Why go solo? Quite simply, because you have no one to go with or the people who love you dearly don’t fancy spending an evening jumping to Primal Scream or watching a tennis ball go back and forth. But that shouldn’t stop you from being body surfed on. However, not all concerts are created equally, so let’s break it down a little further.

Which event?
 Going to an evening concert is a no brainer; just book your ticket now. That’s the same with attending a Flamenco night in Madrid or going to watch Diana Krall at the Blue Note. Are you booking the ticket already? Are you in London for work and have a Saturday off? You’ll be stupid not to attend Wimbledon or Party in the Park. But going solo to a three-day festival like Coachella takes a little more bravery, and well, some serious commitment unless you’re a friendly sort that can latch onto a group when you get there. It’s also more expensive. The more people, the more living costs are shared and you can get a fancy tent with all the bells and whistles. Three-day festivals like Glastonbury are made for groups of people but there’s really no need to know that person really well. If you’re desperate to go, give a shout out on Facebook or Twitter and I am fairly certain you’ll find some company to go with. A lot of people hitch rides up to festivals and that’s a great way to meet people. Where do you find this information? Informal and formal forums like forum.glastowatch, where people hitch rides, share tents and find out the best bus routes. There’s no doubt safety is in numbers and yes, to some extent, gender. Hey, I am not one to preach to the choir, but a lady needs to have her wits about her. So tread carefully, but tread nonetheless. For more details on this check our post on solo traveling from last week.

When traveling solo, travel in style. You don’t have anyone else’s budget to worry about. When I went to Florence + the Machine, I bought VIP tickets that came with a glass of champagne, a separate entrance and exit, and comfy seats. Not ready to shell out that much, make sure you at least get a seat so that you don’t find yourself in the standing pit. That is not safe and you’re not going to enjoy yourself because there’s no one to watch your back and honestly, I don’t know about you, but I need a good 4×4 to get my groove on. Needless to say, buy your tickets beforehand so you can just walk in and have Ticketmaster or the ticketing agent courier your tickets to a local address, perhaps your hotel. Don’t panic if your concert ticket doesn’t arrive till a couple of days before but if you still don’t have it, you need to call them and they have to provide you with alternate options.

There’s nothing worse than leaving a concert and having to put up with drunken louts in the tube. But one of my fondest memories is humming ‘Shake It Off’ with my fellow tube goers at 11 pm on the way back from the O3. Most concerts tend to start early, between 6-7, so they’re not going to go beyond 11 pm. Most big cities usually have their large stadiums and parks next to a underground metro or a cab. Concert stadiums like the O3 are a soloists dream because the tube stops right outside; you get on and off. The underground is the best because a cab, unless it’s pre-booked, is going to be a nightmare to find. If you pre-book a cab, make sure it’s at least a good 15 minute walk from the concert site because he’s not going to find it or you him. So Ladies, you’re going to have to eschew those 6-inch boots. Again, if the concert hall is too far from your zone of comfort, rethink going at all. Safety comes first.

Burning Man note:
Anything goes here and being alone will be a lot of fun. Perhaps you just don’t have anyone to go with. There is a shared cab facility from San Francisco and a number of forums like burningman.org that will help you find someone to put a tent up with. I also have a friend who went to Burning Man by herself, so just contact us and we will put you in touch with her. Hell, if you’re going to Burning Man, she’ll probably just decide to see you there.

Reshma plans to drag her husband to Burning Man when they turn forty, or maybe fifty. The older, the better.

(Image by Fred von Lohmann)

One thought on “Traveling solo to events: What’s the catch?

  1. Pingback: Dancing to your own tune: Traveling solo to concerts and events

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