This past week marked my 10th Paul McCartney concert. Over the years I have zigzagged across the country and have loved every minute of my McCartney journeys. Each concert and venue has subtle differences and I have noticed new rules and procedures.
Hard tickets and e-tickets are starting to become a thing of the past. I strongly suggest that you register on PaulMcCartney.com. Here you will get news and notifications about tickets and tour dates. Some of the best seats I have gotten were through the fan notification system.
Tips to make your Paul McCartney concert experience the best it can be
If you know that tickets are going on sale on a particular day and you are planning to attend, book your hotel ASAP. I always aim for the nearest hotel to the arena.
Hotel rates have a tendency to fluctuate, like the stock market. The longer you wait, the prices may go up. Hotel reservations should not cost you anything. You will only need a credit card to secure your reservation. Just make sure you are aware of the cancellation window.
On the flip side, always check the rate of your hotel. On a recent trip to Raleigh, my hotel rate went down a few days before the show and I was able to get a price adjustment.
Where Should You Sit?
That’s a personal choice. If money is no object, aim for the first two rows on the floor. These seats typically come with special perks like admission to Paul’s pre-show soundcheck, a meal before the show and a commemorative souvenir.
With that said, floor seats are not the most comfortable. Also, I have observed that people who have these seats prefer to stand during most of the show. So, if you don’t feel like standing, you won’t be able to see what’s on the stage. I like sitting on the first level, off to the side, for a nice view of Paul and the band.
Getting to the Venue
Don’t drive your own car. Traffic is usually backed up; the parking lots are expensive and a long walk to the entrance. Most people at that hotel you are staying at are probably going to the show so you can make arrangements to share a ride, take an Uber or a taxi. I have found fans to be very friendly.
Security is extremely tight. leave plenty of time to get through screening and get to your seat before show time. Concertgoers can expect to be asked to remove all items from their pockets during security screening and to be screened with a metal-detecting hand wand.
Make sure you know the rules of what you can and cannot bring inside with you. Security has gotten strict and if you have a prohibited item, they will make you toss it or take it to your car.
I have also noticed changes in the “sign policy.” If you plan on bringing one that may catch Macca’s eye, make sure it’s permitted, and if so, that it’s the right size.
When I go to see McCartney I normally take a pair of small binoculars. I had them at the PNC Arena. Some fellow concert-goers wanted to know why I was allowed to use them when they were not allowed to bring theirs. The notices I received said nothing about binoculars being forbidden. Bottom line, when in doubt, don’t bring it.
Bring paperwork with you just in case you need it. In Raleigh, the tickets could only be displayed via an APP on your phone.
At a recent concert, I bought a plastic bottle of soda at one of the arena concession stands. They make you open it immediately and give them the bottle top which they toss. They told me it was the “promotors’ rule.”
Something else to consider. Try and have a late lunch prior to the concert. The lines for food are long, the prices are absurd and it’s hard to balance the food at your seat.
Anything you’d like to add? Would love to hear from you!