If you suffer from anxiety, then the thought of attending a concert or gig might fill you with dread. And that’s okay – it’s a perfectly natural reaction to have. After all, spending an evening in a room full of other people in the dark can sound daunting, and it might even tempt you to cancel your plans and avoid concerts and gigs altogether. Fear not, though; below, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to enjoy a gig when you suffer from anxiety.
1. Choose seated if possible
If you’re attending a concert at an arena or complex, then you should opt for a seat if possible. You might not get as close to the action and you may need to rely on your glasses to get a good view, but having a seat can make you feel more grounded and give you something to fall back on (quite literally) if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Standing-only concerts can be incredibly hot, cramped and panicky, which could send you into an anxiety attack if you’re not feeling good. Stay seated.
2. Get to the venue early
If you’re worried you’re going to feel anxious around lots of people, then consider getting to the venue as early as possible. That way, you’ll be able to take your seat and familiarise yourself with your surroundings, like where the nearest toilets and exits are, should you need to get out of the room. Plus, getting there early can help you get the best spot, so it’s a win-win by all accounts!
3. Take a friend along for the ride
If you’ve got a friend or family member who puts you at ease, then make sure they come with you to your gig. Having them by your side can help you stay calm and relaxed, and you can brief them on what to do if you’re feeling too anxious. Whether you’re standing or seated, having a friend with you can make you feel instantly relaxed and help you enjoy the show as much as possible.
4. Have a drink
Are we really recommending that you drink alcohol to relax before going to see a concert? Well, yes and no. Although alcohol should never serve as a substitute for counseling or medication, a little bit of dutch courage before going to a concert can help to calm your anxiety and ensure you have a great time. Plus, you’re almost certainly going to be surrounded by other people who are drinking.
Just remember, if you do have a drink, to bring a responsible adult with you, and arrange alternative transport to and from the venue. The last thing you want to worry about is getting a ride home after a great night rocking out and one too many cocktails.
5. Speak to the staff
Staff at arenas and music venues have been trained to handle all sorts of issues, and anxiety is often one of them. Speaking to a member of staff when you get to the venue can put your mind at ease – they can walk you around, show you the nearest exits and give you some advice on what to do if it all gets too much. Facing your demons head on and letting people know can be the best way to relax and enjoy your night – and some gentle reassurance from the staff will go a long way.
Anxiety can strike at any time, and it’s unfortunate that music venues are a common trigger. Make sure you weigh up the pros and cons of attending the gig before you do, and always take someone with you that you can depend on. Whether it’s your first gig or you’re always seeing your favorite artists live, we hope you have an awesome, anxiety-free time.