Have you ever dreamed of saying “I’m with the band”? Hanging out with them before and after the show? Going to the door and saying “I’m on the list” and getting in for free? Keep in mind, there’s a fine line between being a groupie and a good old fashioned stalker; remember you want to be friends with these guys, not just a name on the restraining order. Putting yourself out there and getting noticed is the goal, and by following these 5 simple tips, you’ll have your name on their “list” for life.
Join a fan site – Whether it is their actual yourband.com site or a Myspace page. This is beneficial in many ways. Actively posting in any forum or thread that is started regarding the band is a great first step. You never know when one of “them” will see it. Make it intelligent; don’t go off on things that are totally random. By making them worthwhile, like giving suggestions or praise, it shows you are a serious and committed fan. Also, don’t make them too short, for example using three or four word sentences, and for goodness sake do not fill up a post with those smilie’s, no one will want to read any future posts if you don’t have anything valuable to contribute. If the board allows for avatars, post a small picture of yourself so they will have a face to go with the name. Posting is also a great way to make friends that you can hang out with at their shows!
Join their street team – Most up and coming bands have these. This is just a group of willing and able fans that distribute flyers for their upcoming shows. Most of the time these flyers will need to be sent to your home, so your contact info like email address, phone number, mailing address will need to be given out. Another duty might be promoting their CD or Demo, either to radio stations or just others in general. Sometimes the bands themselves head these operations or appoint a loyal fan with time to give to do it for them, who knows, it could be you! This could also be a way to score some sweet, free merchandise!
Attend as many concerts as possible – Of course I’m meaning within reason, don’t go skipping work or school a dozen times to accomplish this. But getting yourself out there and recognized is a priority. It might take several shows before they start to recognize you, but believe me it will eventually happen. Go up to them before the show and introduce yourself, ask for a picture and if you’re a member of their website or Myspace page, tell them who you are, they might be able to put a face with the name and that can only benefit you later. An essential piece of advice here is to not hound them. Make casual conversation with them, don’t gush about how much you love them and scare them with how much you know about their life. You don’t want these guys thinking you’ve just escaped from the institution! Also while at the show, just start randomly speaking to people. Ask them questions like “How did you find (your band)” or “How many shows have you seen?” Striking up a conversation is a must; you never know who you’ll run across, a sister, brother, or mom for example. Also approach the band after the show and tell them how much you enjoyed it. If there was something in particular about the evening that stood out, let them know, they always love praise. As much as it kills you, remember, keep it short and sweet! They have others they need to talk to.
Offer up special talents/skills – No not that, perverts! I’m talking about actual skills, like in writing or photography. Offer to write up an article for them that can be posted on various content publishing sites or just for them to use in general. Take along your camera to the show and take plenty of pictures. Offer to give them a copy to use however they would like. If you have design skills, offer to make up some posters or swag, swag is anything that the band can hand out for promotional use, it could be T-Shirts, bumper stickers, or even backgrounds for web pages or for personal computer use.
Keep in contact – Keep your face and name fresh in their minds. Between shows and promotions, a simple email, note or post is a great reminder that shows them you’re still around and eagerly awaiting their next move. Telling them you can’t wait to see them again or inquiring about what the next promotion will be and when are some great topics. They’ll appreciate your time and dedication and will look forward to seeing you again.
In the end, everyone has their own agenda for wanting to be in with the band. But incorporating one or more of these tips into your concert going lifestyle can and will make a difference. Keep in mind it is possible for musicians to become friends with their fans, so act accordingly along the way. Don’t do or say anything that could prove detrimental in the end. Showing them that you’re a person first, and a fan second, is the ultimate goal.