful if someone accidentally hits you, so be careful!
But if you’re like most people, you came to see one of your favorite bands and damn, you’ll be up front! However, one thing to remember is that there are opening bands, so you may want to wait to position yourself when the band you want to see performs, as the crowd is already full and you will be sold out by the time your band approaches. play. While the struggle to get to the front can make people a bit angry as you go, just try to be nice about it and use the words “excuse me” so people don’t start pressuring you for bumping into them.
While you may want to rush to the front to see “your band” during a set change, you may also consider waiting a song or two before coming to the front. This is because everyone has the same idea of running to the front during a change of set and holding hands with people who wait more than half an hour sometimes can seem like an eternity. Also, this way all the oomph and madness seem to calm down a bit and you can get in easily.
Finally, two aspects of a concert that can be the most worrying are two things called “surf crowd” and “the hole.” If you’re heading in front of a large group, be sure to be aware that people will surely surf in a group, as your elbows, head, and feet can hit you unexpectedly. Also, make sure you have earrings to take out before moving to the front. My brother had a friend who actually had his earring ripped off like a girl’s purse ripped off while browsing the crowd. Not good, huh. So that’s another thing to think about.
As far as the hole goes, if you want to be separate from people who just meet, dance madly, and mostly guys who just show off their masculinity, this may be for you. But for most, it is not. Usually this is formed in the middle, behind the first line of people. Even if you are not a part of this, make sure you are a couple of feet away so people are not meeting you. From experience, I suggest going to the stage to the right or left to avoid these intense people.
Overall, I encourage everyone to attend concerts and support the music they love. I hope by reading this you can maximize your fun and also be as safe as possible.