I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there is an awful trend right now in the music industry and frankly, it’s ruining the relationships bands should be having with their fans.
Bands are charging an arm and a leg for “VIP” and “Meet and Greets” where you get to meet and take a picture with the band for all of two seconds and then are sent out the door before you can even say hi. They should really be called “Give me your money and get out.” SERIOUSLY. This has been going on for the past few years, but it really seemed to go over board this year and more specifically on a very fan orientated tour, the Warped Tour.
I will admit, sometimes it seems easier to meet a band but caving into one of these
special “experiences” when it seems there is no other way to meet the band. At least Paramore’s and Fall Out Boy’s meet and greet packages for their Monumentour trek came with a ticket. Many don’t even. The VIPS are upcharges. UPCHARGES! Usually of at least $100 to any where of $300 I’ve seen. THIS IS ABSURD! I’m sorry. Are two seconds with a band really worth this? Will the band even remember you or get to know why you’re a fan of their music during this time? I think not. That’s just me, but I’m hard pressed to succumb to this ridiculousness.
On Warped Tour in past years, one could go to any bands’ tent and more than likely find a member of their favorite band hanging out. You could, GET THIS, talk to them, take pictures, and sometimes, just sometimes, spend more than two seconds in their presences. This year, for many bands, there were limited amounts of tickets given out at the start of the day, allotting how many fans could meet a certain band. This was OK most of the time because these were free signings. HOWEVER, some bands would not meet fans unless they bought a shirt, etc.
One particular band, I won’t get into who, looked ridiculous at their merch tent where fans tried to meet them but they wouldn’t take a picture with them unless they bought a shirt. Yes, I actually saw this and I had read about this earlier in the week on twitter from said band. Have these bands lost sight of how valuable real interactions are with the people buying and listening to their music?
Warped Tour can be chaotic and these free tickets to meet the bands can control the chaos but forcing kids to fork over any amount of money to take a picture is pathetic.
Bands should want to meet their fans without making those fans go broke. Fans will spend money on tons of tour merch so just go outside after a show and meet your fans.
A band that I’ve been following for a while that I feel exemplifies wanting to meet bands for the right reason is The Maine. They are always available outside after shows chatting with fans and taking pictures. They make their fans feel like friends, not a money source. Over the past six years, I can’t recall how many times I’ve spoken to them, but I can recall how many amazing REAL EXPERIENCES I’ve had with them and I cannot wait for more.
Now unless you are Sir Paul McCartney or Ringo Starr, don’t expect me to take out a loan to meet you.