Meet & Greet Ticket Packages: Fan Exploitation

Posted: 18/06/2013 in Blog, Concerts, Music
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Paid for Meet & Greets. A trend that is growing more and more common on the live music scene, especially among but not limited to pop acts. It is also, in my opinion, a form of exploitation.

You may think it’s a bit harsh to refer to it as exploitation but in a sense that is what it is. Open up Ticketmaster, or your local ticket vendor website and you will probably see various acts offering Meet & Greet packages. Everyone from Union J, to Selena Gomez, to Boyzone and even my beloved Black Sabbath have these ticket offers available online, charging between £150 to £500 for the privilege!

Ozzy Osbourne with Black Sabbath @ Download 2012

Ozzy Osbourne with Black Sabbath @ Download 2012

While I support the idea of fans getting to meet their idols at the venue before seeing their show. Many fans dream of one day getting to meet these people and interacting with them on a basic level is their life made, but charging for the privilege, and especially at these amounts is an absolute disgrace. And what is being paid for? A handshake, quick chat and a couple of autographs. This is something an act should take the time to do out of appreciation for the fans, not for profit.

Meet & Greet packages offered on Ticketmaster

Meet & Greet packages offered on Ticketmaster

There is the argument that people shouldn’t be so stupid to pay this kind of money, a fool and his money are soon parted etc. it still doesn’t make it acceptable for acts or their management to enforce these practices. I understand that in the modern day music industry it is becoming harder to turn a profit, and not all artists are guaranteed any longevity but to exploit fans in this way I feel is very wrong. The fans have already spent money on the latest album, the gig ticket and probably some merch while they’re there, would it be so bad for the band to spend 5 mins with a few of them out of appreciation of this? After all, at the end of the day, what would they be without the fans?

Of course, pre-gig schedules are very strict for acts, understandable, they can’t spend a huge amount of time interacting and need to limit numbers, which they seem to have done so by price. A fairer way to do this would be by running competitions. Either via an online fan club or social media pages, offer ticket holders the chance to win a meet & greet and pick 5 or so winners closer to the gig date.

Although, at the end of it all, there is nothing a music fan appreciates more than a band or artist hanging round post-gig for whatever amount of time they can, even a few minutes, chatting with fans and signing tickets or other gear. If nothing else, it gives the artist a chance to give something back to the fans on a more personal level, and any artist who does so is to be admired and respected.

  1. Damien Glynn says:

    Example might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I have seen him slam meet-and-greet packages and call them a disgrace. I think any artist that squeezes extra money from adoring fans like this isn’t doing themselves any favours.

    With a gig, a CD, a t-shirt… you’re getting something for your money. If a musician charges for the privilege to meet them, it creates a gap from their fanbase. It shows a lack of appreciation for the people that got them to where they are.

    Going back to Example, I’ve seen him regularly hand out extra guest tickets to fans online. Alternatively, a musician/band/artist could (as you suggested) run a competition to meet them backstage. Competitions are free and give every fan an equal chance to meet their heroes, which endears fans to them all the more too.

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