Last night I (shock horror!) went to a gig all by myself. Unusually, I have done this a fair amount, even travelling to London from York about three times in the last couple of years to see shows I just couldn’t resist. To many, this would seem like a sad state of affairs- an admission of having no friends or even just daring to explore different interests to those around me. However, I really don’t care! I love going to gigs with friends, but I don’t find the experience diminished by being alone, and I’ll explain why.
For most of a gig, there isn’t much talking going on. In big venues it’s just impossible to hear anyone without shouting your lungs out when the music’s going, and in tiny ones the music is still often too loud for the size of the room and it’s also nice to show a bit of respect to those onstage in that sort of atmosphere. The only time conversational company is necessary is in between acts, but if you get restless then you could always try meeting new people- everyone there is a like-minded fan, after all, except for the odd partner dragged along- or just spend it at the bar. Granted, I don’t usually do either of these things, but there is of course a place for introverts in this world too. Just because you think it would be mind-boggling boring to be there alone doesn’t mean that everyone agrees.
Equally, dancing and moving to music can make lots of people pretty self-conscious. Some may disagree over whether this is worse amongst people you don’t know at all or with friends/acquaintances, but personally I hate feeling like my awkward but enthusiastic movements are being judged at a gig by anyone with less than boyfriend/best friend/mum status. I don’t think about it as much when no one I know is around me, as ultimately any fleeting thoughts they have about me are completely irrelevant and non-consequential, but I often don’t quite feel comfortable if I’m with a new friend in particular. Maybe this one’s just me; I know that some people declare their love for dancing and don’t care who sees, but I am quite happy in my own little bubble. Ultimately it’s fine either way: my point is just that being alone whilst the gig’s in full swing isn’t to your detriment.
Then of course, there are financial and logistical factors. Even if you know a plethora of people into this band too, they may not be free on that day, able to travel or might be too skint at that point in time. Why should this stop you from going? If you want to go and see an awesome band/singer/whatever it may be, there shouldn’t be a social stigma stopping you from having a good time. For many of us, music is something to associate with on a deep level, so getting the whole live experience might just be worth spending a couple of hours alone.