Concerts are supposed to be fun, but dealing with the nightmare that parking often is sure is not. If you’re headed out to a concert soon, we have some tips and tricks that can help alleviate some of the awfulness of parking, and help you to enjoy yourself more at the show.
If you have other tips that you’ve learned on your own, feel free to share them. One of the great things about our online community is that it’s easier to learn about any topic you can imagine. Going to concerts and saving time and money when it comes to parking is no different.
Do purchase a parking pass ahead of time. If the venue that you are going to see your band play at sells parking passes prior to the event, purchase it as soon as you can. Most of the major ticket sites will carry these under their listings, as well. Buy one ahead of time so that you can streamline the process and guarantee that the lot will have enough room for you when you get there. SeatGeek offers parking passes for sale on their site, but not all events will offer these in advance. If you can find them offered for sale, they are definitely worth investing in. You will save a lot of time, and there’s a strong chance that you will save money, too.
Do have a designated driver. Part of the fun of going to a concert for some people is having a few drinks. Other than the fact that there are always a lot of police officers hanging out around concerts, it’s not safe to drive when you’ve had too many. Getting in an accident in the parking lot would completely ruin your concert fun, and make a nightmarish parking situation even worse.
Do get to the concert early. Showing up 15 minutes before the opening band comes on is not smart. We encourage you to have your car parked before the doors open up. Usually, this is about two hours before the concert begins, but this will vary from venue to venue. If you are parked and ready to go when the doors open, then your parking headache will be nonexistent. And if you do run into issues, then you have plenty of time to resolve them and not have to worry about missing any of the show. Ideally, you should arrive at the venue about 15 to 30 minutes before the doors open so parking can be taken care of easily.
Do use public transportation or the provided shuttle service if you can. The people who organize these events know a lot more about the logistics of parking and traffic than either you or I do. Use the provided transportation if it is at all possible for you. Not only is it probably a lot cheaper than paying for event parking, but you are also likely to get in and out of the events a lot more easily, all without needing to worry about driving through stop-and-go traffic for hours.
Do have a backup plan. If for some reason you get out too late from the concert and you have a long drive home, the last thing you want to do is to fall asleep at the wheel. You don’t want to ever need to use your backup plan, but it’s always good to be prepared for an emergency. Have a decent idea of which hotels or camping grounds are in the area, and have a number for a few of them—just in case. Again, this isn’t something that you want to need to use, but it’s better to be prepared than not.
Don’t wait to figure out parking until when you get there. If you don’t have a strong idea of what parking is like and have all of the details figured out before you arrive at your concert, there’s a chance you could be late to see your favorite band play. Figure out the details before you leave the house to avoid this.
Don’t leave cash at home. Parking costs money, and even though a lot of places have adapted their technology to accept credit cards, not all of them have. Parking can range anywhere from a few bucks to $20 or more, depending on where your show is and who is playing. Be prepared so this doesn’t impact your ability to get into the concert.
Don’t forget to get directions. Some of the larger venues, such as the Staples Center (https://www.staplescenter.com/parking/parking-tips), have more than one parking lot. Even if you have a prepaid parking pass with you, if you go to the wrong lot, you are going to fall behind schedule, and maybe even miss some of all of the concerts. Look up directions beforehand so you don’t need to worry about anything like this as the concert is about to begin.
Don’t forget venue-specific details. For example, some stadiums, like Gillette Stadium, have multipurpose parking. If the parking attendant doesn’t know that you are there for a concert, you might be directed to a time-sensitive parking spot. If you are at a concert and not just grabbing dinner or going shopping, there’s a chance that your car could get ticketed, or even towed. These are both bad outcomes, so spend a few minutes researching the venue and ensure that you don’t accidentally run into a situation like this.
Don’t be afraid to consider off-site parking. These are typically a lot cheaper than parking at the concert itself, as long as you don’t mind walking or taking a shuttle. Saving $10 or more on parking might make off-site parking worth it, especially if you can avoid the after-event congestion. Just ensure that you are going with a reputable place and that you are not going to get a ticket or put your car at a high risk of being vandalized. These events are rare, but being aware that there’s a possibility is smart if only because it makes issues easier to avoid.
Don’t forget that leaving a lot is likely to be harder than getting in! There are always parking attendants before the event, but not always afterward. If there are parking attendants out after the event, be sure to listen to their directions to ensure that exiting the lot is as easy as possible.