BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
The first suggestion if you’re attending the Sunday Metallica concert at SunTrust Park: wear earplugs.
During last year’s show at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, residents more than a mile away reported hearing the show fairly clearly inside their homes, so if you’re on the field or in the “Snake Pit” at the lip of the stage, try to be smart about it. (I’ve faithfully worn earplugs at concerts my entire career, but after 20-plus years of exposure, well, my husband can tell you about the joy of watching TV with me.)
Here are some other things to help you plan your outing to the Atlanta stop of the band’s “WorldWired” tour, their first performance here since 2009.
Tickets: There are a few available for $135-$155 (via www.ticketmaster.com), although some are limited view; also, check with Ticketmaster on Saturday and Sunday before the show. Once the stage build-out is underway, some production holds might be released. Capacity for the concert is 39,000, including 9,000 general admission tickets on the field.
If you’re on the field: There will be portable toilets, merchandise and beverage vendors (beer, water, soft drinks) down there.
Gates: Open at 4 p.m., which should alleviate some of the congestion issues that plagued concertgoers at the Billy Joel concert at SunTrust Park in April. The first opening act, Volbeat, will hit the stage at 6 p.m., followed by Avenged Sevenfold.
Parking: Make life easier and buy it in advance. In fact, the Braves kind of mandate that you do if you’re parking on site. Click here to purchase. Prices are $16-$30 depending upon your tolerance for walking; valet is $50. Most lots open at 2 p.m. The Battery Red Deck is the earliest, at 9:30 a.m., and the Braves South 60 the latest at 4 p.m. Visit www.braves.com/metallica for a full list of opening times. You can use Waze for directions that will guide you directly to your chosen lot.
Some fans experienced massive delays exiting certain lots after the Joel concert. Beth Marshall, senior director of public relations for the Atlanta Braves, said several months of experience with baseball games has alleviated those issues and that Cobb County police will be on hand to direct traffic in Braves-affiliated lots. But, naturally, there is usually a mass exodus at the end of a concert, so she reminded that it’s good to “have patience getting out of your lot, patience getting your rideshare.”
Speaking of rideshare: There are marked areas for pickup and drop-off along Windy Ridge Parkway. This process has also smoothed out since the Joel concert, but again, there will be a line because, well, that’s what happens when a large segment of 39,000 people leave an event simultaneously.
Tailgating: You have one choice: Braves West 85 lot. The end.
Merchandise stands: Fans clamoring for a $40 T-shirt can check out merch areas outside the Chop House gate, at the third base gate and in front of the Coca-Cola Roxy, among other locations.
Umbrellas: Yes. The show will go on even if typical Atlanta summer weather makes an appearance (although the current forecast shows only a 10 percent chance of rain on Sunday with a high of 88 degrees).
Outside food/drink: No. Sorry, this isn’t a Braves game. Also, here is a list of other prohibited items.
If you’re visiting The Battery: Since the Joel concert, only one additional restaurant has opened, PBR Atlanta. Other choices are Terrapin Taproom, Todd English Tavern, Sports & Social, Yard House, First & Third Hot Dog and Sausage Shack, Antico and Haagen-Dazs. As well, Marshall said that quick-service food and beverage stands will be set up in the plaza.