Essentials to Enjoy your Next Outdoor Concert

Last weekend, we went to a G. Love and Jimmy Buffett concert on the beach in Atlantic City. We got a big group of friends and family together and had a great time! However, since we had never been to a concert on the beach, we were totally clueless on what to expect. I prefer to look up information ahead of time and prepare for an event, especially when we have invited others to come along with us. If you’re considering going to any of the upcoming beach concerts in AC, here’s the scoop:

Since we were going with a big group and knew AC would be busy, I packed up a picnic lunch to enjoy with everyone before going into the show. DJ requested chicken salad, so I made that and our friends brought chips and fruit. In order to save on the price of alcohol, I also brought a jug of hard lemonade. I poured some lemonade out of a gallon jug, replaced with vodka, and added some lemon slices. We all met up at Brighton park in front of The Claridge.

Essentials to Enjoy your Next Outdoor Concert - Pack a Picnic

Essentials to Enjoy your Next Outdoor Concert @

We researched parking ahead of time, and a lot of garages and casinos had all day parking deals for the concert. Our favorite parking spot in AC is the Noyes Arts Garage on 2200 Fairmont Ave. Besides having ample parking and clean restrooms, the Arts Garage has adorable galleries and studios, a gift shop, and a cafe. If you spend $25 in the shops, you get free parking for the day. So we parked there and walked to and from the concert.

Bringing in water bottles is not allowed and water costs $4 a cup, so drink plenty of water before the show. Also don’t think you can substitute alcohol for water. Alcohol is dehydrating, so it’s actually worse for you than not drinking at all. In addition, there were very limited drink options. Coors Light, Blue Moon, hard cider and orange hard soda were the only drinks, and they were very pricey; Coors was $10 and everything else was $11. We were hoping to enjoy a margarita or other frozen concoction while enjoying Buffett, but there weren’t any! In the future, I would probably just throw some airplane-sized bottles of liquor into the bottom of my bag to spice up a cup of lemonade or soda.

You can go in the water to cool off during the concert, so you might want to wear your swimsuit. It was a very casual show, with many people just hanging out in swimsuits. I wish I had thought to wear my bikini! Jimmy Buffett was Atlantic City’s first beach concert this year. The stage will stay on the beach for the rest of the summer for three more concerts: Zac Brown Band, Florida Georgia Line, and Blink-182. We wish we could go back for another beach concert this summer, but since our schedule is booked out we will keep an eye out for next years’ shows! Let DJ and I know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions!

Outdoor Concert Essentials @

What to Bring

  • Sunscreen – Wear plenty of sunscreen and don’t forget to reapply! At our event, the sunlight bouncing off the water and sand made it too easy to get burnt on the beach. There were plenty of people rocking some killer sunburn, but I am proud to report DJ and I didn’t get burnt at all! We sprayed each other before we left and also managed to remember to reapply.
  • Sunglasses – Protect your eyes! Especially useful if your show is during the sunset.
  • Blanket or low chair – We prefer to bring a light blanket or sheet to claim our spot, since it is easier to carry and also takes up more room. Chairs with seats no higher than 9 inches are usually also permitted.
  • Small backpack or cross-body bag – You want your bag to be comfy to wear for hours, lightweight, and hands free.
  • Jacket/sweater – In case it gets chilly later, it’s always a good idea to have an extra layer.
  • Cash – While some vendors will accept card payments, it always takes longer than simply using cash. Also there are ATMs, but who wants to pay the fee?
  • Wet wipes/hand sanitizer – In AC, the only option was porta-potties. Always great to have something to freshen up after that.
  • Hair tie – After having your hair blown around all over and getting all sweaty, you might want to put it up.
  • Small snack(s) – Great to have in case you or someone you’re with gets hangry or has low blood sugar.
  • Bug spray – On the beach this wasn’t a huge issue, but in more wooded or grassy areas, you may get eaten alive.
  • Deodorant – Outdoor concerts are hot and sweaty. A travel size deodorant is easy to toss in your bag, and will come in handy for sweaty situations.
  • Portable phone charger – In large venues, there is always the risk of getting lost in the the crowd and needing to get in contact with your group. So, having your low battery can be a little worrisome. Another option to leave phone on airplane mode when not needed to conserve battery.
  • Earplugs and/or motrin – If you’re going to get up front, hearing protection is something to consider. If you get headaches at loud events, motrin (unlike tylenol) is okay to take while drinking.

What to Skip at an Outdoor Concert @

What to Skip

  • Dressy clothes, especially heels – Concerts involve a lot of standing, so heels aren’t the best choice, especially outside. Don’t wear anything you would mind getting dirty, sweaty, stained or stolen.
  • Fussy makeup/hairdo – You will look out of place all done up, and the sweaty conditions will probably ruin your hard work.
  • Water bottle or reusable water containers – Outside beverages and beverage containers almost always get confiscated because security wants to know that people aren’t smuggling in their own homemade concoctions.
  • Cooler – Coolers are best to keep at the car for tailgating. It’s a pain to carry and that’s assuming they even let you in with it, since outside food and drinks aren’t usually allowed. Better off avoiding having to get out of line to run it back to the car.
  • Heavy purse – Keep personal items on your person to a minimum during events like these. It’s a lot to carry around and a lot to potentially lose.
  • Drinking too much – You don’t want to get dehydrated or sick. Keep up with water in hot outdoor venues so that you are feeling your best. Alcohol is always expensive at event venues. Use the high prices to keep you off the booze and on the water.

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Aerial photos courtesy of Press of Atlantic City

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