I’m Never Going Back To The Way Concerts Were Pre-Covid

By James Barrett | June 21, 2021
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One day, instead of war stories, we’ll tell our grandchildren that 2020 was a year in isolation where we became dependent on video chats, TikTok, and making homemade bread. With bars and restaurants closed during quarantine, our lives stood in purgatory with strict stay-at-home orders that even celebrities couldn’t escape. Artists such as Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish sadly (and rightfully so) canceled or postponed their shows until further notice (without a new date to plan an outfit for). With social media recently flooded with videos of crowded clubs and sporting arenas at full capacity, it’s looking like the end of the pandemic is in sight. This also means that my FOMO is making a swift return. 

I took my first flight in over a year to Florida (which could be a whole other article), where my hotel, the AC Hotel Orlando Downtown, had its grand opening during the pandemic. Their rooftop bar has been selling out $1,200 tables (not including drinks!) and the sight of girls sorority squatting to snap that perfect rooftop Insta means that nature is healing, my friends.

The first night of my trip I went to a COVID-safe Foreigner concert and NGL, it was certainly an ~unprecedented~ experience. For one, the sitting area looks a bit like pig pens. Yes, I’m talking pigs on the farm swarmed by flies on a hot summer day, packed like sardines within metal bars. If you got too drunk at the show you won’t have to worry about losing your friends since you like these piglets are confined in a metal pen. I’m actually squealing, because I low-key loved being in this pigpen. 

This contactless experience was a stroke of genius that really addressed the pain points of a pre-COVID concert. This should be happening everywhere, IMO. Let me explain why we should embrace the pig pens at outdoor shows and festivals post-pandemic.

Pushing Your Way Through Sweaty Crowds Won’t Be A Thing

While I do low-key miss the too-close-for-comfort crowds at a concert and scrubbing profusely in the shower when I get home, that soon will become a distant memory. When you purchase your tickets online, you get to select the location of your podwhich contains five seats and a small table. A lot of outdoor concerts and music festivals are usually standing room only, so it’s a game-changer when you can pick your seat before the show, and not have to worry about showing up hours before to stake out a spot. 

Forget Waiting In Long Lines For A Vodka Soda

It’s about f*cking time that venues got with the times. Instead of waiting in line while missing your favorite song, you can download an app to order food and drinks that will get delivered directly to your pod. This is organization at its finest; whoever had this idea this clearly understood the assignment. So go on, buy as many beers and vodka sodas as you want… we’ve got lost time to make up for, and you don’t have to worry about juggling them back to your seat.

You Won’t Lose Your Friends In A Drunken Crowd

In the pre-COVID era, going to a music festival was a true friend test. Why? Because when the crowds rush in, that’s the moment when you find out who is going to stick with you and who is going to leave to push their way up to the front. Being sober (or not drunk enough), when everyone around you is sloppy and spilling drinks, is basically its own level of hell. With each pod numbered, you won’t have to worry about losing your friends. Guests aren’t restricted to staying in their pod, but a mask is required to go make new friends out in the wild. 

There Won’t Be A Random Tall Guy Blocking Your View

There’s no buzzkill greater than when you get situated in a crowd (or have your lawn chair set up at an outdoor concert) and then some tall dude plants himself right in front of you. Like WTF man?! Then you’re left watching the jumbotrons, which is better than nothing—but if I wanted to watch a concert from a TV screen I would have stayed home.  With the pod seating elevated off the ground, even people walking by won’t get in the way. It’s great to pick where you sit beforehand, and you definitely should splurge for that amazing view.

This pod philosophy obviously works and should be here to staylong after the pandemic subsides. The new ‘make out with random strangers’ will be inviting them over to your pod. Will the opening line be ‘Pfizer or Moderna?’ Yikes. Maybe not. One thing that will make a comeback? Blurry IG Story concert videos. This is the one and only time we’ll give it a pass. 

Image: Ibai Acevedo / Stocksy.com

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