They’re just like you…only they’re famous. They’re your favorite band and you’ve been dying to meet them. They finally announce a tour and you’re ecstatic when you see your city listed amongst the stops. You save your money to buy a ticket, but then what? You’ll only meet them if you’re willing to put in the effort. We all have favorite bands, and you’re not telling the truth if you say you’ve never wanted the chance to have a personal conversation about specific lyrics with their lead singer or talk skills with their drummer. Here are some tips on meeting your favorite band!
Avoid “Annoying Rock Star Behavior”
The first thing you need to do is make sure that they’re cool with meeting fans. As unfortunate as it is, some bands are notorious for not wanting to talk to fans after their show. This may come off as annoying rock star behavior, but it’s definitely understandable; they’re tired, they’re trying to pack up, and they’re off to the next city. Just make sure they’re comfortable hanging out with fans before starting a line outside their tour bus. I’ll try to say this in the least-creepy way possible, but you need to stalk their Instagram. Seriously, just check their tagged photos. If they’re tagged in a bunch of photos with fans, then it’s a safe bet that they like meeting people after shows!
Time to Make a Choice
Next, decide if you are willing to pay for a meet and greet. This becomes a factor with more popular bands or artists because they are in high demand. Personally, I prefer waiting outside a venue for free. I’ve met bands through paid meet and greets, and while they usually come with some extra perks including merch or a private acoustic set, it all feels a little synthetic. You end up waiting in line for a little too long, and once you finally are able to have face-to-face interactions with the band, they’re often brief or cut short due to the fact that paid meet and greets occur before the show.
A few summers ago my best friend and I were able to meet Taylor Swift on her 1989 World Tour during a meet and greet before the show! While meeting Swift was a once-in-a-lifetime chance, we weren’t able to speak with her about everything we’d wanted to! We actually changed the lyrics to her song “Welcome To New York”, and we were going to play the ukulele and sing it for her. Unfortunately, I had to leave my ukulele outside the meet and greet, and she was never able to hear our song. My advice is if you’re willing to wait after a show, it’s definitely worth it!
The next step has to be done at the venue, so make sure to be watchful! You need to figure out where the band is going to be after the show. Sometimes they meet fans inside the venue after washing up. Sometimes they meet fans outside on the sidewalk. Other times, they want fans to wait near their tour bus. To figure out where they’re going to be, stick around after their last song and look to see where a small crowd might be forming. If the venue’s staff tells you that you need to leave, listen to them, because the band will be somewhere else. A few years ago, I went to see Mayday Parade with The Maine co-headline the American Lines tour. After the show ended, my friends and I stuck around inside the venue to see if any band members from either group would come out and meet with their fans. It didn’t take long for Derek Sanders, lead singer of Mayday Parade, to come out and begin speaking with fans.
My final tip a little superficial, but sometimes a cool picture with your favorite artist can turn into a funny TBT photo if you’re not on you’re a-game. Founder of Style In The Way, a fashion and lifestyle blog, Sierra Mayhew, recalls the time she had the opportunity to meet Jay Z at a football game. “I found out that Jay Z was sitting a few boxes away from mine! I was offered the opportunity to meet him, and though I only knew a handful of his songs at the time, I jumped at the chance to go say hi!” Their conversation was going great and he was down to earth and friendly. When it came time to take a photo Mayhew remembers that her Mom “was nervous and in a rush so it came out terrible. I was half-blinking and looked possessed!” So remember, don’t blink when your photographer takes the photo because it may be your only shot!
Sometimes though, you can’t do anything to prevent a photo mishap. This past MayI stood outside The Maine’s tour bus with my college roommate in hopes of meeting the band. When it was our turn to meet John O’Callaghan, the lead singer, we werewelcomed with a hug and a smile. I was able to speak with O’Callaghan for a little while before his tour manager told us that we had to take a photo and move on so other fans would get the chance to meet him. Just as my roommate took the photo on my phone, the tour manager bumped into her, resulting in a blurry (but still cute) photo!
These suggestions should help you feel confident that you can meet your favorite band! While it’s possible and not necessarily hard to meet your favorite artists, it is essential to make sure to follow these steps and remain respectful to both the venue’s staff and the performers. If you keep these tips in mind the next time you go to a show, meeting the headlining act should be a breeze!