After attending my fair share of live music events I’ve come to a bit of a realization. Everyone has their designated list of items they bring to a concert to make their experience “better,” but sometimes these carryons can become quite a burden.

Before you hit any of the Atlantic City beach concerts or music festivals in the area this summer, check out the pros & cons of these 5 essential concert items.

  • Phones

    This day and age, phone screens are everywhere you turn. In a concert setting, they pose as both huge conveniences and distractions.

    The Pros

    Chances are, if you’re at a concert, everyone around you has a phone on them. The biggest ‘pro?’ If any catastrophes happen—fights, injuries, medical emergencies— someone in the crowd is able to take immediate action and notify authorities. Communicating with the group you are with is also a piece of cake. This is extremely useful in a situation where you get lost in the big crowd and can’t find your personal crowd. Ideally, phones are most useful at concerts when they are used for what they are initially made to do  — communicate. Taking a few pictures/videos of your live experience is pretty cool, too.

    The Cons

    Keyword: few. You don't want your phone to die before the opening act finishes. You’re there to experience live music, so experience it first hand and not through your screen. Ever gone to a concert only have your view blocked by a sea of phones? I know you want to blow up your Snapchat story and show everybody how cool you are for being at this concert, but nobody wants to sit through 25 shaky videos in a row with audio that sounds like static. "Do not disturb” mode helps with the distractions; your unrelated side conversations and Instagram notifications can wait. Personally, I'm also not a fan of the phone flashlights replacing the classic waving of the lighters. Maybe I’m getting old, but it’s just not the same. 

    ponsulak
  • Backpacks/handbags

    Efficiently using your extra carryon space can lead to a much better concert experience, but can easily ruin it just as fast.

    The Pros

    Too hot? Take off a layer of clothing and store it. You won’t have to worry about it falling off whatever body part you tied it to. Too cold? Good thing you brought that extra hoodie. Portable storage for clothing is one of the more useful purposes of bags, but storing other useful artifacts such as water, snacks and (most importantly) your wallet serve as a huge convenience. If you're at a heavy metal concert, a first-aid kit wouldn't hurt, too.

    The Cons

    As essential as bags may seem, they can ruin the whole event for you if not selected properly. Take into account that you’re going to be a small fish in a sea of other people packed very closely together. Pack lightly. You’re attending a concert for a few hours, not a week long trip to Vegas. Bringing a large, bulky and heavy bag will be an instant regret. Make sure to be aware of how long you'll be standing with this weight for. Your back’s going to start feeling it after some time and you want to prolong that as much as possible. Comfortability is key.

    RomarioIen
  • Digital Tickets

    With technology advancing so rapidly, less and less tickets are being physically printed. Instead, ticket vendors are resorting to “e-tickets,” which are distributed via email attachments after purchasing.

    The Pros

    Definitely the most convenient thing about digital tickets are the obvious facts that you can’t misplace or lose them. Have you ever been denied entry to a concert because your ticket flew out of your pocket and you just couldn’t chase it down? I have, and let me tell you - it’s a real mood killer. With digital tickets being accessible through your phone, you can open the email at the booth and it’s that simple. Just don’t accidentally delete the email.

    The Cons

    Although they can be lifesavers to most, there's a fault in the system. Because you can physically re-print your digital ticket as many times as your heart desires, you can also try to sell them and catch a misdemeanor or even felony fraud charge! The unsuspecting buyers of these ‘fake’ tickets are being outright scammed. Not only that, if this risky businessperson selling these tickets gets caught, he/she could suffer from thousands of dollars in fines and even a prison sentence. Authorities have gotten exceptionally good at detecting ticket fraud using advanced online databases. At this point, the odds aren’t in your favor and you're bound to get caught. Is that risk really worth it?

    GlaserStudios
  • Food Choices

    Food is what fuels us. After standing for long periods of time, your stomach is guarenteed to start getting angry with you. Unless you like paying ungodly amounts of money for sub-par concert food, you should probably try to bring in some calories to sustain your energy.

    The Pros

    Bringing in a small power-bar or energy supplement will be a lifesaver at a concert. When the show is halfway over and every lyric you hear is somehow reminding you of food, you’re going to be so thankful you remembered to bring that energy bar in your back pocket. ‘Simple’ sandwiches are an excellent choice too, such as PB&J and ham and cheese. Anything you can fit in a small sandwich bag and eat very quickly without making a mess. Your concert experience will be so much better once you can focus on the sound of the music and not your stomach growling.

    The Cons

    There are venues that actually don't allow outside food because of the oblivious sociopaths that bring in the worst possible crowd foods - hoagies, garlic, sloppy joes, onions, chili, etc. Whatever venue you’re at, you’re going to be surrounded by excited, hot and sweaty strangers. That B.O. smell is unpleasant as it is, but combine that with warm hoagie smell…lord have mercy. Please, please, PLEASE do not be ‘that guy’ that brings in smelly food to a concert, let alone any tightly crowded environment.

    Lisa F. Young
  • Jewelry

    Your bling is something that helps express yourself and defines you as an individual, but at a concert, looking fresh can come with a higher price than the jewelry itself.

    The Pros

    Realistically the only pro of wearing jewelry at a concert is a boost in your self-esteem. People naturally feel more confident and classy when they're wearing poppin' necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, etc. These can be real attitude-setters for the night. If you want to feel and look fabulous at this concert, so be it. Just remember, a good rule of thumb for jewelry at concerts is the smaller, the better.

    The Cons

    Jewelry is just one of those things where the cons outweigh the pros [in a concert setting]. You may feel like a million bucks with your golden six inch hoops, but you might not be expecting to pay a couple hundred or even thousand in medical bills when they get ripped right out of your earlobes. Not only is your bling a physical hazard to your body, but they can easily be lost or even stolen right off of you. Lost-and-found booths are acts of goodwill and many concertgoers thankfully utilize them, but lets face it. "Finder's keepers" has a higher probability.

    DAJ