There is nothing quite like the experience of a New York concert. But just remember: there are some extra rules and regulations that need to be followed when heading into the city to catch a concert. Don’t worry, though – we’ve collected a few tips that you can add to your New York concert survival guide, to ensure you get in without any hassles and can really enjoy yourself when you are there!
Travel Light to Save Time
New York security is not a joke, especially at concerts within the city limits. It is a good idea to leave at home anything that could be considered questionable or dangerous. Weapons of any kind, even a Swiss Army Knife, can be confiscated and hold you up in the line to get into a New York concert. Some venues also prohibit the use of professional cameras and video recorders. Additionally, some New York music venues reserve the right to confiscate any such items. Don’t carry a large bag, or a ton of items – you’ll likely get hung up at the security station before heading in. Not only can this be embarrassing, but it holds up the entire line, too.
New York concert venues can also get rather crowded, and, depending on the show, rowdy. When you are at a rock show, for example, dancing and mosh pits are common. Because of this, it’s smart to travel light, and leave anything of value at home. If you’ve traveled by car, leave as much as you can in the car when you park. We suggest only carrying the absolutely necessities with you, and keep them in a zippered pocket or a bag that you can easily carry with you. Consider taking your cell phone, cash, identification, and car keys with you into the venue, but little else. Experts also advise concert-goers to leave valuable jewelry, sunglasses, and anything with sentimental value at home or in the car. It is easy for jewelry to get snagged, or sunglasses to fall off while dancing. Typically, venues aren’t responsible for lost or stolen items, so carry them at your own risk.
Your style of dress should be comfortable and should also match the show! For example, if you are heading to a all-day summer festival at Randall’s Island, you’ll want to wear layers. You might be hot during the day, but the evening can get a bit chilly. When the sun goes down, you’ll be happy you brought along something with longer sleeves. Also, don’t forget sunscreen!
Proper footwear is also a necessity. Flip flops, while comfortable and easy to slip on, are not a good idea for concert-goers. New York concerts and festivals get pretty crowded, and feet can easily get trampled. Instead, wear close-toed shoes, preferably sneakers. You’ll be walking around more than you might think, and your feet will thank you for encasing them in comfortable sneakers or running shoes. Nothing ruins a concert experience like having to stop at the medic tent to get your trampled toes taped up. Even during the colder months, appropriate footwear cannot be stressed enough. Avoid anything with a heel. You’re better off wearing sneakers or flats, unless of course you’re attending something like the Opera or Philharmonic. Save your fancy shoes for a fancy event.
Check the Venue Rules
New York concert venues all differ on their rules of what is allowed inside. For example, The Cake Shop does not allow outside food or beverages inside. You’ll need to buy your food and drink from the venue, and attempting to carry anything in will get you stopped at the door. Some venues allow concert-goers to bring a single bottle of sealed water, while others don’t allow any outside food or drink. If the water bottle isn’t sealed, it will be confiscated. Security at the venues know all of the “clear liquid” tricks. The best way to prepare for this is to check with the venue you’ll be attending before you head out.
Remember, trying to break the rules can cause you to get held up in the line, and your items may be confiscated. In some cases, you’ll have the option of bringing your items back to your car, but if you haven’t traveled by car, you’ll be out of luck. To avoid this kind of headache, just leave items you are unsure about at home, especially expensive items like a DSLR camera. Consider just enjoying the concert instead of documenting it.
You’ll also want to figure out your best transportation options. Most venues list transportation and parking options on their website. Check a few weeks in advance and come up with a travel plan. If you are driving, you’ll want to arrive early to make sure you get a spot in one of the parking lots. If you are traveling by train, map out your route in advance, so you know where you’re headed. Remember, public lots often have special event pricing that is higher than their regular, weekday parking prices. Parking can get expensive!
Perform a Check before You Leave Home
Before you head out the door for a New York concert, check to make sure you’re not forgetting anything. Make sure you have your tickets, proper attire, a bottle of water, and anything else you’ll need. You don’t want to get caught at the door without your ticket, or realize halfway to the venue that your cell phone is sitting at your house. Remember, it’s always better to travel light at a concert, and leave valuables at home. With that being said, it should only take a couple of minutes to check to make sure you have everything you need. Doing so can save you frustration when you get to the concert venue!
Heading out into the New York concert scene can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to be prepared. Next time you head out to a show, consider this survival guide as you prepare for and enjoy the show. The more prepared you are, the more fun you’ll have!
Photo by U.S. Army