April of 2013, I was sitting in the Amway Center with my great aunt, about to see Taylor Swift perform the setlist for her Red tour. I was amazed: the woman who I’ve looked up to my whole life and who was the first person to inspire me to pursue the arts was right there, and her stop there in Orlando mesmerized me. I became obsessed with live performances after that night, even though I never stepped foot in another concert venue afterwards.

I’ve tried to make plans to go to other concerts, with one going through before COVID canceled the entire tour, but nothing ever worked. My best friend, however, has been able to go to some concerts recently, and her experiences getting tickets for these tours was hectic. “It was 25% saving up the money and 75% logging into the ticket sale’s site early enough to be lucky and get in the queue as quickly as possible,” I remember her telling me once she got tickets to see Mayday Parade’s concert in Orlando for their self-titled album’s anniversary tour. She only repeated this after she got tickets to see Eric Nam in Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando for his There And Back Again tour. And once Stray Kids tickets go on sale, I’ll be hearing that line again if she even gets tickets.

However, compared to those experiences, buying AB6IX tickets was hassle-free. For my seventeenth birthday, my best friend and her sister decided that we should all go see AB6IX in Atlanta, and buying the tickets took five minutes max. There was no anxiously waiting in the queue, no worrying over if all the tickets would be gone once we got to the buying portal, and getting them didn’t feel like my friend’s older sister’s wasted her entire lifetime’s supply of luck. It was simple like she was buying a shirt online, and I imagined that’s how it always was. Of course, for a lot of shows, this is the case since not everyone sells out every stop on their tours. But now that more artists are going on tour, and they’ve gathered more fans during the pandemic, I’ve witnessed how hard it’s been to get concert tickets for some. Like my best friend; she saw Eric Nam in 2020, a month before COVID caused touring to halt, and to her, getting the tickets wasn’t stressful. But once tickets for his latest tour went on sale, she said it was a completely different experience; she was still seeing the same Eric Nam from 2020, but with the pandemic and excitement over his return to the stage, so many fans (new and old) had camped out for tickets, causing it to feel like getting tickets was more so due to luck than anything else. And for fans of TWICE, getting concert tickets seemed harder than getting a five on an AP exam with how many people waited for hours on Ticketmaster just to be told, “Oops, we’re sold out, should’ve gotten in the queue earlier!”

Of course, with the ongoing pandemic, being able to attend concerts seems lucky to so many people, and it’s made me even more concerned for upcoming concerts. How much will luck of the draw play into who gets tickets compared to pre-COVID days? It’s something I’m both excited and scared to witness.