Just Go Anyway: Top Tips for Your First Solo Show
By: Liz Cahill
One of my biggest pieces of advice for anybody in the rave community, especially new ravers, is to not let your lack of friends stop you from going to a show. When I transferred colleges and moved to Florida my junior year, I knew a total of two people in the area. On top of that, I knew for a fact that I probably could not convince them to go to a show with me. At first, this stopped me from going to see artists I had wanted to see for years. After missing a lot of shows I would have loved to go to, until one day I decided that I would just start going to shows by myself. At the time, I was extremely shy and so nervous to go out alone in a new area, but part of me knew that I would soon be in a room full of people with at least one of the same interests as me: music. Less than five minutes after getting into the venue at my first solo show, someone in the crowd came up to me and asked if I was alone and when I told him I was, he introduced me to about ten people who I thought would be my friends just for the show that night. Two years later, these same people are still my best friends and I have been to countless shows and festivals with them and consider them to be family. I have been to many solo shows since, and consider going solo to a show, one of my favorite ways to rave. This is mainly because it provides a huge sense of freedom. As someone who has become comfortable with this, I wanted to share some tips about going to a show alone, that I have learned along the way.
My biggest piece of advice would be to make safety your first priority. Even though parking close to a venue is a little more expensive, it is very much worth avoiding walking super far alone in the dark. If a venue is unfamiliar, I suggest planning where you will be parking ahead of time. In addition, if you plan on drinking, it is best to take an Uber or Lyft. Not only will this be best if you aren’t able to drive home after, but they can also take you right to the doors of the venue, eliminating a potentially uncomfortable walk alone. Also, if I plan on going to a show alone, I always have my location shared with my friends and let them know I will be alone. There's an extra bit of comfort knowing my friends can check in periodically throughout the night. If you plan on meeting up with people from the internet, for example friends from Twitter or Radiate, do your best to pay attention to your surroundings and let some of your friends know who you are planning on meeting up with. It is important to keep in mind that your phone is important for your safety, so make sure it is charged when you go out and stored in a place that would make it difficult to steal, such as a front pocket. Lastly, once your inside the venue, always pay a little extra attention to your drinks. Make sure to stay hydrated and never consume untested substances from strangers.
Having the confidence to go to shows and festivals alone is something I really struggled with when I first started going solo, but I have learned a few things along the way to help me with these nerves. One thing I always remind myself is that as an adult, it is normal to do things without others, and a good portion of the crowd is probably showing up solo as well. Whether it be going to the grocery store or to a show, people do things by themselves all the time. With that being said, always choose an outfit you love and go out feeling your best. Loving my outfit and my makeup always gives me an extra boost of confidence. Lastly, even though you should ALWAYS go for the openers, I have found that during the openers is when the crowd interacts the most, and it is a great time to make friends with other ravers while finding new artists at the same time.
Going to shows solo is something I believe all ravers should try at some point. Becoming comfortable with doing this has allowed me to not only see so many more artists but has also allowed me to explore some really cool venues and opened doors to countless new friendships. Through prioritizing my safety and making sure I go out feeling my best, I have become able to enjoy many raves solo.