So you’re going to a concert tonight, but you can’t figure out set times; when you need to be there so you can capitalize on cheap drinks at home without missing the artist. It’s everyone’s struggle. While there is no definitive answer on when to go to a show because it differs based on genre, venue, and artist, we did our best to provide a “guessing guide” on when to get there.
A Guide to Guessing Set Times
Check if the artist or venue has shared the set times.
This is a crazy concept, I know. Sometimes the artist or venue (or both!) share the set times for the night. You can usually check the venue website, or your ticket, or the artists’ social media sites for when they’ll be performing. I know it takes all the fun and risk out of guessing, but hey, at least you’ll know for sure!
Find the ‘doors open’ time.
Your ticket will definitely say a ‘doors open’ time. Depending on the venue, that usually gives you around an hour of cushion time before the supporting act goes on (if there is a supporting act). I recommend shooting to be there for the opener! You never know, you could find your next favorite artist, especially if they’re touring with someone you care enough to see. That’s basically a hand-picked match by your favorite band, for you.
If you don’t want to go to the opener, depending on the genre, you can assume they will play a set anywhere between thirty minutes and an hour. There will be a switchover, and if there’s multiple supporting acts, you just add this time until the headliner comes on. Voilà, you’re there. Set times are a breeze.
Buffer time for where you like to be during the show.
If you like being front and center, don’t show up late and try to push your way to front row. That will get you on a list of worst people at concerts, especially by the people who showed up early to guarantee that they’d have the best view possible.
Budget time for getting drinks too.
If you want to have a beer as the show starts, it’s smart to think about how long the outdoor line may be, how long the line for the bar will be, and how willing you are to start the concert without a drink in your hand.
Think about being front and center for the band, then having to weave all the way back to the bar to get your drink. Yikes!
If all else fails, call the venue.
It’s easy to just pick up the phone and give the venue space a call. Most of the time the employees are more than happy to tell you the exact start time of every act, but just know that not everything goes according to schedule sometimes!
Do you have tips and tricks for figuring out when artists and bands perform? Let us know on Twitter.
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