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Music Monday: How to get front row at gigs

Your favourite artist is coming to a city near you and oh my god, you have to be front row! I mean, maybe if you are lucky, your favourite singer will look you into the eye and finally realise that he/she is in love with you. You will definitely make babies and live happily ever after.

For some shows, it is relatively easy to be at the front. Some artists do not have that much of a crazy fanbase and showing up at a decent time will most likely guarantee you that you will be front row. For those of us who admire artists with a more, let’s say, dedicated fanbase, it will be a lot harder to get that spot at the barrier. You will have to work for it. You will have to put in time and effort and most of all, you have to be smart and fast.

In my more fanatic days, I was an expert at getting front row spots. So I know what I am talking about. For real, yo. I am still surprised no television show has called me to talk about this issue as an expert. Anyway, here is my advice. Read and learn, young padawan.

1. Be there on time

In my most fanatic days, I sometimes would get to the venue at 6am, which is completely ridiculous. I always drew the line at that and I never slept and would never sleep in front of a venue. I need a bed, okay. So please, do not sleep in front of a venue. It is not worth it. Just get there as soon as you can and as soon as you feel like going. Queuing can be fun when you are around nice people. Then time flies. But regardless of what others say, getting there earlyish in the afternoon should be good enough to be front row if you play your cards right.

2. Make friends with a fanatic person who plans to go super early.

You can chill out at home/in the hotel/go sight-seeing while they update you on the current queue situation. Are too many people there? Then you might consider going to the venue.

3. Find the right position when doors open.

You may not know if you are in the fastest line when you join it, but try to get as close to the doors as possible. There might be people with numbers, which is a great system if the venue cooperates, but if not, it is everybody for themselves, really. So grab your friend by the hand, drag them to the front, get that ticket scan and fast-walk (you are not supposed to run so security will tell you off for this) into the venue.

4. Do not focus on the center

People are all about standing right in the middle in front of the stage because they believe that that is the best spot ever. If you were going to a Johny Cash gig (but you’re not cause he is dead), that would be a great idea. But most artist move around a lot and often spend more time on the sides. So you will find that when you enter a venue, people will be packed in the middle, but the barriers will be free still. Fast-walk to that barrier, grab it and celebrate your victory.

5. Have your friends guard your spot with their lives when you have to go to the toilet.

Seriously, even girls who go to toilets in packs have to let go of this. You all go separate, whilst the others guard your spot with their lives. In the Game of Front Rows, you either hold on, or end up in another row. And people don’t care about your “but I was here first.” I was once at a festival with friends and we got the front row even though we rolled up at 19.30. Then 1,5 hours later, this woman appeared and demanded to stand where we were standing cause she had been there since three o’clock. Her husband had been there all along and hadn’t said a word. So obviously we did not care. Security did not care about her moaning and if you are this woman, you should take your loss and suck it up. Only the truly dedicated will keep their conquered spot.

6. Enjoy the show

There is truly nothing like seeing a show from the front row, especially when you are as tiny as I am. So don’t be a dick who just stands there looking at their phone. And when I am standing behind you, dancing and going crazy, do not give me an evil look when I touch you with my bag because I give zero fucks when you are not even enjoying yourself.

7. Beware of the assholes

There will always be assholes who will try to ruin your experience. I once had two girls next to me who said I could not move my head because then my hair would touch one of their shoulders and she thought it was disgusting. If you speak to me like that, expect to be laughed at. If you cannot handle being close to strangers, go stand in the back. Because the front row is for dancing and having a good time. One of these girls also demanded me to clear something off the stage because the artist might trip over it and fall. 1. That is not my job. 2. I can’t even reach it. 3. You are not my mother. Do not speak to me like that.

This was just one instance of an asshole front row. See number 6 for another case.

 

So these were my tips to get front row. I hope that they are useful to you. Be smart. Be quick and mostly do not be too polite to strangers because you are on a mission!

Have you ever been front row? Tell me your craziest front row stories in the comments!

Comments

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Ingrid is the twenty-something owner of The Sassologist, who loves everything that has to do with pop culture. While she is one of many who is in the process of writing a novel, she is also currently in denial over not being a witch. Her Hogwarts letter has yet to arrive. In the meantime she writes about pop culture and dreams about unicorns.

One Comment

  • Mary

    January 18, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    I went to see Mika at the Sixth and I Synagogue in DC April 2013 and somehow despite the elements seemingly working against me, managed to get front row seats. When I and my group got to the venue the line was already around the corner and down the block. Obviously there was no way we were getting decent seats. BUT once we finally got inside the door my sister’s friend spotted a row of chairs right up at the front. We quickly made a bee line for them moving painfully and clumsily through the pews (seriously if you’ve never tried running through pews fair warning: you will come out of it slightly bruised – but it will be so worth it); we were moving for them in the spirit of a bride and her bridesmaids who’ve just spotted the perfect dress in a shop on a massive sale day. Those seats were OURS. And we got them. They weren’t front, front row, they were second row, but it was close enough and I think they were better as far as the view went. I think when it comes down to it, planning ahead of time is good but sometimes it comes down to sheer luck. At least that’s what I gleaned from my experience. So to anyone and everyone going to a show wanting those coveted front rowers – may the stars be aligned in your favor and God speed to you because you’re gonna need it. When it comes to getting a good spot, take it from me, RUN FORREST RUN!

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