How far would you go for concert tickets?


Andy Witchger

Concerts serve as a prominent pastime for teens today and the lengths some would go to attend are incredible

Live music seems to hold an inexplicable magic over high school students today. The strange yet exciting serotonin boost that occurs the second some passionate teens hear the opening notes of their favorite songs live can be an unmatched feeling. Concerts can have the ability to instantly raise spirits, how far would you go to attend? Turns out, BSM students would go to some pretty extreme lengths.

Some of the most common examples of the BSM student body’s extreme commitment to their favorite artists include camping out, standing outside in the harsh Minnesota winters, and spending large amounts of money. However, according to a recent Knight Errant survey, it seems that few would stay out as long and spend as much money as junior Sophia Parish. “I have waited in line for over 13 hours, maybe even 14 for Taylor Swift tickets. And I spent a little over $4,000 on all my tickets. Because I paid $720 for each of them,” Parish said.

Travel also seems to be a common thread among the concert enthusiasts of BSM. Minneapolis in itself is not a major concert city, so if one wants the opportunity to see a favorite artist live, traveling can sometimes be inevitable. “I flew across the country to California to go to a concert, and I’ve waited out for like seven plus hours to get in the front row,” junior Annabelle Nicholson said.

Through the eyes of someone who isn’t as musically oriented, these extents might seem excessive. But for others, it is very much worth it. Some see it as not only paying and waiting for a show but also for joy. “Concerts are my happy place. I will wait in the rain. I will wait an hour or so to merge lanes. I will do this because it makes me happy,” Parish said.

Concerts are my happy place. I will wait in the rain. I will wait an hour or so to merge lanes. I will do this because it makes me happy

— Sophia Parish

Concert culture has certainly picked up since the COVID-19 pandemic. Though it could be argued that this recent spike in concertgoers is annoying at times, some also argue that it just shows how music can get people through anything. After spending all of quarantine immersing yourself in a new artist, it’s so exciting to finally be able to see that person live. “Before COVID I barely went to any concerts, but since COVID I’ve gone to over 20 concerts. I feel like while being in isolation it kind of made me realize how much I actually do value that live experience… It helped me develop the passion to go wait out and see live music,” Nicholson said.

The reason concerts are such a prominent pastime for high school students seems to be because in this case, being young is an advantage. The youthful energy and excitement that seems to disappear with age is still present. The ability to adapt to any condition whether it be only having standing room, or dealing with all of the crowds also definitely helps, “We can still stand for hours and hours without being like, ‘Oh, my back hurts’…we’re just at the perfect age. And we’re still at the age where we find things really exciting. Because you grow out of that at some point,” Parish said.

From an adult perspective, Theology teacher and concert photographer Andy Witchger says that there is a notable difference between concerts geared more towards younger people, and shows geared towards adults. “Once people are older and have gone to more concerts, they’re a bit more jaded about them…in some some ways, they might not be as excited about it, but the all ages shows seems like it’s the event for those kids that they’ve been looking forward to for who knows how long, ages in some cases. From the moment you walk up to an all ages show, you see kids lined up around the venue before the doors are even open which you don’t typically see when it’s an older show.…and just like the enthusiasm before the concert even starts,” Witchger said.

I have waited in line for over 13 hours, maybe even 14 for Taylor Swift tickets. And I spent a little over $4,000 on all my tickets. Because I paid $720 for each of them

— Sophia Parish

The concert experience among Gen Z goes beyond simply going to the show. It means living and breathing everything related to it for months before. It seems to turn into an all-consuming experience that elevates all excitement for the show. “The amount of support that we give artists and our ability to just go all in, it’s not just a concert. It’s a whole event. I think that’s awesome. I really, really love that we do that. And I wish that we could keep doing that. But I know there’s going to be a point where it’s not as important to us but as of now, I love it,” Parish said.

Though the excitement for live music certainly has picked up among this younger generation, it seems to be less of a new phenomenon and more of something that has come back after a brief hiatus. Some teens see it as a way to pay homage to older generations who used concerts as a large source of music intake. “I think I think it’s very similar to how other generations were because before there was technology like Spotify and Apple Music, that’s how people heard music. It’s good…we’re still keeping that an important part of the entertainment industry,” Nicholson said.

Though youthful energy can most certainly be an advantage, along with it comes a sense of naivete. As a young person, it’s harder to pay attention to logistics, and more specifically the cost, because the most important thing to them is usually just the concert experience itself. Why would it matter how much money you spend as long as you have a good time? As people grow up however, money becomes more of a priority making it harder to attend these shows. “I’ve gotten a little bit bitter about the costs…if costs weren’t a matter, I would probably try to figure out how to get to more concerts for sure,” English teacher Anne Marie Dominguez said.

This willingness of teens to spend their money on a couple hour long concert just goes to show how impactful music and the artists who create it are. Concerts are not just a place to listen to music, they are a place to forge relationships and it seems that the teens of today see that very clearly. “They have their priorities straight. I think that one of the most important things you can do is spend time with friends and people that you love. experiencing something that’s powerful and has an emotional resonance with you…it’s encouraging…every time I see kids just passionate about something that they love…It makes me happy,” Witchger said.