Attending a Concert with a Chronic Illness

I love concerts, but they are difficult with my chronic illnesses. I recently went to a Shawn Mendes concert (which was AMAZING), and I wanted to share the tips I use when going to a concert.

Pack Paper Towels

My POTS makes me sweat A LOT and going to a concert can make anyone sweaty. Also, I opt out of wearing makeup, which will be ruined and distract and worry me about it getting messed up and needing to fix it.

Bring Doctor’s Letter

It’s a pain having to prove you have an illness when it’s invisible, but you don’t want to spend a bunch of time trying to explain to an employee at the venue. People can be ***holes, so get a letter from your doctor that lists your illnesses. You can use this to hopefully gain access to an elevator or get let in earlier. For the Mendes concert, I didn’t show the guy outside the venue because he seemed like he wouldn’t believe me and the line wasn’t too long.

Take Extra Meds

For my conditions, I find taking an extra Adderall, nauseous meds, and migraine meds help.

Preferably Attend an Indoor Concert

I will only attend concerts that are indoor and have seating. The heat, sun, and humidity make the experience miserable. With the Mendes concert, the blowing of air conditioning felt heavenly while dancing.

Eat Before

My diet requires me to eat before any event. If possible, bring in your own snacks. Many concert venues though will not allow outside food. Even if I could eat the food, waiting in line is a pain in the ***. It just depends on whether the food is worth it for you. For example, I will wait in line for hours in the desert for Dippin Dots. But waiting in line drains the energy you need for dancing.

Buy Knock Off Merch

If the opening act is popular, the merch line might be shorter or if you can get your hand on the setlist and see a few songs that aren’t your favorite, get merch during them. Another option is you can pay someone and buy them a cheap ticket and have them wait in line for you. The easiest option is to get knock-off merch outside the venue. They may not be the best quality, but if you want it as a souvenir, not as a functional, daily shirt, it is a good option. Some shirts from the merch stands are $30-40, while the knock offs can be as cheap as $15. Buy the shirt after the concert, where they are at their cheapest. Often you can negotiate with the sellers, and they may just lower the price if you say no at their initial offer.

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