Concerts inspire camping culture

Concerts inspire camping culture

Taylor Donahue, Photo Editor

There are different types of concert-goers. There are the people who show up after doors open and the opening act is already halfway through its set. There are also the people who make sure they are there when doors open so they can settle down and maybe grab some food before the show starts. Then there are the concert-goers who camp out – literally, in tents – on the sidewalk of the venue to get front row to a general admission concert.

Camping culture among millennials has changed what people think of camping. Among teen girls, camping is no longer sleeping in a tent in the woods near a campfire. Camping for teenage music fans is now sleeping in a tent on the sidewalk of a concert venue for however many hours or days in order to see their favorite artist or band take the stage.

Some concerts are considered more worthy of devotion than others. For The 1975 in Pittsburgh in May, fans began lining up four nights before. Everyone in line had tents set up and slept on the streets. At one point the line had to move across the street because the venue security would not allow the line due to other concerts happening the nights leading up to The 1975. Despite the struggle, the line battled through all four nights. The girls who were first in line set up a numbered system to keep track of when everyone lined up. That way, when going into the venue, the fans would go in order so everyone could get their fair spots.

This tradition has changed in recent years. In 2014, fans could line up only five hours before a show and be first in line or at least front row – and the lines were never organized. But now multi-day camping occurs for big shows.

Along with lining up early to be front row, there are many tips and tricks to attending a general admission concert. Being first in line helps, but not everybody has time for that. For Stage AE indoors, being among the first 30 in line helps for those wanting to be on the barricade at the front of the stage, which gives something to hold on to rather than being pushed by everyone in the crowd.

Another essential tip for concerts is to make friends. Making friends makes the experience of waiting in line and waiting in the pit a lot more bearable. Also, if the crowd gets disorderly there is at least comfort in knowing not everyone in the crowd is annoying.

The idea of attending concerts has evolved greatly in recent years. The competition over who will be first in line or get center barricade has challenged music fans, devotion to their favorite bands and tested how far they will actually go to be closest to the stage. Whether fans have been waiting for a concert for over a year and plan on camping out for two days, or if they bought tickets the day of the show, there is still no place or experience like a concert.