Nothing tops off a live concert better than getting the rare opportunity to see your favorite artist up close and personal. Of course backstage passes are hard to come by, and getting harder every day. You can thank a few psycho stalkers and bad seeds for ruining it for the rest of us. Today I’m going to tell you how to increase your chances of getting backstage access to meet your favorite musicians in person!
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Of course the easiest way to get what you want could very well be to just buy it. While I am not personally a fan of paid meet & greets, they do exist, and can be a surefire way to lock in your moment. Check for all-access meet & greet ticket packages when you buy your concert tickets. These will cost plenty extra cash, but it takes the guesswork and chance out of the opportunity. Keep in mind these M&G’s are usually tightly scheduled, tightly controlled photo opps with no real natural interaction, so if all you’re after is a picture for bragging rights, then this is your ticket.
It never hurts to be on the inside track. Join that artists fan club or street team, follow them on social media (Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, etc), and stay in the know on the information they are sharing with fans. Many artists now are using the power of their online followers to announce impromptu appearances in small clubs and venues where the setting is more intimate and the opportunity to sit and chat is more likely.
Speaking of which, always attend the less-formal appearances if you have the chance! Most artists I’ve met and really connected with were playing out of the way clubs on a Tuesday night to a half-empty room, or wandering a festival enjoying watching other bands’ shows. The stress is off at these gigs and they’re a lot less likely to be walled in behind a mountain of security guards or hiding out in a tour bus.
Tune in to your local radio stations! In the weeks and days leading up to any major event your local radio stations will have dozens of free tickets to give away. Promoters give large batches of tickets to the local DJ’s as incentive for them to promote the upcoming concert and for the sole purpose of giving them out on air and at live local broadcasts so start listening in!
Partner with a local paper or online publication to photograph and review the live show. The days of publications having a paid staff writer who does nothing but cover live entertainment are long over unless that is the sole driving focus of the publication (like this one). That means that if they want a show review, they rely on freelance writers in most cases to provide it. If you are a strong writer or photographer, strike up a partnership with an outlet that could use your talent to give them fresh content in exchange for access to the show! You’ll want to have a few samples of your writing and photos available, and pitch the show as far in advance as possible to the publications editor, but the result can be a long-lasting arrangement for more than just the one show if you do a great job.
Write to their publicist and explain your circumstances and how meeting your dream artist would positively impact your situation. This is a rough one since artists get dozens of requests like this every single day, but it’s not completely unheard of to get through this way.
No matter how you go about getting the access you want, make sure that once you are in you behave in a respectable and professional manner so as not to ruin it for the rest of us. Always ask before you take a picture, don’t get overly-comfortable in their personal space, and remember that you are not the only one placing demands on their time so be respectful of those around you.
Cheers and good luck!
~Shauna “WhiskeyChick” Castorena
Shauna “WhiskeyChick” Castorena is a freelance writer and music journalist contributing to sites like CountryMusicNewsBlog.com and PureRockNews.com. You can follow Shauna on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!