Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
December 1, 2022

How to navigate concerts in and around Baltimore

By ASHWATHA SURESH | October 11, 2022

sabrina

COURTESY OF ASHWATHA SURESH

Suresh offers tips on how to have the best concert experience possible through preparation and planning.

Concerts are a spiritual experience.

I went to my first concert in Baltimore a couple weeks ago at Rams Head Live — where I witnessed the Sabrina Carpenter perform. The experience was life-changing, magical, surreal — everything from the music, the beat and the vibes made it an important memory in my college life. 

But as magical as the concert was, navigating through a concert was a reality that required a lot of effort and planning.

Plan. Not only does every Hopkins student love to procrastinate on completing class assignments, but this translates to having fun too. Start looking at the schedules of your favorite tour groups to see if they plan on coming to Baltimore or Washington, D.C. 

Please don’t be that person (aka me) frantically buying tickets on Ticketmaster the week of the concert. Although I was lucky enough to purchase tickets for $8 the day of the Sabrina Carpenter concert, it's always best to plan and purchase!

Figure out transportation. Good news: most transportation services are free for Hopkins students! Always make sure to remember to carry your student ID to show to the driver. 

The most popular (and free!) public transit includes the Blue Jay Shuttle for areas close to campus, the JHMI, the Collegetown Shuttle and the Charm City Circulator. The Charm City Circulator has four routes – Green, Purple, Orange and Banner – running to places like Inner Harbor and Penn Station. Make sure to download the TransLoc app to get bus and shuttle tracking info in real time.

While TransLoc does map out expected routes, sometimes buses come later than expected or even not at all. If this is the case, make sure that you are ready to have back-up routes planned. Buses travel pretty frequently through different stations so this shouldn’t be a huge issue, but it's better to be safe than sorry!

Uber is also another great option if you’re willing to pay, and it is more convenient since you don’t have to wait at stops or walk from place to place.

What to bring. Tickets, water (passing out from dehydration might not be the best way to get an artist’s attention, no matter what cheesy Wattpad stories you’ve read), your JHU ID, a fully-charged phone to take videos (my phone battery ended up at 8% after taking nonstop videos of Sabrina Carpenter), wallet and obviously bring your ENERGY!

Safety first! Baltimore city life is honestly such an aesthetic. However, some of the streets aren’t exactly the best for super hyped-up college students to be roaming around at one o’clock in the morning. The most important tip is to make sure that you always travel with big groups of people, and try to minimize walking long distances at night by taking an Uber or using public transport.

If you do decide to get into the mosh pit, remember to keep your belongings secured and not lose track of the group you came with. The mosh pit can be insanely fun but also draining, so set limits for yourself and know when to leave if you don’t feel comfortable.

And finally, remember to have fun! Obviously the most important thing! Remember to let loose, feel the beat and dance the night away! This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to watch your favorite artist perform, so try to make the most out of it by enjoying this time with your friends.

I’ll be honest here. Although I considered myself a Sabrina Carpenter fan, I could barely sing along to more than five of her songs and thought for a quick second that she, not Dove Cameron, sang “Boyfriend.” My friends and I waited for over half an hour for Sabrina to appear on stage and hyped ourselves up to Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well” 10-minute version. 

But the moment Sabrina Carpenter appeared with her gorgeous white dress, I screamed myself hoarse singing along to what little I knew of her songs. After all, a concert is a great way to break out of your bubble and explore Baltimore, meet new people, and have loads of fun along the way.

Now it’s time for you to adopt the concert lifestyle, Blue Jays!

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