Justin Bieber, One Direction, and Ariana Grande to name a few are well known for charging their fans to have the privilege of meeting them. From taking a picture to being onstage with a band, why do some artists make fans pay for these experiences? And why do so many others protest this?
These days you can meet pretty much any band or artist, if you’re willing to pay the price. The concept may seem strange to some, paying potentially hundreds to meet a fellow human but there are plenty of fans out there willing to do this just for a few moments with their idols.
What is it?
Most of these ‘exclusive’ meet-and-greet packages consist of a photo with the artist, a quick chat then being scurried away for the next person to have their turn. Ariana Grande charged $495 on her Honeymoon tour. Fans were given priority seats in the first 10 rows, and have a photo with her and other fans – not an individual one. Is that worth the hefty price tag?
When buying tickets to a show more often than not there is the option of ‘VIP packages’ where for an additional cost you get items that aren’t available to the general public on top of your ticket. Taylor Swift offers these; however, she is not one to charge fans to meet her! Instead Swift and her mother go around the venue looking for the fans that are the most excited or are wearing the best costumes and then invites them backstage after the show. Some could say this isn’t fair as many people will be making special effort in the hope they get picked and ending up missing out.
Dedicated music fans gave their opinions on the topic. 85% of the people asked said they had never paid to meet an artist before, with 30% of those saying they would pay for the experience in future. Elle Willans, 18, claimed: “I would pay up to £100 depending on who it was, if it was someone really famous it would be worth it.”
Many of the people spoken to claimed that if you just wait around the back of the venue, tour bus, merch stalls or bar then there is a great chance you will bump into them for free! Rihanna is also a big supporter of having fans wait outside her tour bus after a show for pictures.
The main reason people gave for not wanting to pay to meet their idols is because they are just another person. Nuala Richman, 18 said: “At the end of the day, you’re seeing them for the music. You’ve already paid to see them perform you shouldn’t have to pay extra to meet them.”
When it is going to be a once in a life time experience it is understandable why people pay the extortionate amounts to meet their idols. However, is the price tag too much for what they have to offer?
Think you know how much your favourite stars charge? Take the quiz now and see!