The Struggle Of Balancing Your Concert Addiction With Your Professional Life

Do you ever feel like you’re living a double life?

I don’t mean the creepy double life where you have a second family in another country. I mean the separation between your professional life and your concert life. I’m in a PhD program that has nothing to do with country music, but the rest of my life revolves around it – listening, discovering, watching, writing etc. I constantly feel like I am either hiding or defending my concert addiction to my peers and colleagues. For some reason, they are really confused about this “concert thing” I am constantly planning my life around.

We all know that there is research to show that music can improve productivity and going to concerts helps us live longer. Maybe not with the best scientifically designed research, the kind that NASA would use to launch a rocket into space, but evidence exists nonetheless. You would think they would cut me some slack. Really, I should be judging them for not going to concerts.

Whether you are in undergrad, grad school, or in your career field, if you love concerts while trying to maintain a professional presentation the rest of the time, there are several things you’ve probably experienced.

Sometimes we just have to choose which of our two lives has priority at that moment. For example…

When tickets go on sale at the exact time an important meeting is supposed to start.

Let’s hope you are surrounded by people that are consistently late, so you’ll already have the tickets purchased before they are even ready. Besides, you’ll look more prepared anyway – already in your spot with your laptop out… maybe two of them.

When you need to leave work early to make it to the concert.

You know exactly what time you need to get to the venue and exactly how long it takes to get there, here’s to sneaking out when no one’s looking.

Or worse, when you’re about to leave, but get stopped and asked to do something else.

It can probably wait until tomorrow. Just be polite as you continue to walk out the door.

When you’re hungover on a week day.

Concerts happen every day of the week, but that artist only comes to town a couple times a year. So who cares if you are hung over (or still drunk) on one Wednesday morning.

When your colleague wants to go with you to a show.

Sure, they judge your addiction, but they know you have way more fun than them. You’ve done such a good job of keeping your lives separate to this point, do you really want to cross those paths? Hard no.

When you want to blast newly released music at work, but no one else cares.

All you wanted to do was share this amazing new album with those around you, but they aren’t interested and tell you to turn it down. Rude.

When your coworker asks, “Didn’t you already see them?” when an artist you love comes to town.

Yep. Last month actually. Ever watched a movie more than once? Shut it.

When you have a deadline approaching, but there’s also a concert.

You have this report due on Friday morning, but there’s a concert you want to go to Thursday night. Just accept the fact that you’re going to be up late, pick up a few Red Bulls on the way home and handle it.

When you’re on a work trip, and there’s a concert in that city while you’re there.

Go to the dinner social, find a reason to call it an “early night,” and skip across town to this show. Just make sure you wake up for whatever you have scheduled the next day.

When someone starts to question how much money you spend on concerts.

Your point? How much money do you spend on BarkBox, Trunk Club, Blue Apron and every other subscription service you have?

When you’ve blocked off most of your summer weekends for festivals or stadium shows before May, and your department wants to arrange for an outing.

Sorry, I won’t be able to make it. I bought tickets for that weekend three months ago.

When you’re supposed to be working, but you’d rather look at tour schedules, read Whiskey Riff articles, or discover new music.

Give yourself a break, you were probably productive at some point today. It’s all about work-life balance.

photos by Matt Cowan, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Stagecoach

Whiskey Riff is the most entertaining country site…ever.