A Guide To Concerts: How To Have The Greatest Night Of Your Life


Morgan Uhlhorn

Concerts; from breathtaking views to the surreal feeling of hearing your favorite songs live as opposed to on your phone, concerts are an experience you need to partake in.

Picture this: You are sitting in your seat, your knee bobbing up and down with anticipation. You look down at your phone and see the clock strike nine o’clock. You feel your heart flutter rapidly. You lift your head and the lights start to dim, and music gradually begins to creep into the room. Strobe lights soar through the atmosphere. The instrumentals grow louder and louder until they consume your ears. And suddenly, the strobe lights fade away. A single spotlight appears on the stage and out walks your favorite artist. There is truly no feeling that will ever compare to concert adrenaline. 

I have been to my fair share of concerts, and they are a surreal experience to say the least. From screaming your favorite songs with no care how you sound to being surrounded by fellow fans who appreciate the artist on the stage as much as you do, concerts are truly full of unforgettable moments. But for a first time concert-goer, this experience can seem a bit overwhelming. From the pressure of what to wear, what seats to purchase, when to buy tickets, these are just some worries that may arise for someone attending their first concert. But do not fear, the tips listed below will help direct you towards a magical night you will never forget: 

Concerts are truly some of the most unforgettable experiences in life; read below to learn how to make your next concert the most magical night! (Morgan Uhlhorn)

Purchasing Tickets: Presale versus On Sale

It is 11:58 a.m. You are anxiously sitting in Ticketmaster’s waiting room. This is the first time you are trying to purchase tickets as they go on sale at 12:00 p.m- and you have no idea where to begin.

My first tip of advice is to be on the lookout for presale codes in the weeks leading up to the day tickets go on sale. Not only do artists release special presale codes that any fan can gain access to, but many credit card companies, like American Express, offer presale access as well. Presale codes are literally what it sounds like – they give you access to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public. Presale can save the stress of worrying tickets will sell completely out when they are released to the general public. If you are unable to purchase presale tickets, it is comforting to know you still have another chance with general on sale. 

Still not convinced of the power of presale? Let me explain using a personal experience: Back in September 2021, Shawn Mendes tickets went on sale for his upcoming tour. The day presale tickets were released, I was ready. I arrived early to Ticketmaster, waited in the waiting room, and had all of the credit card information needed easily accessible. When the time came and tickets were launched, I was able to obtain two seats in the first section off of the pit. In other words, I was able to get really close seats, at a reasonable price, and with a great view of the stage as the tickets were released all because of the presale code.

If you are purchasing general on sale tickets, then I have two recommendations for you: either purchase your tickets right away or last minute. 

If you have the chance to attempt to purchase a ticket at the exact time it goes on sale, I strongly encourage you to take the opportunity. If you attempt to purchase a concert ticket a few weeks after the general onsale, chances are you are going to be met with the most expensive prices. This is because tickets are going to be in high demand, and sellers are going to try their hardest to make a profit off of this, which means expensive prices. But if you purchase the tickets as they go on sale, you do not have to deal with sellers’ abnormal prices.

However, if the opportunity to purchase tickets right away passes, there is the option to find reasonable tickets prices at the last minute. I recently attended a Louis Tomlinson concert, and bought floor tickets the day before the event for face-value, or the original price of ticket before fees, despite purchasing from an online seller. When I was researching ticket prices about a month before the concert, the prices were over $200 from their face-value for nearly all seats, and even more expensive for the floor. The reason I was able to purchase tickets 24 hours before the concert at a reasonable price is because the seller wanted to make some sort of profit off of the tickets they were marketing and time had run out to sell them at an inflated rate. 

Choosing The Best Seats For You

Now that you understand when to purchase your tickets, here is how you go about choosing your tickets.

Every concert enthusiasts’ ultimate dream is to be as close as possible to the stage. Who would not want to be in the absolute closest spot to the stage, where you could actually grip the barricade and potentially make eye contact with the artist? The reality of this dream is that acquiring these spots can be quite difficult. But as someone who has been to multiple concerts, each with different views of the stage, front row tickets are not the only incredible option. Here is what to expect at any level you find yourself sitting:

The nosebleeds are truly a breathtaking view, from seeing the entirety of the stage to taking in all of the fans’ lights that radiate the arena. (Morgan Uhlhorn)

The Nosebleeds

The nosebleeds, or upper tiers of the arena/stadium, are often regarded as the seats “no one wants.” But the nosebleeds are actually beautiful. You get to see everything – the entirety of the stage, the artist performing at all times, the flashlights from fans’ phones when a slow song comes on, the stage effects and visuals during the performance. You get to see the whole picture as you are not limited to just seeing the artist as he or she performs on your side of the stage. You do not miss the confetti cannons going off on the left side of the stage because your seats are on the right side. Instead, the high position of the nosebleeds allows you to see moments that may be obstructed for others. Plus, the nosebleeds are not as crammed together as the floor, meaning you and your friends can dance around without worrying about accidentally bumping into the stranger next to you.

The Side View

The side view in my opinion is quite underrated. Getting seats that are to the left or the right of the stage has more advantages than one would expect. Side views allow you to be closer to the stage, while still being able to have your own seat and space. In other words, it is like a median between the pit and the nosebleeds; you are closer to the stage and the artist so your view is enhanced, and you still have personal space that you may not find on the floor. Check out these pictures from an Ed Sheeran concert I attended in September 2018 to see just how magical the side view can truly be:

These side seats allowed me to have room to dance around, while still giving me a clear view of Ed fairly close to the stage. (Morgan Uhlhorn)

Middle Perspectives 

Seats in the middle have a lot to offer: a fairly clear view of the artist, the ability to see all angles of the stage, and potentially the best audio experience. The speakers used at concerts are usually directed toward the center of the venue, so the middle seats will offer you the crispest audio. Not only this, if the artist has a B-stage set up, then the middle sections will receive one of the best views when the performance shifts to this spot. The only thing I would keep in mind when it comes to the middle of a venue is that depending on the location of your spot, be aware that the audio technicians, who are usually on the middle of the floor, may obstruct your view slightly if your seats are low enough. 


This picture was not zoomed in nor edited; there is no denying that the floor can offer some of the greatest photographic moments! (Morgan Uhlhorn)

The floor, general admission, the pit – there are so many names to refer to standing seats. Typically the most expensive and the ones that require the most effort to ensure, the floor has its pros and its cons. The floor can offer some once-in-a-lifetime experiences as you can manage to get really close to the artist performing, especially if the singer is one of your all time favorites. The pictures and videos you capture of the artist at a floor level will also be some of the clearest you can get of the artist. If the performance ends with confetti, streamers, or some other type of celebration, then fans on the floors have the chance to grab these pieces as memorabilia. 

In September of 2021, I was selected to attend a private Shawn Mendes concert at Irving Plaza in New York City. Only around 200 fans were picked to attend, and Mendes performed songs from his most recent album Wonder for the very first time. Considering the minimal amount of people, all of the fans had access to the floor. This was the closest I had ever been to the stage at a concert, and it was a surreal moment. I was just a few heads away from being on the barricade, and had a perfect view of Mendes. My pictures and videos came out crystal clear, and the entire day was a dream come true.

So yes, the floor is full of concert experiences like no other, but if you are attending your first concert, I would not necessarily recommend these spots. First off, just because you have pit tickets does not ensure that you will be right up against the stage. Fans will wait for hours, some even going as far as camping, to get the spots right up front. This means a majority of fans will be packed together in the middle of the pit. And if it is your first concert, you may miss out on a lot if you are crammed in the pit. If you are short, you may not be able to see, and what fun is it to attend a concert without even being able to see the artist. Along with this, the pit can get very hot very quickly due to the crowd, so a new time concert goer may feel overwhelmed. And once you leave your spot on the floor, there is no guarantee that you will get it back. If you are a new concert goer, having a seat that is deemed to be yours alleviates the stress of losing your view, and ultimately will give you more room throughout the show to move around.

Fashion: The Do’s and Don’ts For Concert Attire

There is no denying that concerts have become fashion shows for fans. Many fans go all out with their attire- from creating handmade outfits to wearing clothes that resemble specific songs from the artists. While getting all decked out for concerts is a blast, here are some things to keep in mind when putting your look together:

Be Confident While You’re Comfortable

While that pair of high heels may go really well with your outfit, you are not going to be very comfortable with your feet aching all night as you try to dance. Opt for shoes like cushioned sneakers. The same idea goes for clothes – while you may love those tight leather pants, think to yourself, will I be comfortable in these all night? Remember, concerts can last for hours, and you are standing and jumping most of the time. If you are going to be thinking about how uncomfortable your pants or top is all night, do yourself a favor and choose a different look. Your look can still be stylish even if it’s comfortable.

Morgan Uhlhorn (left) and Kaelin Anderson (right) demonstrate what ideal concert outfits may look like: stylish with easily worn jackets, no loose jewelry, and cushioned sneakers. (Morgan Uhlhorn)

Dress According To The Weather 

Some shows are outside, so this is crucial to keep in mind when planning your outfit. If the show is outside, make sure to frequently check the weather and temperature and dress accordingly. If your show is inside, make sure you are not over layered where you can risk overheating, especially if you have floor seats where it can get very hot, very fast. If you do want to bring an extra layer, make sure it is something you can easily put in your bag or fashionably tie around your waist if you wish to take it off after arriving at the concert. 

Accessories and Other Bling

Go ahead and add some bling to your look with jewelry or even chains. But be careful to not wear any pieces that are too big or loose as they could potentially fall off. If you want a bag or purse to your outfit, make sure it is nothing too extravagant as you are going to have to hold or place it by your feet most of the night. Bags you can easily wear and are not too heavy or bulky are most efficient.  Also keep in mind that bags will be checked by security, so try to only fill it with your absolute essentials. If you are able to, a clear bag is very convenient for concerts as they are quick to look into.

Final Tips You Need To Know

While at my Louis Tomlinson concert, I went to the back of the floor as opposed to staying near the front so I could see better and more comfortable given my height. I ended up having the perfect view! (Morgan Uhlhorn)

Before you go out and have the best night of your life at your upcoming concert, keep these quick tips in mind:

  • Do not bring anything that will obstruct the views of fans behind you. No one wants a poster blocking their view of the stage the entire night. If you do bring a sign, only raise it at times when the artist is not singing or talking. 
  • Make sure to keep your money, tickets, and IDs in a safe place. While you should go out and have the time of your life, remember that your safety always comes first.
  • Be mindful of fans around you. Sing your heart out and dance around, but do not be obnoxious with your actions. Remember the people around you are watching the same show.
  • If the artist asks for you to be quiet during a song, do not be the fan that screams to be noticed. Show the artist that you respect their request and enjoy the moment.
  • Capture all the moments you want on your phone, but remember to live in the present as well. Definitely record some videos and take pictures to be able to look back on your concert, but remember that you will never get this exact experience again, so embrace it!

Now that you are an expert on the do’s and don’ts of concerts, go out and have the most unforgettable experience! Sing, dance, and above all, embrace it!