GA Best Practices

mcdon248mcdon248 Posts: 3
edited February 18 in The Porch
Wrigley night #2 will be the first time my friend and I have had GA tickets for a Pearl Jam show. We are absolutely ecstatic! 
I am looking for input from grizzled PJ GA vets on GA best practices/etiquette. 

A couple questions that come to mind: 
- What time do you normally arrive/line up for decent GA position? Does this matter if you anticipate grabbing a beer/hitting the washroom?
- Are washroom breaks unfathomable if you'd like to maintain a good position in the crowd? I.e. Do you plant yourself nearest the stage as soon as the doors open and do not move? 
- In the past I've heard the GA situation at Wrigley and Fenway was borderline claustrophobic unless you were standing towards the back/side. I would imagine this is always the case? 
- Are PJ fans in GA pretty good with the safety first/watch out for your neighbour mindset, or should I expect a lot of loose cannons in the crowd like any other concert?

Apologies if the answers to these are intuitive, just looking for some feedback on what to expect! 
Post edited by mcdon248 on
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  • Following with interest 
  • Ive done 38 shows i think only 1 seated. G.A is different in each country. Ive only sat in the u.s. so all my G.A are European. The queue has gotten ridiculous the last 10 years. You will have to be in line days before for those shows in u.s
    Ive done mid morning the day before mostly in Europe. Its cool to go to the toilet and maybe grab some food or merch but not longer than half hour i would say but the are always some nazi police.ive had many arguments but many great people in line that have become friends for ever. There is really only one rule like ed says....don't be an asshole
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    barcelona 06
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    this song is meant to be called i got shit,itshould be called i got shit tickets-hartford 06 -
  • ST66483ST66483 Posts: 203
    edited February 18
    Generally if you want a rail it will be the day before to line up.  If you just want a decent position then the afternoon of should still get you a good view at the sides, or not dead centre.  I've usually tended to line up between 4:00 - 6:00 pm the day of, an am often first 5 rows on the sides for US or Canadian arena shows.  Never done a big ballpark show.

    Once inside people would allow for some coming/going for bathroom /refreshments.  People are quite relaxed that way.  Always seems to be the odd person trying to surge the front, but most people are fairly good and content in their spots.

    Enjoy your shows.
    Post edited by ST66483 on
  • Thanks for the input @lastexitlondon and  @ST66483, very much appreciated! 
  • Who I AmWho I Am Posts: 594
    My experiences have always put me amongst cordial fans. Always a tighter crowd closer nearest the front rail and to the left where Mike entertains. My goal is to arrive 60-90mins before opener and find a barricade rail, (obviously not front). Very nice to be able to lean regardless and your companion can easily save your barricade space much easier than open space on the floor. I don't drink after 3pm on GA days until I hit the flask after show start. Never fails.  Good Luck and Enjoy WN2!! 
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  • jmug23jmug23 Posts: 578
    I’ve done about 10 GA’s but never a stadium GA so I can only speak of arenas which are obviously smaller. I’ve typically never gotten in line before about 6:00 PM and a few times got there around 7:00pm after the gates were already opened.  I’ve never been further than about 4-5 from the rail but that’s usully off to one side or the other. The middle fills up first, then typically Mikes side because he’s so interactive, then stones side. We walked in at 7:00 pm in Greenville and we’re second from the rail on stones side.  If you are off to the side, people are always very nice allowing you to leave for a quick restroom break. However, we usually take turns so one guy can kind of hold the spot. Probably much harder to do if you are in the middle or up front. I also try not to drink too much before hand so I can get away with only one pee break mid show. Also, make friends with those around you before show starts so people will recognize you when you leave. People are very tolerant unless they think you are some tool bag trying to weezle your way up front when you weren’t there before.  GA is also very mellow with limited movement, except for maybe some people jumping up and down in one spot. All that being said, if you want the rail or somewhere close to that, you will have to line up probably the day before. Not work it IMO. I’d rather enjoy the city and some nice restaurants all day and still be about 5 rows back. Good luck!
  • buck502000buck502000 Birthplace of GIBSON guitarPosts: 7,669
    Don’t be a dick and have fun
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    Life is hard, that's why no one survives

  • Stone side is easier for a reason. 
    Mikes side is alive.
    My preference should i get the chance. Bang infront of jeff best of all worlds.
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    this song is meant to be called i got shit,itshould be called i got shit tickets-hartford 06 -
  • Corey GCorey G Tacompton, WAPosts: 37
    Well... It’s a concert. Dance around. Move around. Go where you want a feel comfortable being. There are no fucking rules at a concert except for having fun. Do what Buck said though, and don’t be a dick. 
  • JB288319JB288319 Posts: 73
    Every time I've been in GA everyone has been super cool about beer/bathroom breaks in line and while waiting for the show. Wouldn't recommend leaving once they start though. Also always had pretty good experiences regarding everyone looking out for each other. Only exception was maybe at ACL but that was different, when it's all 10C fans everyone's been really cool. I'm a sucker for Mike's side, so much fun interaction. Also pics like this.

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  • mookeywrenchmookeywrench Posts: 5,248
    Don’t be a dick and have fun
    This....plus bathe and wear deodorant.
    350x700px-LL-d2f49cb4_vinyl-needle-scu-e1356666258495.jpeg
  • ^^^&this and don't keep farting stink
    brixton 93
    astoria 06
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    reading 06
    barcelona 06
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    dusseldorf 07
    nijmegen 07

    this song is meant to be called i got shit,itshould be called i got shit tickets-hartford 06 -
  • First, remember no matter where you are in GA your are lucky and have one of the best seats in the house.  Sounds like you have that covered.

    Second, arrive early.  At least 45 minutes before they take the stage.  More depending on how important it is to you to be as close as possible.

    Third, most PJ fans are cool and understand bathroom or beer breaks.  A method that has worked well is to announce your departure and arrival the same way.  For example “red shirt bathroom break” and “red shirt returning”.  That way people don’t think your cutting on your way back.  

    Fourth, if you can’t find your way back to your previous pot just accept it and make a new friend.  

    Finally, rock out.  You have one of the best seats at one of the best rock shows .  Bring the energy or give your GA ticket to someone that will.
    you're god and you've got big hands
  • Been GA twice at Wrigley and both times walked in about 6:30 - an hour or so before show time on the ticket.  Both times we were about a 12-15  people back in the middle.  Plenty of room, very easy to slip out before the show started.  Get to know the people around you and you'll be fine.  Once the show starts it definitely got a little tighter but never had a problem.  
  • SomethingCreativeSomethingCreative Kazoo, MIPosts: 2,872
    I've done GA for Pearl Jam twice but both at festivals.  Lollapalooza 2007 and Bonnaroo 2008.  Both experiences were the most awesome GA neighbors I've had at any show... especially the dude at lolla sharing his cooling fan mister thing with everyone around him :lol:

    I scored wrigley 2 GA also so seeya in the pit!
    "Well, I think this band is incapable of sucking."
    -my dad after hearing Not for You for the first time on SNL .
  • ZodZod Posts: 5,587
    The pits are pretty cordial,  and most people respect the first come first serve thing.  Where you people who lined up longest get the best spots.  You do get a few aholes that try to budge through, but it's mostly pretty good.

    The stadium GA pits are pretty big.  For Wrigley we got there around 4pm both days.  Tried to get pretty close to centre.  Maybe 12-15 people in front of us.  I thought they were pretty good spots.
  • 3days3days Posts: 719
    How bad is the view from the sides (aka roomier) areas of the pit at Wrigley? Are you able to see the stage at all, or are you stuck watching the screens? 

    Also, is there only one entry/exit in and out? 
  • IgotshitIDIgotshitID St.john's Newfoundland Posts: 819
    I am also first time GA at Wrigley and this is a great help. If i wanted too be within the first 5 rows any idea what time i should line up? 
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  • riley540riley540 Bellingham WAPosts: 830
    Early in the morning I’d say. Maybe 8am. Usually it’s about 24 hours to get rail infront of ed, maybe longer on stadium shows 
  • LiteTheMatchLiteTheMatch Posts: 1,112
    mcdon248 said:
    Wrigley night #2 will be the first time my friend and I have had GA tickets for a Pearl Jam show. We are absolutely ecstatic! 
    I am looking for input from grizzled PJ GA vets on GA best practices/etiquette. 

    A couple questions that come to mind: 
    - What time do you normally arrive/line up for decent GA position? Does this matter if you anticipate grabbing a beer/hitting the washroom?
    - Are washroom breaks unfathomable if you'd like to maintain a good position in the crowd? I.e. Do you plant yourself nearest the stage as soon as the doors open and do not move? 
    - In the past I've heard the GA situation at Wrigley and Fenway was borderline claustrophobic unless you were standing towards the back/side. I would imagine this is always the case? 
    - Are PJ fans in GA pretty good with the safety first/watch out for your neighbour mindset, or should I expect a lot of loose cannons in the crowd like any other concert?

    Apologies if the answers to these are intuitive, just looking for some feedback on what to expect! 
    The closer you are to the stage, the more territorial people become.  Night 1 of Wrigley was fine where I was... But Night 2 I saw people getting shit for leaving & coming back with beer or whatever... And I was right near the guy who was kicked out by Eddie Vedder.  Lots of tension Night 2.  But you can always move away from the people looking for confrontation.
    A child's rhyme stuck in my head...
    It said "Life is nothing but a dream."
    I've spent so many years in question
    To find I'd known this all along.
  • JvollmanJvollman Posts: 91
    mcdon248 said:
    Wrigley night #2 will be the first time my friend and I have had GA tickets for a Pearl Jam show. We are absolutely ecstatic! 
    I am looking for input from grizzled PJ GA vets on GA best practices/etiquette. 

    A couple questions that come to mind: 
    - What time do you normally arrive/line up for decent GA position? Does this matter if you anticipate grabbing a beer/hitting the washroom?
    - Are washroom breaks unfathomable if you'd like to maintain a good position in the crowd? I.e. Do you plant yourself nearest the stage as soon as the doors open and do not move? 
    - In the past I've heard the GA situation at Wrigley and Fenway was borderline claustrophobic unless you were standing towards the back/side. I would imagine this is always the case? 
    - Are PJ fans in GA pretty good with the safety first/watch out for your neighbour mindset, or should I expect a lot of loose cannons in the crowd like any other concert?

    Apologies if the answers to these are intuitive, just looking for some feedback on what to expect! 
    The closer you are to the stage, the more territorial people become.  Night 1 of Wrigley was fine where I was... But Night 2 I saw people getting shit for leaving & coming back with beer or whatever... And I was right near the guy who was kicked out by Eddie Vedder.  Lots of tension Night 2.  But you can always move away from the people looking for confrontation.
    What was that guy doing??  I was sick & missed that show but have seen it several times on video during Lukin. Eddie was pissed. 
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  • Mike D88Mike D88 TampaPosts: 422
    One nice thing about when they play the south is you can show up a few hours before the show and still get 3-4 people back on Mike's side...
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  • ZodZod Posts: 5,587
    edited February 19
    Mike D88 said:
    One nice thing about when they play the south is you can show up a few hours before the show and still get 3-4 people back on Mike's side...
    I don't think that has anything to do with the south.  It has more to do with the fact those were arena shows.    The pits in the arenas were way smaller.   I had the same experience as you at Vancouver '13.   Showed up 10 minutes before doors and was 4-5 people back centre stage.  It was awesome.

    The size and capacity of the Stadium pits is way bigger.  It's a different beast from the arena shows.    Way more people in them, thus more people lining up, and trying to get a good spot.
    Post edited by Zod on
  • 3days said:
    How bad is the view from the sides (aka roomier) areas of the pit at Wrigley? Are you able to see the stage at all, or are you stuck watching the screens? 

    Also, is there only one entry/exit in and out? 
    There is much more room on the far sides at Wrigley, and you can see decently (although the outfield of Wrigley is pretty immense). I actually moved there night one last year as the middle was packed, and I was stuck near a middle exit. I had a baracade to my left where I placed my hand, but a lot of people didn't realize it, and continuously tried to push through even though I had told them it wasn't the way out (ridicuously annoying and ruined Release opener). The actual exit was about five feet in front of me. On the sides, another couple initially near me had also moved, and the guy was able to dance as wildly as he pleased with plenty of room (he had a great time). I do not discourage the middle, but it will be very saturaded with people, and be cognisant of where you place yourself (looking back I would have placed myself at the back of the barracade, but my wife didn't agree initially). If I recal correctly, there were one to two middle exits in the center, and no worries exiting in left field whatsoever. I would imagine it was the same for right field. Last time I believe it required three wristbands which also took some time. Those who waited in line for long periods of time seemed to score their wristbands earlier. My guess is that we got in line about three hours prior to the show.
  • jmug23jmug23 Posts: 578
    mcdon248 said:
    Wrigley night #2 will be the first time my friend and I have had GA tickets for a Pearl Jam show. We are absolutely ecstatic! 
    I am looking for input from grizzled PJ GA vets on GA best practices/etiquette. 

    A couple questions that come to mind: 
    - What time do you normally arrive/line up for decent GA position? Does this matter if you anticipate grabbing a beer/hitting the washroom?
    - Are washroom breaks unfathomable if you'd like to maintain a good position in the crowd? I.e. Do you plant yourself nearest the stage as soon as the doors open and do not move? 
    - In the past I've heard the GA situation at Wrigley and Fenway was borderline claustrophobic unless you were standing towards the back/side. I would imagine this is always the case? 
    - Are PJ fans in GA pretty good with the safety first/watch out for your neighbour mindset, or should I expect a lot of loose cannons in the crowd like any other concert?

    Apologies if the answers to these are intuitive, just looking for some feedback on what to expect! 
    The closer you are to the stage, the more territorial people become.  Night 1 of Wrigley was fine where I was... But Night 2 I saw people getting shit for leaving & coming back with beer or whatever... And I was right near the guy who was kicked out by Eddie Vedder.  Lots of tension Night 2.  But you can always move away from the people looking for confrontation.
    I didn't even notice someone getting kicked out by Ed night 2.  I do remember Ed stopping the show in LA in 2013 to kick a girl and a guy out who were causing issues.  It definitely made everything after pretty awkward especially because he kept referencing it and appeared to put him in a bad mood.
  • The whole band stopped in the middle of Lukin and he admonished the guy for sticking a finger in a woman's face - kicked him out and then jumped right back in midsong
  • jmug23jmug23 Posts: 578
    The whole band stopped in the middle of Lukin and he admonished the guy for sticking a finger in a woman's face - kicked him out and then jumped right back in midsong
    Oh yeah. I do remember that now. I’m glad certain bands don’t have a problem calling people out for inappropriate behavior.  
  • SomethingCreativeSomethingCreative Kazoo, MIPosts: 2,872
    It wasn’t just GA night 2... something was just different with that crowd... some dude screamed in my wife’s face when she said something while he barreling up between our seats cause he was too lazy to walk to the damn isle 5 ft away
    "Well, I think this band is incapable of sucking."
    -my dad after hearing Not for You for the first time on SNL .
  • e360727e360727 Posts: 4
    I was lucky enough to be GA for both '16 Wrigley shows.  As many folks have stated, if you were lined up by 4pm or so, you ended up about 15 rows back.  I'm not a small guy by any means, but I didn't dream about leaving my spot starting about 30 minutes before the band showed up.  People weren't happy with bathroom breaks, or getting beers, even pre-show.  Granted, once the shows started, the folks around me were SENSATIONAL and we all had a GREAT time, but as soon as folks realized how tight GA was going to be, it became very territorial.  Prepare accordingly.  
  • buck502000buck502000 Birthplace of GIBSON guitarPosts: 7,669
    edited February 20
    I watched a fellow smoke a joint continuously for roughly 3 hours right in front of me.  I wasn’t mad, I was impressed. Wrigley night 2 2016
    Post edited by buck502000 on
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    Life is hard, that's why no one survives

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