Growing up on the outskirts of Retford made every concert, big or small a car journey. Fortunately my father loves live music, so he could easily be persuaded to Chauffeur my friends and I to and from gigs in nearby towns and cities. But not everyone has a gig-going dad or access to a car, and when a car is available there are still pitfalls; finding a place to park, the cost of parking, the safety of your car, keeping off the drink and still keeping energised and up beat for the gig. Thinking about these things sometimes can take the shine off the idea of going to the gig. In this article I am going to look at the travel options and find ways to make your trip low cost and stress free.
Recently four friends and I went to Wembley Arena to see one of my all time favourite bands ‘Korn’. Having enough people to occupy each seat in our gigmobile we shared the cost making it the cheapest way to travel. But before we concern ourselves with cost, we need to ensure our elected driver has enough energy to make the three hour round trip. We kept him well fed and watered, and even agreed to all stay awake on the long drive home to keep him company.
Venues like arenas normally have their own parking, providing the option to book online, it normally saves you a few bob and you are then guaranteed a parking space. Some places have their own sneaky deals as well. I found out, whilst stuffing my face at TGI Fridays, that if I spent £30 at the eatery then I would get free parking. Well that’s cool if you know; a.) You are going to be eating out that evening b.) You like TGI Fridays (and can eat anything off their menu) c.) You can get a damn table. A deal is a deal though right. Alternative parking can also be found www.justpark.com. On this site, people rent out their driveways/parking spaces for a slot of time. This means you can park in a safe environment, walking distance from the venue and it won’t cost you a bomb.
I reside in Salisbury, which has a pretty good train link to a few cities; one of them included is Southampton. I like trains… I actually love trains, so probably be a good chance to go to a gig by train. Cost wise it’s roughly the same however I don’t have to think about doing the long drive, or finding and paying for parking. But on the flip side I may have to rely on buses to get from the station to the venue. It is quite possible – especially if the performance overruns – that I may miss the last train home, so be prepared to cut the gig. There are few ways to slash the cost of your train ticket:
1, Book early, but these cheap seats often go quickly the key moment to start looking is 12 weeks before.
2, Split your tickets, Instead of buying one ticket for the whole journey, buying two tickets for its constituent parts can slash the price. This website will do the work for you: www.moneysavingexpert.com/split-cheap-train-tickets
3, Megatrain sell tickets from £1, they may not have the departure times you desire, but with such huge savings it is always worth investigating. I sometimes use the money I saved to splash out on a B&B, making my trip even less stressful. www.megabus.com
Many coach companies provide a service which will take you direct to the concerts. This is by far the easiest way to travel. The coach takes you straight to the door of the venue, and even if the event overruns your coach will still be waiting to collect you at the end of the night. Many of the major coach companies provide coaches for large live music concerts, so shop around. But make sure to include www.MegaBus.com when searching if you’re looking for cheap travel and remember like trains coach companies do favour those who book early.
Whether you enjoy chasing after trains, persuading the bus driver that the bus was supposed to go in the other direction or enjoy the fun times of Motorway traffic on a Friday. If there is a gig you really want to go to then book it! There is always a way to get there. But remember the memorable part of the evening should be the show not the travel, and hopefully our tips will help keep it that way.