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Unless you have the right connections, win a radio contest or know how to sneak past a ton of security guards, shelling out the big bucks is pretty much the only way you’re going to get backstage to watch 5 Seconds of Summer at soundcheck, dress up in a fancy gown to meet Beyoncé or eat cookies with Taylor Swift.
So how much would YOU pay to meet your pop idol? A few months’ allowance — or, you know, $6,000 for your own dressing room at a certain pop star’s concert (rider included)?
The meet-and-greet has turned into a certifiable thing when it comes to pop stars, and, lucky for you, they run the gambit from perfectly reasonably priced to go-ahead-and-drain-your-college-fund-expensive. Check out some of the most famous pop meet-and-great packages — ranked — below before you buy:
Cost: Free, but you’ll need a bit of luck
When it comes to interacting with her fans, Taylor is pretty savvy, as evidenced by that time she invited a bunch of kids over to listen to her new album, pose for photos and eat some homemade cookies. When 1989 went on sale, she announced a raffle that gave fans who purchased the album a chance to win one of 500 meet-and-greet passes on the subsequent tour. According to a variety of sources, Swift, her family and crew also keep an eye out for fans who show up with creative signs and/or outfits and invite them back to meet the singer at her exclusive Loft ’89 meet-and-greet. So, cross your fingers and get creative, Tay fans.
Cost: $100 on top of regular ticket
You’ll get a personal photo and a specially designed tour T-shirt with this relatively cheap package. The added bonus of going to one of his headline shows is that you still might get doused in the cake he tosses from the stage, a move he swore off during festival appearances because he wants to reserve it for his “die-hard fans.”
5 Seconds Of Summer
5SOS’s offering is a tad different in that you get the usual VIP entrance, laminate and pre-show merch shopping experience, but there’s not an official meet-and-greet. You can watch them soundcheck and maybe catch rarely seen moments from their Rock Out With Your Socks Out tour, and then you’re able to take part in a post-soundcheck group Q&A. There’s no mention of photos or personal interactions, but you never know…
Cost: $250, on top of a ticket, during her Pink Friday trek
It’s kind of weak that a $250 splurge for a meet-and-greet didn’t automatically include a VIP laminate and lithograph, which were available for purchase in the VIP lounge, but there’s one thing that certainly makes Nicki’s face-to-face chats with her Barbz unique: Her propensity for boob signings. As she once told The Sun, “I think boobs are very empowering — and signing them is even more empowering.” She’s also said her “thangz” have the power to heal the sick and proved her point with a video of her calming a crying boy by giving him a cleavage-filled hug. So, that’s a perk.
Cost: $495 for her California Dreams tour
A gift bag, laminate, early entrance and whatever the “Candyfornia” party was sound like standard VIP presents, as well as a fairly regular meet-and-greet. But at least one fan, a guy named Zach, offered up a testimonial about Katy going above and beyond to meet fans who had won a content. According to this YouTube video, he and some other KatyCats didn’t get the chance to chat with her before the show, but instead got to have a more informal, post-show chat without all the other hangers-on. Can’t hate on that.
This is a judgment call based on your love of Ariana and how many people you’ll be attending the show with. Before the concert there’s a “Break Free Dance Party featuring Ari’s dancers, a DJ spinning all of her favorite jams and more!” but the meet-and-greet photos are limited to a minimum of four to six people.
Cost: $995 for her Bangerz tour
As carefree and accessible as Miley acts, a grand is a lot to shell out for a few minutes of hanging with her. Then again, we know at least one fan had the night of his life when he met the former “Hannah Montana” actress after a gig at New York’s Nassau Coliseum. The fella, David, asked Miley if she would be his “first and last kiss with a girl,” so she obliged with a tongues-out photo, as well as a prom-style picture and one of David standing behind her and holding her boobs. The sex doll in the background really added to the ambiance.
Cost: $1,095 on her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour
Back in 2013, forking over just under $1,100 for a Beyoncé ticket had some unique perks. Yeah, there were the great seats and a personalized autograph, but fans also received a bottle of one of Bey’s signature perfumes, a $125 gift card to her online store, and a $600 credit to rent a designer dress and accessories from RenttheRunway.com. To paraphrase “The Wire”: “You come at the Queen, you best not mess up your wardrobe,” and back then, Bey surely gave her hive that option.
Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett
Cost: $1,895 per ticket, at select shows
On top of meeting Gaga, you also get time with the legendary crooner and a professionally snapped photo with the unlikely duet partners, on top of some exclusive merch, appetizers, beer, wine and soft drinks. The more mature Gaga might not do it now, but in 2009, she admitted she once autographed a fan’s penis: “I had enough room to write Lady Gaga but I don’t really remember. I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe.” Good luck getting Tony to do that.
Cost: $2,525 per ticket for her Piece of Me residency at the Las Vegas Planet Hollywood
If you disregard the reserved VIP tables, which include a free bottle of Moet & Chandon Imperial and “dedicated beverage service throughout the performance,” these are basically front-row seats and include backstage access, an autographed poster and a photo op with Britney.
According to the L.A. Times’ Gerrick D. Kennedy, the pre-show meeting took about an hour for the 25 lucky fans, with these instructions from a handler: “If you want to cry, cry. If you want to tell her something, tell her.” Kennedy also had the pleasure (?) of being brought onstage for this: “Spears is behind me, clutching a leash connected to my neck and tapping my derriere with a whip. I’m even urged to gyrate with her dancers. It goes on for the entire song, until I’m ushered back to my seat with a wink from the star and a T-shirt, which she signed on my chest.” Kinky.
Seriously, it cost six Gs for the “Dressing Room Package” on Lovato’s Australian tour. That gets you and a friend a private dressing room with your names on it, plus your own tour rider (it’s unclear if that lets you make wild demands like two gallons of ice cream served in replica Deadmau5 helmet). There’s also a pair of Lovato-branded socks and the option of getting a temporary tattoo, but after that, it’s mostly just the same — meet the star, get a laminate, etc. For $1,500, you could get a song dedicated to you, and at $600, you could go for the simple meet-and-greet/photo opp, which seems like a relative bargain.
Cost: $15,000+ (for charity)
Rihanna inadvertently revealed that Yeezy would be touring in 2015 when she offered up two tickets and private backstage passes to any of his shows this year as part of a charity auction. It’s not clear how much the winner paid, but it had to be well above the $15,000 opening bid. The package also included front row seats, autographed merch, and a pair of Yeezys in the winner’s size. At least you could probably sell those sneakers on eBay for a decent mark-up.
#5 seconds of summer#5SOS#ArianaGrande#Backstage#Beyonce#britney spears#celebrity#Demi Lovato#KanyeWest#katy perry#lady gaga#meet and greet#Miley Cyrus#NickiMinaj#steve aoki#TaylorSwift#tony bennett