Tips for Traveling To Out of State Shows
Written by Rory Larrison on November 5, 2018
by Rory Larrison
Once twenty one pilots had announced their 2018 leg of the Bandito Tour, fans went insane. Ticketmaster’s new-ish code system, which was created in order to help more fans get their hands on tickets, rather than scalpers, had been failing miserably for the clique for years. Mass chaos ensued. Presale sold out in minutes. No general admission tickets could be found. General sale tickets were gone in a matter of seconds. In the two hours I had spent searching every ticket site, every show date, every twitter thread, I managed to come up with two nosebleed seats in Cleveland for $200.
My friend, Ella, and her boyfriend, Alex, were able to buy general admission tickets for a show in New York. I wasn’t happy. Willing to spend more than that on my favorite band, I continued to pursue better seats in every way imaginable.
And then I found it. One single general admission ticket for a show in Uniondale, New York. It was a Saturday. It was on track with the route Ella was taking to pick up Alex. It would work.
My parents were not happy. From Kent, it would be a 12 hour drive to Uniondale and back in a matter of three days. We had no family or family friends living in the area, no way to contact anyone if something went wrong. But from the moment I clicked that purchase button, I was determined to end up in Long Island with confetti in my hand.
When planning for an out of state show, the first thing you’ll need to do it make sure you’ll be free that night. This may seem like an obvious tip that can be used for any concert, but what would happen if something came up last minute? You found out a class you were planning to skip actually requires you to make a presentation worth 30% of your grade that day? Your mom tells you she scheduled a week-long appointment for your car to be worked on for that very day? Reselling concert tickets may seem easy when it’s a local band or venue, but once you’re talking traveling more than two or three hours, most people aren’t going to buy those off of you. Make sure you keep your show date open as it approaches, so if something does come up, you’re able to sell your tickets as quickly as possible without much hassle.
If you’re traveling far enough that you’ll have to stop and sleep on your way to the show, here’s another tip: stay at your friend’s boyfriend’s college so you don’t have to pay for two hotel rooms! Our trip to Rochester added on a few hours to our Uniondale ETA, but allowed us to pick up an extra driver, sleep in a dorm for free, and stretch our legs as we walked around campus for food.
If this isn’t a viable option for you, make sure you check out as many hotels en route as possible beforehand. If you don’t make a reservation at least a few weeks before the show, you run the risk of all the places in the area booking up quickly. Not only that, but many places have specific rules about how old you have to be in order to reserve a room. If you’re under 21, it may be more difficult to find a place that will let you make a reservation. Personally, we had to check out at least 5 different hotels in order to find one that was en route and allowed 19 year olds to stay alone. And even if your hotel confirmation says you don’t need to call and confirm, I would recommend doing it anyway. We did, and it turned out the hotel was overbooked. Luckily, because we had called so early and figured things out, we were able to get a different room for the same rate. The last thing you want is to be stranded in another state with nowhere to sleep after the show but your car.
Speaking of your car, make sure you have a reliable source of transportation. If you have a few options, make sure to use a car that gives you as much space as needed. If you’re going to be driving for a while, you’ll want one that seats all of your passengers comfortably. Another thing to consider is gas mileage. If able, I would 100% recommend using the Econ Mode in your car in order to save gas. It may not seem like a lot, but in doing so, our Bandito Bus (my nickname for the car we drove) only needed to be filled up four times in the entire trip.
I would also consider how often you’ll want to be driving. Because there were three of us, our group was able to switch drivers every 2 or 3 hours. This gave us time to rest, eat and drink before the show to make sure none of us would pass out from hunger or dehydration in the pit. If you think you’ll be fine driving the entire distance or don’t feel comfortable with someone else driving your car, make sure you have a passenger at all times to keep you awake and help you navigate the roads.
All in all, traveling long distances for concerts may seem like a hassle. The planning, driving, and money spent may not seem like it’d be worth it. But I promise you, if live music is something you’re passionate about and enjoy, and the only way you can get close seats to your favorite band is by traveling 1,000 miles, do it. The experience is worth all the money, time and tiredness.
Just expect the post concert depression to be a little bit worse afterwards.