It’s been a crazy few weeks of working, hiking and concert-going, which is why I haven’t had much time to write. “You’re still working?! But it’s summer!” I hear you cry in exasperation. Yes, but unfortunately the work of an ESL teacher continues over summer as students still need lessons. We’re basically superheroes. However, there are just 9 days to go and then I’m free for a month to enjoy my staycation (“You can take my summer, but you cannae take my freedom!”). I have lots of things planned to keep me busy and show you some of the adventures you can get up to in Abruzzo. In the meantime, I’m going to share my latest blog post with you and teach you how to go to a concert Italian-style. Enjoy!
1. Find a Concert
This is the easy part. Find your nearest big city and check out what concerts are coming up. We chose Bruce Springsteen at Circo Massimo. The Boss live – it was going to be big and busy; 70 000 people and counting. “A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!” enthused my mother.
2. Find People to Go with
Well, it’s no fun going to a concert on your own, is it?! (Although nothing against people who do!) Plus, if you’re travelling by car, you’ll be able to share petrol costs. Just don’t forget to designate a driver – drink-driving is still illegal. And if you’re travelling by train, you’ll be able to start the party early. Bonus!
3. Don’t Buy Tickets
Yep – you read that right. Don’t buy tickets. This is the most important part. Ticket touts are still around but with the evolution of the Internet, especially social media, anyone can be a tout these days. This means that sold out concerts are never really sold out – there are always last minute tickets available.
4. Get on Facebook
Check out the official event page of the concert and get in touch with anyone offering tickets for sale. Our rule – anyone asking for face value (or higher) gets rejected immediately. No mercy, people! Ideally, find someone asking for 60-65%, so €65 for our concert. Obviously, don’t give them any money until you see the tickets in person. It’s all too easy to get tricked on the Internet.
5. Stand Around Outside the Venue
We managed to get one ticket through Facebook. We also had two more lined up but unfortunately they fell through, so we headed to the Circo Massimo. We found the entry queue and didn’t have to wait long before the first tout came up to us offering tickets. When this happens, don’t be afraid to haggle. As a general rule, I feel us Brits are not the best hagglers so I was glad the Italians were there to do it for us. The touts are going to want to at least make their money back and will try to get a small profit if they can. However, the closer you get to start time, the more desperate they become just to get any amount back. Don’t be afraid to say no and walk away if their prices are too high. You can easily wait a bit longer. Again, aim for around the 65% mark. We managed to get a ticket for €40! There were even people in the queue who had extra tickets so plenty of options. Like I said – haggle!
6. Buy Beer, Get Lost
Note to self – Circo Massimo is, well, massive, hence the name! With 70 000 people, if you get separated from your friends, it’ll be difficult to find them again. We found out the hard way when we went to the beer tent and, after a 30 minute wait, got back to our spot but couldn’t find our friends.We did manage to find an English guy who was at his 48th Bruce Springsteen concert though! Anyway, I’ve realised that there are two kinds of concert-goers around when you get split from your friends:
- People who complain as you try to move through the crowd to look for them
- People who help you try to find them (and also mock you for being super short!)
Luckily, we encountered some of the second lot, not that it was much help but it was appreciated and we had a laugh about it.
7. Give Up and Drink the Beer
There comes a time when you realise that it was simply destiny that you are now friendless but with two beers in hand. After the false hope of seeing a bald guy in a black t-shirt (seriously, what are the odds?!) and soon realising it was not the right bald guy in a black t-shirt, we decided to give up, enjoy the concert and drink the beer. We’d meet our friends at the end. It’s worth noting that phone signal can be very hit and miss inside the venue, so be sure to have a plan in place in case you get separated (we didn’t!).
8. Go to the Toilet, Get Lost
In case you hadn’t already realised, concerts are surprisingly easy places to get lost at, especially when you have to fight your way through the crowd to hover over a stomach-churning port-a-loo and then can’t fight your way back. Cue me standing on a hill, waving my phone around, trying to guide my sister towards me. At least when we were reunited, the people behind me cheered and we all danced the night away.
So there you have it. Next time you go to a concert, try doing it the Italian way!