As a music fan, meeting your favourite bands could possibly be the best thing ever. Most people actually say “never meet your heroes,” but we digress. Provided your hero is not an absolute dickhead that is, it’s a wonderful experience getting the chance to have a chat with people who have provided you with your life’s soundtrack with tunes to laugh, cry, sing along or dance to.
Meeting bands could be as simple as waiting around after a gig, or even pure luck of being at the right place at the right time. However, the problem with that is there’s no guarantee – there always the chance that who you’re waiting for will not come out after the gig, and then suddenly you’ve waited 2 hours in the freezing cold and now have to bolt for the last train without even a glimpse of *insert band member*.
When you think of it this way, this is probably why bands started to introduce meet and greet tickets, which gives you the reassurance that you will definitely get to meet the band, and it is most likely before the show takes place, which if you’re lucky probably means they will let you into the venue earlier too a.k.a. scoring yourself a perfect spot to watch the gig from.
Granted, these types of paid M&Gs are usually provided by higher scale bands like Blink-182 or Thirty Seconds To Mars, which is understandable when looking at the size of their fanbase. These are bands playing bigger sized venues, who even if they wanted to will probably struggle with meeting the thousands of fans that are waiting to meet them after every show.
Here’s our beef with this system though, it’s always so ridiculously priced. Am I really about to get charged hundreds of pounds to be in the presence of some band, who let’s admit consist of regular ol’ people just like you and me? It’s that overvaluing of themselves that I can’t really agree with. Artists wouldn’t be anywhere without their fans, yet in repayment they’re milking out cash from kids who are just too excited to meet their heroes that they’d pay atrocious amounts of money for it.
Obviously, it’s understandable if you’ve gotten to a point where it’s nearly impossible to meet all your fans after a show, but there are definitely options other than overcharging for brief meet and greets. Personally, if you’re going to ask fans to pay to meet you, I think fan club subscriptions are a much better idea. Say of them what you will, but All Time Low are a great example of a band who make it easy and affordable for fans to meet them. Signing up to their fanclub only costs $25, and it even comes with a shirt and other exclusive goodies. This gives you access to pre-orders and M&G sign ups for an ENTIRE YEAR. Then renewing your membership can be from as little as $7!
Now, I’m not super keen on the idea of fans paying to meet bands in the first place, but it sits way better with me when a band charges a measly fee of $25 for multiple M&Gs a year rather than hundreds of pounds for just a couple of hours. Bands don’t owe anything to fans, and they by no means should feel necessary to meet anyone after a gig, but when they’re making 15-year-olds pay big ££ it’s starting to feel a little like extortion.