It’s amazing what a guy and a guitar can accomplish.
Only five years ago, Ed Sheeran was playing the Tabernacle.
Now, he has a sold-out concert at Mercedes-Benz Stadium — and dozens of other stadiums around the world.
The sensitive, ginger-haired soul behind inescapable radio smashes “Thinking Out Loud,” “Shape of You,” “Perfect” and a bucket of other hits will take the massive stage at MBS on Friday (just a reminder that this is a change from the original date of Saturday, but all tickets will be honored).
The show is sold out, but, as always, keep checking with the box office; often, production holds are released closer to showtime. Fans must use digital ticketing, so it’s suggested that you place your tickets in Google Pay or Apple Wallet.
If you are heading to downtown Atlanta for the concert, here are a few tidbits to keep in mind — starting with the reality that it will be Friday at rush hour, so plan accordingly.
When things start: The box office will be ready to roll at noon. The bag valet (more on that below) at 4 p.m. Gates are at 5 p.m. The concert begins at 7 p.m. with first opening act Lauv, followed by Snow Patrol and Sheeran.
Parking: If you know you’re going to park, why not buy it in advance and save everyone time? A list of lots is available at parking.mercedesbenzstadium.com. Prices range from $9.21 (if you want some exercise) to $57.50 next to the stadium. Parking lots open at 2:30 p.m.; GPS software will direct you to a specific lot.
MARTA: If you’re going the public transportation route, the closest stops are Vine City and the GWCC/Dome/Philips Arena, both on the blue-green line (transfer available at Five Points).
Rideshare pickup: Guests are encouraged to exit at Gate 1 to access the primary location on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, off of Northside Drive. A secondary location is accessible via Gates 2, 3 and 4 and is located at the corner of Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Andrew Young International Boulevard. Lyft users will also be directed to specific pickup locations.
Clear bags: As with all events at MBS, the clear bag policy will be in effect. Any bag or wallet larger than 4.5 by 6.5 inches must be clear or will otherwise be checked for $5 at a bag valet tent located at Gate 1, International Plaza (the red brick sidewalk) and the North Suite Entry. And then you have to wait with a billion people to pick it up after the show, so why not avoid the hassle and go clear? If you need more specifics: http://mercedesbenzstadium.com/clear-bag-policy/.
Other things you’re not getting in: Cameras with a lens longer than 6 inches (detachable or nondetachable); laser pointers; noisemakers; tripods; monopods; selfie sticks; lights; battery packs; binocular cases.
Food: MBS is already recognized for its Fan First Pricing menu ($2 refillable sodas, water, hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn; $3 pizza, fries and nachos; $5 beer). There is also an assortment of specialty food vendors (barbecue, brats, sausages, gourmet fries, rib-eye sandwiches, grilled cheese and more) throughout the stadium. A special preconcert cocktail party will also be held at Molly B’s restaurant on Concourse 100 from 6-8:30 p.m. The $80 cost includes passed appetizers, specialty cocktails and select beer and wine. Children 12 and under are free. Attendees must have a ticket to the concert, and the offer is first come, first served. Visit mercedesbenzstadium.com/molly-bs/packages for details.