A concert-goer’s conflict: Is General Admission worth it?

Matt Meusel, R1 Features Editor

Sweating. Dehydrated. Feet aching. Sounds terrible, right? Some people would call this a good time—a great time. Especially if they’re at a concert.

These are just some of the things that come with a General Admission (GA) ticket to a concert or music festival nowadays.

Being in the mosh pit or knowing there’s a possibility that your favorite artist might crowd-surf over you has made the GA ticket quite popular, especially among teens.

The downside to these tickets is that you must stand for several hours. If you step out of place to go to the bathroom or take a breath of fresh air, the consequences are clear—you’ll lose your spot.

A GA ticket gets you into what some know as “the pit,” the standing-room-only section where, if you want a good spot, you’ll either have to get there incredibly early or physically force yourself to the front. Otherwise, it’s very possible that you’ll be hundreds of feet away from the stage.

Take Kanye West’s concert last September at Madison Square Garden. Kanye’s stage was actually above the crowd of GA ticket-holders in the pit. Since people were literally on top of each other trying to get a good view of Kanye, many were hit by countless elbows as arms extended above the mass of heads to get clear photos and videos.

So why would people go this route? First of all, it’s very likely that a GA ticket is much cheaper than buying an actual seat, something that benefits most high school or college students who don’t have a ton of cash.

But beyond price, many people will choose to buy the GA ticket over an actual seat, which seems to be a bit strange. An actual seat means you can leave and go to the bathroom and know your seat will still be there when you get back. You can still go crazy and jump around with your friends when the beat drops. And you can still have a very good view.

But people have different interpretations of what a good or close seat is.

Some say that if you aren’t a few feet away from the stage, there’s no point of even being at the concert.

Others say they want a secure seat and a decent view of the stage because they don’t want sweaty strangers bumping into them every 20 seconds.

It’s easy to see why some want the GA ticket: It’s every person for themselves when it comes to getting a good view, and there’s a thrill to going to the extremes for their favorite artists.

This debate will continue as long as GA tickets are sold. These tickets may seem priceless to some, but for this reporter and concert-goer, it just doesn’t seem worth it to get pushed, shoved and cursed at by strangers just because you’re trying to claim some space—space you paid for.