Did you get roped into chaperoning your tween daughter/sister/friend at the One Direction concert at Hersheypark on July 6? Already dreading your task?
Well don’t, because it can actually – surprise surprise – be fun.
Follow these 10 tips and lessons learned (the hard way by me at the July 5th concert), ranked by importance, and you’ll have a grand ol’ time – or at least not a miserable one.
10. First things first, be prepared. It’s going to be hot and, chances are, sunny. Bring sunblock and make sure you’re hydrated before the concert even begins. Heat exhaustion is not fun, as I found out. Also be sure to bring cash – as it’s the only way to buy drinks or food once you’re in the stadium (and you aren’t allowed to bring your own).
9. Time your arrival. The boys don’t go on until around 8:30 p.m., so don’t rush to get to the stadium unless your fan is madly in love with 5 Seconds of Summer, the opening act. Instead, take your time. If you’re relaxed, odds are you’ll enjoy yourself more than if you’re a frantic mess.
8. Read the signage. Some of the posters are actually quite funny, others mildly disturbing – but all are interesting.
7. Feel free to sit down. Trust me, you won’t be missing much. One Direction is more Monkees than Backstreet Boys – there isn’t any choreography and the boys spend most of the time prancing around the stage and embodying British charm. If you’re not subscribed to J-14, chances are that actually watching the concert won’t do anything for you.
6. Need eye candy? Look at the back-up musicians. If you’re reading this you are most likely older than 20 and the boys of One Direction look, well, like boys. So, should you be needing something look at, the band is the way to go. All attractive, older men. Granted, the camera won’t focus on them so much – so if you’re far away you’re kind of SOL on this front.
5. When desperate, booze up. There is alcohol at the stadium – it’s just expensive. A Troegs beer will set you back $9 (you read that right, $9). But sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. This area does take card, so you’ll be in luck even if you’re cash strapped.
4. Bring ear plugs. I cannot describe to you how bad the screaming is. The concert itself is not that loud – it’s the fans you have to worry about. So come prepared with ear plugs so those shrill shrieks of tween excitement won’t grate on your nerves quite so much.
3. Embrace the bubblegum pop. Anyone who says they hate One Direction is a liar. There is no way anyone can despise “What Makes You Beautiful” – the song is constructed to be the personification of like-ability, even if it has been overplayed on the radio. So when it comes on, just stop trying to look cool and instead sing-a-long, dance and enjoy yourself. It’s not like you’re going to impress anyone at the concert by standing there looking glum.
2. Prepare to tailgate after the show. This may be the most important tip here. Know this: you will not be able to avoid the traffic. In fact, I’m writing to this in the parking lot, stuck in a line of cars that has not moved for an hour. My car is actually in park at this point, as it seemed pointless to waste the gas. I also left before the band had finished it’s final encore song “What Makes You Beautiful.” That in mind, you can’t leave early – because the boy band holds off on their hits to the very end (the jerks).
So, to repeat myself, you cannot avoid the traffic. Therefore, make the most of your situation. Enjoy every last drop of the concert, have your fan buy their merchandise after the show and come prepared to have an after-party in the parking lot – bonus points if you’re by Chocolate World, which has free Wifi. Thus, waiting for the traffic to leave becomes fun, rather than a burden.
1. While everyone’s looking at One Direction – look at your fan. All the fans at the One Direction concert were in seventh heaven, and watching their faces light up really makes the whole thing worth it – shrieks and all.