San Diego rock band Pierce The Veil are charging teenage fans at least £60 to meet them on their upcoming tour.
The price to see the band on their upcoming, worldwide tour is almost double that of last year - and doesn’t even include the gig ticket in the deal – meaning fans meeting them are paying £82 in total. Fans, understandably, were not happy.
I love ptv more than any band but £60 for a meet and greet not even including the gig is an absolute piss take what are they playing at.— kira (@ASDFGHJKira) May 2, 2016
man, i do love ptv but £60 for meet and greet is crazy..— Georgie Higgo (@georgiee_higgo) May 2, 2016
Can't believe PTV VIP was £60 not even including the ticket lol I paid £45 last year to meet PTV and SWS including the entry ticket 😂— angel ydg (@FreestylerStef) May 2, 2016
The fact that groups charge fans to meet them at all, let alone charge them such a high amount, is completely exploitative as they are entirely aware that young admirers are prepared to pay any amount of money to see their favourite band, usually at their parents' expense.
Fans are already willing to queue from the early hours of the morning to see their favourite band, some even camping overnight, and pay a substantial amount of money to travel to and attend their concerts – surely, the fact bands are prepared to charge them a significant amount of money on top if that for something as measly as a hug is plain disrespectful.
Some groups, comedy act The Midnight Beast for example, charged people just to listen to their sound check. Crack open the backstage door at near enough any gig and you can watch a sound check for free – you should never have to pay to watch someone tune a guitar.
Every year a continuous price growth occurs, this year most meet and greet tickets being almost double that of the previous. More mainstream groups, such as One Direction, usually charge in the hundreds to meet them. You would think, considering they reportedly earn £202,000 a day, it wouldn’t hurt to meet fans out of the goodness of their hearts – it’s not like they have bills to worry about.
While smaller bands, like Pierce The veil, may not earn anywhere near as much as One Direction, they can still afford a comfortable living without abusing their fans. Two Door Cinema Club’s, Sam Halliday states, “There’s always better ways of making money than ripping fans off."
However, pop-rock band, All Time Low, have the right idea when it comes to charging fans for package extras. They ask for a small sum of $25 a year to join their Hustler website, which includes a T-shirt, access to their fan club community, pre-sale tickets, random giveaways and plenty of opportunities to meet the band (for free). For such a small fee, dedicated fans receive quite a lot – which is a lot more acceptable than charging at least £50 per fan to meet you.
All Time Low are also known for attempting to meet all their fans anyway, whether they have exclusive tickets or not - bands who charge generally try to avoid meeting fans as often as possible to make the meet and greets that little bit more ‘special’. Olly Murs, X factor sensation, also agrees that the predicament of charging people to meet you is ridiculous, "I don't agree in all these really expensive meet-and-greets - like paying more money to get closer to the fans. You should treat everyone equally.” He went on to explain how he prefers to give all fans the opportunity to meet him through the means of charity-profiting competitions – which is, perhaps, the fairest method of all.
The question remains on why paid meet and greets exist at all when it’s argued that most of a bands profit comes from merchandise sales alone. Rolling Stone reported that in-show sales can potentially reach $225,000 per show. Not only this, but a lot more people buy merch online as well – meaning even more profit for the band. Plus, while not a common factor for more alternative bands; artists also earn a generous amount on extras such as fashion lines and their own brand of perfume. All this as well as money from touring and album sales as well…aren’t they earning enough? Have bands stopped caring about fans completely and instead chose to run on pure greed?
Most bands originally sought to make music for pure love of the art, supplying themselves a cash bonus at the expense of fans is about as inauthentic as it gets.
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