Roll Solo: In Defense of Going to Concerts Alone

Want to go to a concert or music festival, but don’t have anyone to go with? Do yourself a favor and go alone. If every time I wanted to go to a concert, I waited for someone to go with me, I would have missed a lot of amazing shows, especially local bands or lesser known acts. 

Why do so many people hate on local music and art so much?! I once invited a former “film student” to go to the Chattanooga Film Festival with me and he said, “ew no, I don’t want to watch a bunch of local films.” First of all, just because something is local, doesn’t mean it’s shit. All the great artists at some point started ‘local’ in their own communities. Second, to be technical here for a moment, it’s just called the Chattanooga Film Festival, because it’s in Chattanooga. That’s just how they name most film festivals, idiot! Ugh!

That brief rant about my local film festival actually gives me a great segue to local music.

People - We have got to put a little work in and really think about broadening our horizons when it comes to going to see live music. The pool of musicians who are actually getting booked is getting smaller. I mean, just listen to NPR’s The Indicator from the Planet Money episode, The Economics of Music Festivals (it’s less than 10 minutes long).

ANYWAYS. I digress.

Being at a concert alone is not as awkward as you might think. It’s not like you can talk during a performance anyway. Sometimes you need to enjoy art alone and not have someone else's opinion influence how you interpret or feel about something. Think of it as self-care if you want.

I know, I just wrote an article about how music introduced me to so many people, but yes, I still go out alone most of the time. I usually end up seeing people I know once I get there and end up having plenty of people to talk to. If I always went out with only people I knew, I would have been less likely to talk to anyone new.

Staying home and swiping Tinder and Bumble is convenient, but if you want to meet someone who actually leaves their house, you have too leave your house. 

For me getting over the initial nervousness of leaving the house is the hardest part, but once I’m out I usually enjoy myself. If you need something to make you look busy, take pictures of the band and/or scroll through social media like everyone else is doing. Besides, if your mama is worried about you going out alone, just tell her that a woman in a wheelchair does it all the time and she’s fine.

Let’s all make a point to go to a show, maybe even for a local musician (!), alone at least once this month.