Top Ten Ways and Tips to Get Backstage at Concerts and Awards Shows
Because you know you want to party like a rockstar...or with one!
You've been to concerts. You've watched the awards shows on TV. You love Justin Timberlake and your mom would cry if she saw you on the red carpet next to Paul McCartney.
So why haven't you tried going for it? I've been there. Done that. I will teach you how it's done right here. Follow these steps and you too could be experiencing the rock star life. No more paying $7.50 for a watered down beer, ya hear?
The Most Important Thing
Know the players!
Don't go backstage unprepared without answers to questions like...
What are you doing here? Are you with somebody? Do you have your pass? Etc., Etc., Etc.
The Top Ten
In no particular order, here are some tips to try next time you want to go backstage and hang with Coldplay.
- ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS
Know the names of the artists and anyone that may be with them. Their managers, publicists, agents, etc. For example know if they are represented by the William Morris Agency...this will be a key company to drop the name past a security guard.
- ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS
Look like you know what you are doing and you need to get somewhere fast. Look busy. Look pissed off.
- Make friends with a security guard.
This is proven to be one of the best ways to get in. Most of these guys are underpaid and bored out of their mind. If you see a security guard hanging posters, setting up a table, carrying a few large boxes, lend your good faith hand. Strike up a small conversation about the featured artist and explain that you are their managers assistant. Ask where the green room is and go there. ALWAYS look, talk, and act confident, busy, and pissed off.
- Dress like an undercover security guard and bring a radio with an in-ear headset. As you approach the security guard at the door put your hand to your ear, say "Copy that, I'm on it" and walk fast. Don't make eye contact with the guard. You are "above him".
- If making friends with Security Guards, arrive early for dress rehearsals. That is when they need help with setting up. Explain you are with the band. You may not get any credentials but when you come back later at night, the security guard/s will surely remember you and won't ask any questions.
- If you are already at the show...
Go back into the lobby where the bars/food vendors are after the local opening act gets done. Look for the roadie handing out "After Show" passes to pretty ladies. Yes, bands do this almost every show because they like to party afterwards. Get a pass.
- You are the caterer bringing the band food. Question for the security guards is: Where is the room for craft services?
Please have a couple of trays in your hand.
- If it is an awards show or festival,
Check websites and contact the event organizers. They always need volunteers to help out backstage, set-up, and more. Nine times out of ten you will get to see your favorite artists, meet them, greet them, work with them, and party with them after.
- NEVER EVER EVER
Take pictures with the artists you meet backstage or ask for autographs. BIG no no!
Yes, they love their fans and take pictures and sign autographs for them day in and day out. When they go backstage it is their way to get away from the way. They are human too and just want to have a good time.
- My personal favorite:
Create your own credentials.
Here's the options...
1) Go the the awards show/red carpet/concert early and look at the passes people have around their neck. Go home and make something as close as possible to that on your computer. Most of these guards don't know what half the passes look like exactly, but as long as you have one it'll be fine.
2) Find the MTV logo on-line, print it out front and back of a credential sized card. Stamp with "All Access All Areas" in red ink. Laminate.
ALWAYS look confident and like you are supposed to be there. Never make eye contact with a security guard. If you know where you are going and are in a rush, why would you bother to stop and show the guard your pass. Let them stop you.
Avoid eye contact with security.
Walk with some enthusiasm.
Never take pictures.
Never ask for autographs.
Know the players.
Look pissed off.