Urban Dictionary defines “Riding Rail” as “To be in the front row of a concert, especially one in which there is a safety barrier in front of the stage”. It seems more and more people are arriving earlier and earlier to shows to get their spot on the coveted rail. Years ago, before all the stage production and video monitors you’d spend 10 times as much on tickets to get front row seats. It was somewhat of a bragging right to say you saw Band X or whom ever front row. It seems the growing popularity of EDM is literally pushing people to the front, so they can catch a glimpse of their favorite DJ. But this still brings on the question, is it worth it?
Before we really go any further we’d like to clarify we by no means believe there is any one right way to enjoy a show. Front row, back row, VIP, or somewhere in the middle; it’s all a matter of personal choice. We simply want to make a point that sometimes being dead front and center isn’t all its cracked up to be. Certainly stage production has blown up since the earlier days of live music event. Take Ultra’s Main Stage for one, it has an impressive amount of lighting, video panels, lasers, pyrotechnics, and more – that takes weeks of preparation just to build. If you’re riding rail during a set with this much production, you probably aren’t getting the best view or taking advantage of all the additional visual stimulation.
We understand the appeal of being as close to the DJ as possible, but truthfully most of them are so busy with their sets they may not even notice you there. You pay a rather hefty price for some shows and festivals, so why not take advantage of everything it has to offer, instead of being pressed up a rail all night? We personally enjoy the freedom to float around, use the bathroom when we want, and have PLENTY of room to dance. Riding Rail gives you an unobstructed view of the stage but often times still limits you ability to see things, not to mention the possibility of bruises…or worse hitting your head.