Going To Multiple Shows Of The Same Tour: The When's, How's And Why's
If you are actively following a band you like on social media, you might have noticed that whenever there is a new tour coming up, there is always a bunch of people planning to go to not just the one date closest to them, but also a couple more. You might even be one of the people having done so in the past or planning to in the future.
Or maybe you just don’t understand why someone would spend that much money to see the same band play the same show in a few different cities, because what’s the point anyway? And of course, you might not even have given the idea a lot of thought to begin with.
If you are in any of the above categories, which I am just going to assume you are, you are probably either here to reminisce about past shows, to learn more about how to actually plan something like that or just to understand the appeal behind it in the first place. So sit back, relax and let’s talk this through, shall we?
Okay but like…why?
First of all, which is probably pretty obvious, by going to multiple shows, if you can afford it, you have the chance to support your favourite band/artist even more. It doesn’t make you a better or truer fan and of course, you don’t NEED to throw all your money at them, buy ten shirts and eight albums and go to every show across the globe in order to support them.
However, if you DO find yourself in the situation of being able to go to more than one show, the band will most definitely appreciate it!
Now imagine you could do all of that over again once more, or maybe even more than once. You could relive that happy moment, completely forget about all your problems for another hour and a half. But it’s still the same show though, isn’t it? Well, not exactly, at least not entirely.
From the perspective of media studies, there is a significant difference between going to a concert and for example watching a film, going to an art exhibition or reading a book. The latter are considered reproductive arts, as you can watch the film again and again, read that same book a hundred times over and look at the same painting every day, but the artwork itself does not change. It can be consumed that way an infinite amount of times.
However, if you go to two shows, even of the same tour, no night will ever be the same. Yes, if the band/artist has screens in the back of the stage, the production on those will be identical. The show will most likely start with the same song, end on the same song, have a similar speech in between songs and have the same opening act (unless there is a rotating set of support acts on the tour). But the rest will be different every time around.
So if people see the same movie more than once, reread that same book AGAIN, then, if you can make it work, why not go to another show?
Well first of all, and most importantly, the one element that makes or breaks a show: You.
The crowd. The fans might be louder at one show, there might be more or less mosh pits or crowdsurfing going on, somebody might be holding up a sign one night that could lead to a special interaction with the crowd that one time. For example in April of 2017, at one of the European All Time Low shows, a fan rang their friend who couldn’t make the show via FaceTime, and ATL vocalist Alex Gaskarth not only saw it, but also took the phone and had a little chat with them himself. Now if you know which show I am talking about, you were probably there. And if not, well, doesn’t it sound fun to witness?
The setlist may vary as well, since some bands love to mix it up with every new show of the tour to maintain that element of surprise, whereas others might stick to mostly the same setlist throughout the tour, but often still add a song or two over the course of a few shows or even scratch some if they are running low on stage time.
Plus, although the first show was an absolute blast, given that otherwise you probably wouldn’t have planned out multiple dates to begin with, there might have been a few tiny things off about it, like that one drunk dongface who spilled his beer all over you, one of those nasty groups of people who just will not shut up during the support act, sometimes not even during the headline band or somebody blocking your view of the stage.
(Unintentionally of course, because people cannot help being tall, and they still have the same right to go to shows and stand where they like without feeling unwanted or in the way, and I am totally not being overly defensive or taking this too personally…) The point being: A LOT of things will be different every time around.
One of the more obvious things changing with every show is the place. Attending a concert in a new city or perhaps even a foreign country, as scary as it may seem at times, might just boost your confidence, especially when you’re going through with it on your own.
New places also equal new people, and if there’s one place to find like-minded and usually overall very kind people to spend time with, it’s at a concert of a band you love. If you do have the time, you could even get down to the venue a few hours earlier and hang out with some lovely folks in the queue over a pizza or two (or twenty, depending on if it’s a pop punk show).
And who knows, if you intend to go back to some of these places someday, for a show or an entirely different reason, you’ll have somebody to hang out with, show you the ways around the city and maybe even crash at their place if you need it. (Just don’t take advantage of them, the feeling should be mutual, you know the deal.)
And finally, it might sound like a big old cliché, but: it will leave you with some awesome stories to tell. Remember the time that train broke down and left you stranded for hours, which you spent walking through an unfamiliar town with people you had never met before? Or the time you endured a 10+ hour coach ride, just to see your favourite band one more time? Or maybe that one show where…you get the point.
And in fact, we would love to hear those stories as well, so if you’ve ever had any amazing, weird, or just in any way remarkable experiences while traveling for a band, feel free to tell us all about it in the comments!
1. The shows
Wait for your favourite band/artist to announce any amount of shows (remotely) in your area. Depending on said artist, that could be rather soon or take a little (or not so little) while, but usually booking tours is a matter pretty much out of their hands, so be patient and if you happen to be disappointed by the tour dates (or lack thereof), try not to take it out on the bands. They just can’t play everywhere all the time, there’s a lot of higher forces at play and there will be another tour eventually. (Replying to every tweet of the band with “come to XY!!1!” will not accelerate the process.)
2. Check your schedule (and area)
How many shows are there around you? What month are they? What days of the week? Are they likely to collide with any exams? How many shows can you afford for sure? Do you possibly even have a break from school or university around that time? If you have a job, could you potentially take a few days off around that time? And most importantly, if you are a minor: Yes, it’s lame, but talk things through with your parent(s) or guardian(s) before planning anything in the first place, and make sure you are not going to be travelling on your own.
3. The money stuff
The ticket prices usually aren’t revealed before they go on sale, but often you will be able to estimate a price range given the size and capacity of the venue, and previous tours. Do keep in mind that you will also need money to get there (be it for gas or public transport) and also some more for food and drinks and things like public bathrooms on the way or if you want to leave anything at coat check throughout the show. (You also might want to pack some emergency money, just in case.)
4. How to get there
Is somebody you know going who has a car and can pick you up along the way (in exchange for some gas money)? Are you able to drive there yourself? If not, that’s alright, there’s plenty of other options, such as trains at different prices, busses (usually take longer but tend to be a lot cheaper) and possibly even some cheap flights. If you can, compare a few different ways of getting there and try to settle for a cheap, but also somewhat comfortable means of travel. If the place you are going to is quite far away, make sure you are scheduled to arrive at least a few hours early in case of any delays.
5. Staying the night
If you are going to another country or just a city really far away and won’t be able to go home the same night, you can ask in Facebook groups, on Twitter and through other fans, whether anyone going to the show could possibly offer you a place to sleep for the night. However, please stay safe, don’t trust people who seem sketchy to you and if you have never talked to the person who just offered you a place to crash, only take them up on it if you have somebody with you and have no other option. If you are not comfortable with that kind of stuff or don’t find anyone, look up some hostels in the area, and try to go for something fairly close to the venue, the station/airport, or both.
(Do make sure beforehand that the hostel is open all night, although the opposite is hardly ever the case.) If all else fails, you could still spend the night (or the handful of hours before the early morning train/bus/flight) at the airport or the station, but if you do, please make sure you stay warm and hydrated. If there’s any restaurant or store open all night, maybe stay close to that, and, depending on the size of the city, try to spend the time in a group of people instead of alone. (Bottom line: be safe at all times!)
6. Where does your bag go?
If you don’t have a car at hand and don’t want to bring all your stuff into the venue (or the rules and regulations in the country/venues don’t allow you to), there are lockers at most large train stations. For a usually somewhat low price, you can store all of your stuff safely in there until you get back. Most of these lockers are easy to find and accessible 24/7. (Just don’t lose they key.)
If you are going to another country, keep a few things in mind, such as to bring your passport and/or ID for border control, take chargers for electrical devices with you that work in said country (the sockets are different in some, you can buy cheap adapters on e.g. Amazon), and if the country you’re going to has a different currency, be sure to exchange some of your money into the right currency at your bank of choice. (Don’t worry, all of these things are usually a lot less complicated than they sound.)
8. Look after yourself
Stay hydrated, make sure you eat enough, get enough rest in between and if you are doing more than 1-3 shows over a short span of time, try to get an off day in there! Bands do it too, and all the traveling as well as the shows themselves might be fun, but it’s also really exhausting.
9. Google Maps is your friend
If you take your phone with you (which, who are we kidding, you definitely will), make sure to have a navigation service such as Google Maps accessible, whether it’s through the website or an app. You will need it in order to get from A to B safely, find sights, restaurants, or even just the closest bathroom, and you can even look up some transport details (such as subways and busses going from the station to the venue).
10. Have fun
No matter if one, two or ten shows, the most important thing is that you are there in a room with your favourite band and a bunch of like-minded people waiting to sing your heart out to some of your favourite songs, and that’s amazing. Embrace the heck out of it and enjoy every second!
Just do not…
… Take it for granted. As amazing as it is and as hard as you might have worked for it, things will not always work out this way and certainly not for everyone. For most people, getting to travel and going to multiple shows remains a rarity. So enjoy yourself, even more so knowing how fortunate you are!
… Be Mean. No matter how many shows and which band or place in the world, please remember to treat everyone with respect and the way you would want to be treated. After all, we’re all out there to have a good time, which does not include cutting lines, violating other people’s privacy or personal space, or acting in any way violent or disrespectful towards anyone.
Wow, that was quite a journey, huh? Just like the one you might be going on... (Thank god you can’t really type out finger guns, because I totally would have at this point.) Have you ever been to multiple shows of the same tour or travelled for your favourite artist? Are you planning to do so in the future? Are you still sceptical about it? Has this article been of any help to you? Whatever it is, feel free to share your stories, questions and opinions in the comments below or via social media!
Speaking of sharing, if you enjoyed this "little" feature, feel free to let me know, and share it with your friends, your mum, your followers, your Facebook friends (haha good one, am I right?), your dog, and just everybody. (Okay, perhaps not everybody. But maybe, like, one person. If you feel like it. Or not. Either way is fine, really.)
Written by Theresa Theuerkauf
Photos (outside of tweets) by Eva van Kuik