Thursday, March 13, 2014


So after being excited to go see Rick Springfield, who has been at the top of my "must see artist" bucket list since high school and wanting to ask him why we never married (LOL, no seriously), that excitement quickly died when I saw how much he was asking to simply meet him, shake his hand and get a photo - $300.00! Yes, that decimal point is in the right place, you're not seeing things. Really? The "VIP Experience" included the following:

"Go behind the scenes and watch Rick set up for his show. After sound check, Rick will come off stage to meet you for a few autographs and a photo. You will receive a $20 gift certificate to along with a photo and commemorate laminate (to be given at the sound check; merchandise is not given for this package). - ONE PERSON PER PASS. Concert tickets are not included in the sound check packages and must be purchased separately."

Oh, and then there was this disclosure - In the event that the system has oversold the date, we reserve the right to refund your order. Because of the limited number of seats available per show, no refunds are given after purchase.In the event that Rick does not show up for a sound check: While we strive to make this the best opportunity for Rick’s fans, unfortunate circumstances do some times occur. If Rick cannot attend a sound check for any reason, you will be refunded 100% of your sound check package price. There will be no Meet N’ Greet this day. We apologize in advance, but no other accommodations will be made in this case due to schedule demands.

So let me get this straight, you want me to pay $300.00 for a chance that I MAY see Rick Springfield set up his stage for maybe 10 min, sound check for a few min, and then shake his hand really quick and pose for a quick photo? Um no. By this time, I've probably already paid for a ticket, driven 3 hours to see you, paid for a hotel and food, now $300.00 for a CHANCE to meet you which may not even happen?

We asked fans what their take was on these "VIP" experiences and it was a pretty unanimous give or take a couple of responses. Now granted, not ALL artists are like this but it seems to be that the majority are heading this direction and less and less fans are able to afford it. Give the fans a valid reason to pay high prices if you're going to do it, include more than just a quick handshake, hello and rushed photo. Include a meal, a merchandise bundle, private performance before the show, great seats or even an intimate hang on the bus. Make it worth the money. Better yet, instead of a crazy charge, pick random seat numbers or do a raffle for a backstage meet and greet if you're not doing a regular signing. Fan club meet and greets are great, IF you are selected to attend.

"Way overpriced. Not even going to entertain it. However, I understand the need to make money with digital free music these days taking $ out of the artists pocket. But still think its over priced."

" you are standing in these outrageous lines...sometimes you miss another performers whole set that you also paid to see. I love my artists and would be thrilled to meet them but you got to figure in what you trade out. :)) Now for George Strait...might mortgage my"

"I Would Not pay money to meet anyone. They should be thankful that people buy tickets, cds, & misc (their pay check) so they can do what they like to do for a living. They're just people............"

" I already paid for a ticket. Refuse to pay even more for a 30 sec hand shake and picture."

"Way over priced and I don't bother."

"I think it is unfair to the fans. It's like high school, separating the rich from the poor. It's basically saying only the money privileged people are worthy of special treatment by their favorite artist. I looked into one awhile back and it didn't gaurantee meeting the artist. Just getting backstage. For $200 i'll pass on that opportunity! I know Rock stars have been doing this for some time. Def Leppard VIP packages go for over $2000 by auction, but their funds go to charities. I used to say being a die hard fan was a full time job, now you need a full time job just to support them. Ticket prices, fan club prices the cost of connecting with those you have supported from the beginning is way to high some times. I know we do it by choice, but it's just one more thing in the money game now....and it comes down to who has it and who doesn't. Would I pay that? Once upon a time I would have, these days no way, not even for Craig Campbell."

"Overpriced. You don't even get a photo with the artist. I like m&gs better."

"I wouldn't pay anything extra to shake an artist's hand. Hell concert tickets cost too much too."

"Even if I could afford it, which I can't, I wouldn't pay that amount of money. MAYBE, if the money was to go to a charity or something, but just to meet them? No. As much as I adore Keith Urban I'm happy sitting and watching him perform."

"Overpriced...BIG TIME"

"I refuse to pay over $100 to meet any of them. And if I pay that much I expect pit or seats in the first 10 rows with that price. That's my fan view of it."

"I've paid $100 for VIP with Chuck Wicks...went on his bus with 4 others. Hung out in back of bus to chat, he sang a few songs, had Q & A, took multiple pics, got autographed goody bags & were escorted to front of center stage for full band show. Money well spent! Dierks' M & G are my next fav, not rushed at all & he also does Q & A & extra extra charge besides fan club membership!"

"It depends on the artist and the price I think... Like for Zac Brown it was like if you buy anything you get to meet the entire band and all the openers... And they'd wait until the line was over... No time limit. Me and my best friend were going to buy a t-shirt anyways so we did it and it was every opener and band member lined up and they all took a minute to talk to you... Not a hi how are you thanks for coming keep moving but actually took the time to make it not feel hurried and make it feel genuine... That to me was worth it but as ZBB is an atypical act that was an atypical experience!"

"With the ones you get a meet and greet for...I'd definitely pay for certain artists. With the way fan clubs are now, you barely get a M&G every 3 years & for some, even 10 seconds with an artist you have supported for year,s is worth the price. Now the ones without a M&G, Im not so sure."

"Most are certainly overpriced... the other thing I don't like is fan clubs used to include ONE MG with your membership. Now you get a CHANCE for a MG with it. The prices on those things have skyrocketed too and it is all online. There is absolutely no excuse for those to cost so much when it costs them almost nothing for it anymore. You used to get so much, now, not so much."

"My mom bought me a VIP for FGL for my birthday or else I wouldn't have paid to do it. Def not worth $200....I had a floor ticket and by the time we got out of the VIP, the floor was filled and ended up in the way back. And it was just that, a 2 second picture with a group of people we didn't know, a meal and 4 songs acoustic (also got a belt buckle and a signed poster)."

"I would rather give the money to charity and buy my own CD."

"WAYYY overpriced I don't feel fans should have to PAY to see an artist THEY helped get to where they are if anything the artist should be grateful and meet you for free!"

"Sadly enough, they are over priced. But for those of us on the fringe, almost everything is anymore. I'd give up a lot to meet Christian Kane, but I don't have it to give up. Those with less money just don't get things like that."

"Way over priced. I remember when you paid $25 for a fan club membership which included 3 m&g."

"Considering that they don't make much off there music I guess they have to make a buck somewhere but I'll never be able to afford it. Doing good to buy the music, a ticket and maybe a tshirt"

"depends..I wouldn't normally buy these VIP packages, it would have to be someone whom I REALLY, REALLY loved their music. Tate Stevens doesn't charge BUT if he did, I would buy it."

"Not worth it. When my local station has concerts, most times the performers have an autograph session afterwards. Kellie Pickler sat on the edge of the stage signing after a show, Gary Allen played in "guys with guitars " setting and did some signing during and after the show on another occasion after an acoustic show we saw, talked to and got a picture with Phil Vassar as he was loading up his van."

"They are overpriced and if you do buy them, then the artist quits going out on the road so you are stuck with them in hopes that in the near future you will be able to use them but in reality, you may end up eating the M/Gs."

"I will not pay a high amount to join a herd to shake someone's hand. If I have a chance to meet an artist that inspires me that's great but unless they are providing "an experience" I don't understand the intrigue"

"Luckily my two favorite artists, Wade Hayes and Cody Johnson, do not charge anything for a M & G. When I met Cody Johnson he stood there and talked to me for more than 30 minutes, I got pictures, an autograph and some good advise on my song writing. He was so wonderful. I have talked to Wade several times. He calls me by name, gives me a hug and makes me feel like I'm the only one in the room. I would pay a lot to spend a little time with either of them, but I feel fortunate that I don't have to."

"Overpriced. There are some amazing acts out there that don't charge for m&g. @locashcowboys come out after almost every show"

" I don't know about other artist VIP pkgs but Casey James packages are pretty reasonable. He tries hard to make things affordable 4 fans."

"Very overpriced when you only get to see them for a couple of minutes if that and maybe get a pic with them."

"I think these prices contribute to unrealistic understanding of $ (how many hrs of work did that cost?) and ongoing debt issues"

"I remember when meet N Greets were free. Artists use to come out and sign but now it seems like a money maker for the artists."

"VIP meet and greets are very overpriced, better to wait for artists after the show, like Jana Kramer does for free :)."

"It does take the magic and excitement out of it, I think. Makes the artist see meeting fans as obligation and fans entitled."

"I would say overpriced. But you can usually get some meet & greets through fan clubs for free if you're a member."

"Makes the evening too costly to do often. The principle of paying for M&G & the cost combined- I'm out."

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