Talking Your Way Backstage

People often wonder how I get to do all of the crazy things that I do, like attend shows for free, win contests, or hang out with/meet the artists. Most attribute it to luck. “You have the best luck out of anyone I know!” they often tell me. In reality… it isn’t luck at all. Here I am, sharing my secrets with y’all. It takes determination, a strong will, courage, confidence, and some good ol’ fashioned work! You’ve got to be willing to put in the effort if you really want something!

backstage pass

Step 1: RESEARCH

It’s all about research… you’ve gotta do a whole lot of research about the particular artist or group of the show you are going to. 99.9% of the time, I’m already following the “artist page” on twitter and instagram… but you’ve gotta break it down more than that. You need to find out all the band members names… then figure out other connections; like their tour manager, sound guy, photographer/videographer, close friends, stylists, or anyone related to the production of the tour or insiders at the venue. Also be clear of which radio station is hosting the event and make sure you are following the individual radio hosts as well as the station. (This also benefits you in case they are giving away extra tickets to the concert or Meet & Greet Passes… keep your eyes open!) Even if you already have tickets… the ones they [the radio station] give away could be seat upgrades and you could always give the extra pair to some friends. I personally do not condone reselling the extra tickets [aka scalping], but if that is something you choose to do… for the love of God, don’t jack up the price to make a hefty profit. That’s just not cool. Or fair to the person buying them. And it certainly does not benefit the artist! Don’t be greedy… it’s bad karma!

You’ve gotta start this process weeks in advance… once you can identify certain people (by “creeping” social media sites more or less) then you follow them on twitter/instagram or whatever your preferred choice of social media is. I’ve even got artists on snapchat and as facebook friends*.

*Requesting to be friends with someone in the industry on facebook is not recommended unless you personally/actually know this person. That’s really just plain creepy and stalker-ish. It might even get you blocked or reported.

Step 2: CONNECT/NETWORK

You’re following all of these new people on various social media sites… well what is social media for? Being social! Make contact! Comment on pictures you may like. Send out a tweet saying you respect their work and the part they play in making so-and-so successful. Be friendly. Compliments go a long way. If it’s the radio hosts you are contacting, ask them if they will be having any giveaways, ask them how one might obtain a meet & greet pass, let them know you’ll either be at the show or wish that you were able to go! (Depending if you have tickets or if you are trying to obtain them.) Make yourself known, but not in an obsessive way. Don’t like every single photo the drummer posts and tell him you’re in love with him… be realistic. You’d be creeped out if a stranger was saying that stuff to you!

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll have someone reply to your tweet or even follow you back. If they do follow you back (on twitter), this opens up the “Direct Message” form of communication. I would not recommend instantly bombarding them with DMs. Wait till the show is a few days away, let them know you’ll be there, MAYBE tell them you’d like to meet them or grab a drink. Base this on how prior communication has gone so far. Again, would you want to meet a stranger who randomly messaged you? I guess you’ve got to have a knack for knowing what to say and what not to say. That’s not something I can teach y’all, but these are just some basic suggestions. Sometimes I approach with the question or flattery route and sometimes I’m direct. Ok, that’s a lie, I suck at giving compliments so I don’t think I’ve ever flattered anyone via social media. (I also suck at receiving them, but that’s an entirely whole other story!) But those of you ladies who are good at flirting… go ahead and try! I would if I had any idea how to and wasn’t so awkward all of the time, lol. All the more power to you! I have zero advice for the “flirt to get what you want” department! Ha.

Step 3: BE FEARLESS

Get to the venue early (especially if you’re unfamiliar with it and have never been there). Seek out where the tour buses are parked. Notice that I said SEEK OUT… not go up to it and knock on the door. Really guys, try to keep your crazy inside. Anyway, tag some people in your tweets that you’re excited to see… band members especially. So much of the focus and fame is on the lead singers that a lot of time, the band itself goes unnoticed. When I’m going to see Frankie Ballard, I make sure to let Eddie and Ross know I’m excited to see them perform too. (Side note: This summer I was tweeting back and forth with one of them about bringing some fresh lobsters from Maine to the show. Was supposed to meet up with them to deliver the lobsters but security wouldn’t let us in with a cooler of lobsters… go figure, right?)

Point being, make the band members feel just as recognized as the lead singers. I typically hang with the band more than the actual artists themselves. They are more apt to be able to go out in public unrecognized; whereas if BK and Tyler walked out, there would be tons of girls running to them asking for autographs and pictures. I think it also separates the true fans from the people who are just there to enjoy a great show. Most people don’t even notice what the band members look like and here I am with band members saying ‘hi’ to me in the front row from on stage during their performance!

Basically, if you’re super pretty with big boobs, you’ve got better chances than the rest of us. For those of us lacking in those areas, you’ve got to have a positive attitude, persistence, determination and a little luck. You also need to be aware of your motive. Are you trying to get backstage so you can sleep with one of them? Or do you just want to hang and have a few beers with the crew? Both options are fine in their own ways… these guys are rockstars… they want to have a good time… if they see a promise of that from you then you’ll likely be allowed to hang. I’ve personally never taken that route, but it’s apparent that there are girls who do and succeed. To each his own I guess…

The majority of us just want a quick photo and/or autograph. Hang out around the back exit of the venue after the show (or even before the show!) I know many fans who have been able to meet an artist just by waiting by their tour bus for a while. (This usually works better before the show because they can’t stay trapped inside forever!) Hang out at local restaurants/bars earlier in the day… the band will likely have reservations for dinner in a little gem that only the locals know about (unless it’s a catered tour!). Also, a lot of times, the band members, lighting crew, sound guys, and all the roadies will want to go out for a few drinks after the show if you’re in a downtown area. Again, you more than likely won’t see the lead singers out and about, but most general civilians won’t recognize the band. If the venue doesn’t literally kick you out after the show is over, linger around for as long as you can. The artists will head backstage directly after the show, but a lot of times the band will take care of packing up their own equipment. Call one of them over (by name!) and ask for a quick photo op if you wish. Keep in mind that they are, however, still working, and might not have too much time to chat. Suggesting a popular local hangout for after they are done is always worth a shot too! Just be friendly. 🙂

Step 3 (alternate): OBTAIN A PRESS PASS

This only works if you have a blog/news site and your purpose for attending the concert is to photograph and review the show. I’ve gotten mine through contacting the venue directly and explaining my blog and purpose and then just flat out asking for a photo pass that allows me to bring my DSLR camera into the show. What venue doesn’t what free press? The process is much more complicated if you’re trying to obtain a press pass from the artists management company… I don’t suggest that route, you’re chances are very slim.

Press/Photo Passes vary from site to site. Most do not allow backstage access unless you are there with the purpose of interviewing the artist. You do, however, have freedom to roam the venue, not have to “stay in your seat”, and sometimes access some areas that are near the stage but off limit to other concert goers. This won’t necessarily score you a meet and greet, but I guarantee there are some not-so-bright security guards that you can walk right past if you act like you belong there and own the place. Be prepared for possible consequences though! Getting kicked out of a show would be devastating for me and I would hate to have that happen to any of you! I have, however, flashed my Luke Bryan “Nuthouse” Fan Club lanyard while walking past the security gates, and have also been observant enough to see where a group of people have lined up for the meet and greets and snuck into line with them. I was alone, it might not work as well if you try to do that with a friend! Again, be aware of the consequences! The worst that could happen is that they catch you and not allow you to continue… or you could get escorted out of the show… or maybe even detained and arrested! So these “ideas” are to be taken very lightly… and not deemed as advice or suggestions!

A variant of this would be a Meet & Greet pass, which sometimes can be obtained from the artists website. Be sure to request one a few weeks in advance and be aware of how the process works. Most of the time it’s a general random drawing and you will be notified a day or two before the show. Your passes will be waiting for you at Will Call.

Step 4: PRACTICE GRATITUDE

It ‘s only about “who you know” to a certain extent. I’ve been given my share of tickets from tour managers, venue management, even band members… none of whom had ever met me before. I have faith that gratitude and true appreciation of these blessings is what generates more “luck” of this kind into your life. You attract a vibrational match of what you send out into the Universe, from your thoughts, to your positive energy, and ESPECIALLY your gratitude. The more things you are thankful for, the more things that will come to you. If you’re a good person with a good heart, others recognize this and you are more likely to receive the things in your life that you desire. Don’t compete with others, work to HELP others. The more you do for others out of the kindness of your heart, the more that others will be willing to do for you!

Hope that this helps at least one of you meet your favorite artist or group! Let me know if there is anything else you’ve done that has worked or if you have a story to share of how you’ve met someone!

 

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