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Why you should embrace going to gigs alone

Bite the bullet and be your own best friend.

Image source: 
Unsplash/Shaun Frankland

It’s always exciting when your favourite band are finally playing in your city, but a lot of the time we don’t have mates with the same music taste. Many of us pass on opportunities to catch a gig because we can’t find anyone to come with us, and we’re too scared of going alone. It’s not uncommon for even the most self-assured to cringe at the idea of standing solo in a crowd, worried that someone will notice and think “what a loser".

But going to a gig solo is actually an incredibly liberating experience. Sure, it can seem nerve-wracking at first and you might feel a little awkward to start, but as the music begins and the self-awareness subsides, you’ll realise there’s a lot of perks to gigging alone.

You call the shots

Going out with a bunch of friends can be tricky when everyone has slightly different agendas. One person doesn’t want to see the support act, while another wants to be there half an hour early. Someone doesn’t like being in crowds, but someone else relishes that moshpit frenzy. The beauty of going by yourself is you get to call the shots. You decide when you get there, who you see play and what spot to watch it from. Want to be right in the thick of the action? Great, just squeeze on in and get a good spot. Feel like sticking around at the end to chat with the band? Hell yeah, grab a bev and make a beeline for the merch desk. There’s really no limit to what you can do when you’re on your own schedule.

You can kiss FOMO goodbye

Arguably the best part about going to gigs alone is actually getting to go. Anyone who’s missed a show because of bailing or disinterested mates knows what FOMO feels like, and how quickly it turns into resentment. Well, when you aren’t relying on anyone else, FOMO becomes a thing of the past. No more watching the band’s Instagram story the next day and feeling bummed for missing out. No more slipping into a FOMO-induced depression when you realise they might not tour again for years. No more feeling salty at your friends for not wanting to come (well, maybe still a little bit). Once you realise you don’t have to miss out on shows just because other people aren’t interested, you’ll open a lot more doors for yourself. Or start attending a lot more gigs, at least.

No distracting mates

Sometimes, all you want to do at a show is break into some soulful singalongs with your nearest and dearest. Bands like Gang of Youths, The Wombats and San Cisco are great to scream along to with mates, but there’s plenty of artists that are best enjoyed alone. Think the sweet, delicate vocals of songstress Gretta Ray, or a haunting, acoustic serenade from Harrison Storm. Funnily enough, solo artists like these are often better to see when you’re flying solo yourself, as you can really tap into the lyricism and mood they’re trying to create. Without having your mates around as a distraction, you’re able to shut up, be present and focus on the music.

Building up that confidence

Confidence is a tricky thing to master, and a lack of it usually contributes to whether or not you’re comfortable doing things alone. There’s this idea that if you’re by yourself in a crowd of people, everyone’s going to notice, and being singled out can seem anxiety-inducing. However, the reality is the majority of people at a show aren’t going to notice you. Even if they do, it’s likely to be a fleeting moment of acknowledgement – not something they’ll point and laugh about with their friends. Like most things, it takes actually doing it to realise your fear is unfounded. Once you realise it’s not so scary, that confidence might spill out into other parts of your life too. Becoming your own best friend is a great lesson in life and what better way to kickstart that process than by catching your favourite band alone?

Thinking about giggling solo? Check out our gig guide here.