Tips for Hassle-free One Direction Experience

Singer Niall Horan of One Direction (Getty Images for Clear Channel)

Singer Niall Horan of One Direction (Getty Images for Clear Channel)

Our pop music critic Melissa Ruggieri has some great tips for those going to the One Direction concert Wednesday, which will draw more than 50,000 fans in attendance.

As you head to the Georgia Dome, she said the “yellow” parking lot near the venue will be turned into a cellphone lot. Parents can pull in, park for up to an hour if they want to walk their little fan to the doors of the Dome and then return to pick them up.

The show is scheduled to begin promptly at 7 p.m. (with 5SOS) and end about 10:30 p.m.

This is the first “boy band” show the Georgia Dome has hosted since the heyday of the Backstreet Boys (2000’s “Into the Millennium” tour) and ‘N Sync (2001’s “Pop Odyssey” tour), and they will be prepared.

Jason Kirksey, senior communications specialist at the venue, said that in addition to scouting the Nashville show, staff also talked to half a dozen other stadiums that 1D’s “Where We Are” tour played since launching in North America on Aug. 1.

Since MARTA isn’t as obvious a solution with such a young crowd — though the Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center stop remains a convenient option — traffic will likely cause the biggest headaches not induced by the high-pitched squeals of teenage girls.

Unlike the July Jay Z-Beyonce concert held at the Georgia Dome, “This crowd is going home after the show, whereas with Jay Z and Beyonce, a lot of people stayed downtown and went out afterward, like the show was the pre-event to going out to a club,” Kirksey said.

Here are some suggestions for a hassle-free experience:

  • Parking lots will open at noon Wednesday and the yellow cellphone lot will open for drop-offs beginning at 2 p.m. Fans cannot line up for entry into the venue until 2 p.m.; doors to the Dome open at 5 p.m.
  • Fans who purchased floor seats can enter the Dome at gates A/B, where they will receive a wristband granting floor access.
  • For those who utilize the yellow lot drop-off zone, Building C of the Georgia World Congress Center will serve as the reuniting center. Staff at the Georgia Dome will direct fans from inside that venue to Building C.
  • If you’ve depleted your smartphone battery taking too much video of Harry Styles, landlines will be available at several service centers to call Mom or Dad for pickup. It’s a little sad that we have to include this reminder — know what number you need to call if you can’t access it from your smartphone.
  • Good-sport adults chaperoning for the evening who might not want to watch the concert can hang out in one of the two club lounges inside the Dome, where couches and TVs will be available.
  • Those adults who didn’t buy a ticket but want to wait in the vicinity can park in the red or blue lots and visit a nearby restaurant or go to Building C of the Georgia World Congress Center where TVs, Wi-Fi and food (for purchase) will be available beginning at 4:30 p.m.

A few other policies to keep in mind:

  • You can bring your “I heart Niall!” signs, but they cannot be bigger than 3 by 3 feet (no blocking the view of your fellow fans) and must be handwritten.
  • Cameras are allowed (if they have a non-detachable lens), as are tablets for still photos only. Video recording is strictly prohibited.
  • Just like the airlines, there are guidelines for bag sizes — no bigger than 12 by 12 by 12 inches.

If you are going to a concert with your child, consider bringing earplugs or even noise-cancelling headphones. Eat beforehand to avoid having to buy expensive snacks. What else should parents consider when taking their child to their first concert? And what age is a good age for a first show such as One Direction?



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