Mastering the art of being alone: Solo concerts

One of the worst feelings is finding out your favorite artist is performing but having no one to go with. While it may be unfortunate, it doesn’t mean you can’t go alone. I know the idea of going anywhere alone — especially as a very young adult — sounds terrifying, but it really isn’t. 

As we grow older, we learn to master the art of being alone and gain new feelings of independence. What better way to start learning these skills than going to a concert alone?

Annika Morris | Senior Graphic Artist

When I entered my first year in Boston this past fall, I knew that I didn’t want to stop going to concerts or going out to dinners just because I hadn’t met the right people yet. Prior to college, I went to concerts all the time — but never alone. I always had a dancing buddy and met new people, which made for a genuine, wonderful experience every single time. 

I bought tickets to see Arctic Monkeys in my home state of Maryland before coming to Boston, but something came up and I couldn’t make the show anymore. Luckily, I knew they were playing a show at TD Garden later in the year. It was last minute and I really wanted to go. So, I sold my old ticket and bought a new one. 

Going to the concert alone was already nerve-racking enough. But going to a completely new city on top of that was something entirely different. 

When I got there, I waited in line to get a drink before the show started. While waiting, I had a great conversation with another concertgoer. This relaxed me and brightened my mood prior to the show. During the show, I got to dance with the people next to me. 

These small moments culminated into an absolutely amazing experience. Since that show, I have begun to encourage myself to see multiple shows in Boston on a solo basis.

Going out alone may be something that is super foreign for first-year students, and navigating a new transportation system adds an extremely intimidating layer on top of everything. 

For those who may not be comfortable doing things alone, top advice is to become best friends with Google Maps. It will save you a lot of time navigating the train system, and will ease all worries of arriving somewhere too early or too late.

Some people believe that going to concerts alone is boring. That’s why a lot of people don’t do it. I’m here to quiet those voices and amplify the fun of the experience. Making an entire day to go to a show is something that can easily lift your spirits with no hesitation. 

Something I do to warm myself up to the solitude is taking myself to dinner beforehand, or after the show if I need to debrief. If that’s not in everyone’s budget, even just going to a cafe before is also something I’ve done. 

Going to events alone has led me to exploring different parts of the city that I would never venture off to otherwise. I now know how to get to multiple places without pulling out Google Maps, and can confidently recommend venues. 

To ease into going to concerts solo, I’d recommend going to more intimate shows at smaller venues. Brighton Music Hall and Paradise Rock Club are two music venues that I’ve been to where I was able to easily travel alone from my dorm and meet people. 

This solitary experience doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Although concert culture doesn’t quite look the same for me anymore, one of the things that has stayed constant is the sense of community. This can be fostered with friends and strangers if you commit to it. 

If you’re in line at a show, strike up a conversation with someone. Tell them that it’s your first show alone.​​ The majority of the time they’ll usually be super inviting. I see concerts are an overall welcoming and gratifying celebration of music, and all you need is your presence to experience it.

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