How to go to a gig on your own and not be awkward about it

I went to Bloc Party all by myself and survived


So you’re going to a gig on your own. Big deal. Maybe you’re Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris bailed on you. Perhaps you’re Akon and you’re feeling a tad “Lonely”.

Or probably the most likely – nobody understands how great the *niche alt new folk band that you definitely discovered first*, and all your friends would rather be getting drunk and high with Chris Martin. Consequently, you’re left all by yourself, so what do you do? Do you still go to the gig? Will people judge you? Does anyone even care that you’re by yourself?

Anyway, I found myself detached from my friends at Bloc Party gig in Leeds, and since it’s festival season perhaps you should learn how to go to a gig all by yourself. It’s inevitable that your mate will quickly pop back to their tent for a jacket, only to reappear sodden, sleep deprived and on the Monday morning.

Say hello

If Adele can say hi, so can you. You’ve found yourself in an O2 Academy full of people who appreciate your niche alt new folk band that you definitely discovered first. You’ve got a common interest. Instead of mere drunken small talk, you’ve actually got a good topic of conversation.

Who knows, maybe you’ll find your Prince or Princess Charming, or even your bezzie 4 evzie and you can favourite each others tweets about the brilliance of Bloc Party’s first two albums. Disclaimer, finding a soulmate may be dependent on the artist you’re seeing. For instance, a potential partner for me would not be yelping “lights will guide you home and ignite your bones” at the top of their lungs.

OOOH, GIG FWENDS

OOOH, GIG FRIENDS

Resist the temptation to look at your phone all evening

Phones are great, in 2016 you can update the whole world about what you’re doing in 140 characters, sharing what you’re doing to all your millions of followers. It’s quite exciting really. Of course, not as exciting as at the ticket for the artist you’ve just paid to go and see. I know you’re on your own, and the temptation is to be on your phone to convey the “I do have friends… honest” message to your peers – but enjoy the gig, the band you’re seeing is on the cusp of bigger things.

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Don’t be phoney

Dance

You’re not Robyn, nobody cares if you’re dancing on your own. The entire O2 Academy is not going to open up and point and laugh like bullies in a playground. Nobody cares. Not the hoards of fangirls, the bartender, sound guy, Bloc Party – who knows, who cares?!

Embrace your own company and waive your flailing arms in the air to Helicopter. Feeling adventurous? Go collide against your peers in a mosh. Remember a gig is perhaps the only social situation where it’s acceptable to jump into others ferociously, and not be frowned upon with a look of total disdain.

I think that’s dancing?

Drink if you want to, don’t drink if you don’t

It’s as simple as that. Some may argue it’s great to keep your hands busy, you can take sips in between acts to keep you slightly entertained. Alternatively, others may suggest that you should not bother drinking such overpriced watery larger from a plastic cup. Equally you don’t want to be the drunk guy all by yourself.

So what entails is quite a conundrum, perhaps depending on your bank balance may determine whether you drink? I suppose the same goes for those who prefer their intoxicants more jaw dropping (although remember Mike Posner in Ibiza).

Smiling at the overpriced drink

Smiling at the overpriced drink

Leave if you aren’t enjoying yourself

If you don’t like the band – leave. Some bands at the O2 Academy suck, it’s the inevitability of life. Simply look at your phone (only for a minute mind you) get the uber to come right up to the venue. Get in the Uber and greet the driver warmly. If you’ve avoided the drink and not rowdy, the driver may even let you plug in the aux lead. And there’s no song disputes, as you’re by yourself! Winning.

Make sure you brag about it afterwards

After you’ve seen this cool new band by yourself? You can just gloat to your friends when they’re big? Make all the generic “I told you so comments”, “I knew this band before they were big”, “my music taste is better”, etc.

Finally been to a Bloc Party after all these years

A photo posted by Tyler Hilborne (@tylerhilborne) on Feb 8, 2016 at 3:23pm PST

Further, when you upload your obligatory filtered Instagram photo at the end of the night, you don’t have to specify you were all by yourself. Just put the standard *niche alt new folk band* sounded great, nobody will even realise. They’ll be double tapping blissfully unaware of that you were by yourself.

So there you have a guide to going to a gig all by yourself, try it some time, it’s fun… honest.