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Top Ten Ways and Tips to Get Backstage at Concerts and Awards Shows

Updated on April 24, 2008

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.

  1. 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.

  2. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS

    Look like you know what you are doing and you need to get somewhere fast. Look busy. Look pissed off.

  3. 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.

  4. 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".
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

Always Remember

Avoid eye contact with security.

Walk with some enthusiasm.

Never take pictures.

Never ask for autographs.

Know the players.

Look busy.

Look pissed off.

If you did, please leave a comment in the guestbook!

Have you ever snuck backstage at a concert or show?

See results

Let me know how it goes!

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    • profile image

      Derpy Piplup 3 months ago

      I'm gonna be heading to Charlotte, NC for Fall Out Boy's MANIA Tour, and I want to try getting backstage. I'll try some of these tricks. (If it actually works I'll be surprised. They don't even sell backstage passes in the VIP packages, so yeah.)

    • profile image

      you don't need 2 know 8 months ago

      i'm going to a concert in Portland in a few days and I will try my best 2 get back stage with those tricks but I'm only 11 so I will be with my dad so idk if these will work for me but my dad said when he was a teen he found someone really drunk with a back stage pass on whould talk to them for a few minutes about random things then just take the pass off their neck or he said that when he was older he bought someone tons of beer with a backstage pass and pull the same trick but I don't know if that will work cause it's a panic! at the disco concert and most of their fans are too young to drink but thxs any way!

    • profile image

      Lizzy 12 months ago

      I have done it a lot and it works all the time -I was a Officer before so always have that firm walk and look. I just say I am part of the Team or just walk in -

      Try it guys - 75% of the time it has work

    • profile image

      Dale 17 months ago

      Awesome tips!!!Thank you soo much...Will definitely try it..

    • profile image

      concertlover 2 years ago

      Ok so WHAT HAPPENS IF THE TICKETS HAVE THE BARCODES LIKE WHAT THE HECK DO I DO

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      LOL this is so funny! I totally want to try this. Would it work though if you look like a teenager....

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Once I got a pass for all fashion week for all areas, even thought I was just an average support. At some point they announced that all support want be able anymore to enter show areas etc because there were too many guest. I run over to stuff office and I did the same thing you did, I look stressed, busy, pissed and everything. Somehow I ended with full open pass for all areas given by one of production stuff. Act cool but busy, be polite but look stressed. That's the way to get everywhere!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      it wasn't a hip hop concert i wish it was em's concert coz I went 2 that 2 I remember wen I jus turned 18 n n fell inLV wth him wen I 1st saw his 1st clip my name is. We had a very similar childhood growin up. My ex looked identical 2 em n so does our son Seth. If only is all I got 2 say

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      it wasn't a hip hop concert i wish it was em's concert coz I went 2 that 2 I remember wen I jus turned 18 n n fell inLV wth him wen I 1st saw his 1st clip my name is. We had a very similar childhood growin up. My ex looked identical 2 em n so does our son Seth. If only is all I got 2 say

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Doll ur self up don't act desperate I was invited backstage

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Well, im really trying to get my grandma to sneek with me. Were going to a One Direction concert and she's a good girl and wont do anything bad. So im trying to get her to do something "Bad". She's done it before, with my mom. but only if she can do it again. So hopefully i can make her. My mom just keeps telling me " Tell her, you only live once and i'm going to do it.!" So i'm really nervus. So yeah .. bye(:

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: WHAT CONCERT ARE YOU GOING TO? MAYBE I CAN HELP IM TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      GO TO GOOGLE AND TYPE IN "IGOTBACKSTAGEPASSES"

      THIS IS A SECRET WAY TO GET BACKSTAGE PASSES!

      .

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anulman: but how did you find out the agents name?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anulman: but how did you find out the agents name?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Few years ago me and my sister were on a vacation in Lisboa, Portugal and we wanted to find a good party. First we went to a famous club called LUX which is the place where all the celebrities party while visiting Lisboa. We didn't like the place much so we decided to look around and see if the play better music somewhere else. After sometime we found a place where they played Hip Hop and I told my sister that we're going there. She tried to tell me that it is a private party and we won't get in but I was already at the door. There were two ladies with quest lists and the other one was like "this is a private party, you gotta be on quest list to get in" and I was like "Yea I know, we are on quest list" then she was like ok what's your name and I told her our names very quickly and I pronounced the way we do in Finland. Then she looked a little surprised and was like "excuse me" and then I spelled my name very fast in english and she goes like "I'm sorry, I can't find your name" then I was just like "Oh they must have forgot". But I was very confident all the time and for our surprise she told us to go in. We just walked in and didn't show her that we were surprised. Ok the next part sounds unbelievable but it is totally true! They were taking pictures on the red carpet and we were just posing like we were supposed to be there. Later we found out that the party was meant for portuguese celebrities because I met a guy at that party and he used to be a big name in Portugal. They play his music on MTV Portugal. Every time I think about my vacation it makes me laugh! It's been one of the craziest experiences in my life! But yea miracles can happen when you least expect them to happen! Confidence is the key word just know what you are doing and there won't be any problems! But of course we were also lucky to get in!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      'I'm f'ing the drummer' works great!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      wat if they wont believe me when i try to get into a justin bieber concert? i mean, its horrible. ill try.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      you think cute asian girls would get a chance to get a pass for the after party? lol

      Also my security word was gagdragon, woah kinkyyy

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      This is fantastic Matt! Great Job! So did you actually do all these things? like......copy and make a 'fake' pass?

    • seth godin profile image

      seth godin 9 years ago

      how cool is this, Matt?

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      If only I had the gall to try that "Copy, I'm on it"-- I'd be inside the CIA by now.

      Actually, I'm really dying to try some of these tricks. I'm afraid I'd get myself thrown out, though.

    • profile image

      anulman 9 years ago

      Great tips, Matt! I'm definitely going to try some of these out.

      Another great way to get backstage (or even shows) for free is by being press - just have a business card referencing your "publication" (whether real or fake), know the promoter's press agent's name, and explain that you're there to review the show and interview the artist.

      Again, it worked SO many times for me (granted, I was actually reviewing most of the time), and it worked for my friend when I explained to him what to do since he lost his ticket.