It's safe to say that I've been to a fair amount of concerts in my life so far, and I can honestly say that about 99% of them have been general admission shows. I've always preferred GA because of the control that it gives me without draining my wallet. When you go to a show at an arena with seated tickets, how much you're willing to spend determines how nice your view is. With general admission, however, your view is determined by your dedication. Living in New York, I've had the chance to visit a lot of standing room only venues, including the iconic Webster Hall and Irving Plaza, as well as some not so great venues (I'm looking at you Terminal 5.) At these shows, you meet a lot of interesting people, some may turn out to be your future concert buddy and some may become that person that you avoid at every show you see them at. Everything with GA is pretty much a hit or miss, really; but, the great thing is that you share something unique with everyone you meet. That being said, here are 10 moments that anyone who has been to a general admission show can relate to in some way.
1. When you're short and have to arrive at the venue hours before doors open to make sure you can see.
I've never struggled with this personally, I'm lucky enough to be a pretty average height as well as the self proclaimed queen of barricade; but, I've met plenty of people who have paid other people to wait in line for them until they could get there just so they wouldn't be in the back when they got there.
2. When the venue employees arrive to start setting up and preparing for the night and they ask you how long you've been waiting there.
It seems like an innocent question, so you answer without hesitation only to be hit with that look
in response. You know, the 'Why the hell are you already here? Doors aren't until 7pm.' look. The look intensifies when the person they ask has been there for over 24 hours. Last October, I saw EDEN at Webster Hall and there were people waiting there for the Green Day concert which was two days away. Not gonna lie, I definitely gave them the look for that, but I do admire their dedication.
3. When you've been in line for hours and someone has their 5 friends come way later and cut the line.
This has got to be the most annoying thing in the world. I've been here since 8am and your friends got here at 6pm and are suddenly going to have a better view than me? I don't think so. Most people won't speak up about it when it happens, but I think we can all agree that that isn't fair to anyone who has been waiting all day. One or two people I can somewhat understand, depending on the circumstance, but 5 or more people? Why don't you all go to the back of the line together? Wow, this sounds really childish out loud but I'm petty so I'm not even going to bother apologizing. Don't be a terrible person.
4. When random people walking by keep stopping to ask you who you're in line for, instead of just looking up and reading the marquee.
The worst thing about this moment is that it happens far too many times. You mean to tell me NONE of these people can stop for two seconds to read what the sign says? It takes way less time and doesn't require me to speak to anyone. To make matters worse it almost always goes like this:
Person: "Who are you waiting for?"
Me: "[says artist's name]"
Person: "Oh! Who's that?"
Me: "Uh, a singer.."
Person: "Ah! Alright!"
What did anyone get out of that? Tell me please.
5. When the VIP line gets let in first and you're walking past everyone else who isn't VIP.
6. When you're watching everyone else go in when you don't have VIP.
VIP people never really have to worry about arriving at the venue really early because they're likely to get the perfect standing spot regardless, and it's a great feeling to be in the venue before everyone else. You really get that royal kind of feeling, and it might make your head a little big.
Being in line for hours when you don't have VIP really sucks because the people who haven't been there for as long get to go in before you. In a way you're happy for them, but at the same time how happy can you be when it isn't you go in with them? You're allowed to be just a little bitter. It's alright.
7. When you want to buy merch, but you don't want to lose your standing spot.
What's worse, having to wait in line for half an hour to buy merch after the concert or snatching it up before the show starts and the line isn't long but run the risk of losing your spot? I mean, yeah, you could always ask someone to hold your place for you–but do you really trust them, or the people around you? You think they're holding your spot and next thing you know, you return $100 poorer and there's someone standing where you were. Do you confront them or just find somewhere else? What if they refuse to move when you confront them? Then what? This all creates a serious dilemma as you can see.
8. When the concert starts and everyone pushes forward at once.
In this moment, you go from comfortable and excited to overwhelmed and slightly confused. This is probably the sweatiest situation you'll ever find yourself in. Everyone is dancing and singing, you're dancing and singing, there's no room for anyone to go anywhere so you're all pretty much on top of each other. When it comes to general admission, the best places to be are either on the barricade, so that way no one is in front of you and you have something to hold onto, or in the very back of the crowd, because even though you may not be able to see as well at least you have room to dance. I feel for those poor souls in the center of the pit, I don't see how that can be an enjoyable experience for anyone.
9. When security sees everyone in the pit struggling and doesn't do anything to help.
I've never seen more oblivious people than security guards at general admission events. Once the show starts and they have their in ears in place, they're mentally clocked out for the night. You'll have people on the verge of passing out and in need of water and security will just pretend to not see or hear anyone. When this happens your only choice is to get the attention of the venue employee walking around the edge of the pit selling water for $6 a bottle. I don't know about you, but I'll pass out before I pay more than $2 for a bottle of water, that's just insane and I'm just broke and cheap. It seems that you have to do something that drastic in order to get anyone's attention anyway so you might as well save your money. Go big or go home, right?
10. When you made friends at the show, but forgot to get their social media information before you part ways.
I hate how many times this has happened to me. Making friends at concerts is the best because you already know you have something super cool in common with each other, and if there's ever a show you want to go to that you don't have anyone to go to with you can always ask them if they're down to check it out. Except you can't do that if you can't get in contact with them. You don't have to exchange numbers or Facebooks, or anything really personal like that, you can just add each other on Snapchat or follow each other on Twitter and Instagram.
The worst part about this is that you often don't even realize that you don't have their contact information until after you're already half of the way home and far, far away from them and the venue. What else is there to really say other than rest in peace to all of the potential friendships that could have come to be had one of you remembered how long distance speaking works.