Backstage Pass to Concerts

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Terminology and Getting Started

This section will introduce you to some of the ins and outs of getting a backstage pass to concerts the entertainment industry. Some of this information may be common sense, some of it may not be. It will help to get you thinking along the lines necessary to gain access to the top events. I recommend that you read over this guide one time quickly to gain a broad picture of what we are trying to accomplish. Then go back and read it again slowly to pick up on the key ideas and concepts. Take down some notes or highlight the important facts about getting a backstage pass to concerts you feel may help you in the future.

 Media: The media takes on several forms. Television, radio, and print are the obvious forms we see and hear everyday. These are the main outlets used by the entertainment industry to promote their people and events. Less popular forms of media that we see everyday but usually don’t think about are things such as billboards and the sides of large trucks and buses. Have you ever driven past an 18-wheeler truck heading to a McDonalds to drop off food?? It’s not just a simple white truck like you see all the time, it will have a large picture of a juicy hamburger and some sizzling French fries…or something similar. McDonalds is not going to let that huge canvas of white space go to waste as the truck travels down the street. They want potential customers to see the food and hopefully choose them over their competition when lunch time comes around.

 These free forms of media advertising are keys to the industry giants’ success--and, the key to you getting a backstage pass to concerts. Media is the lifeline in the entertainment industry too.

 Without the media, these events and superstars you know today would not exist. On the same page with success from media comes failure with media. A superstar can spend years doing the “right thing” and gain massive popularity only to have it crushed in a few days by something the media blows out of proportion. It is this important concept you need to remember at all times during this lesson and when you put these methods to use. Without understanding this, your likelihood of success in obtaining a backstage pass to concerts is greatly reduced. Media is their key to publicity AND it is your key to success.

  Publicity: Whenever an entertainer or celebrity is seen or heard in any form of media it is considered publicity. There are two types of publicity, paid and free. Paid publicity can come in the form of the individual’s publicist (the one in charge of making him or her popular) paying a company to promote them. For example, Neil Diamond has just released a new CD and there is a billboard in his hometown that is open for rent. The billboard is rented, usually on a monthly basis, and an advertisement is placed on the board for the new CD. (I know, I know, you just want to get a backstage pass to a concert or other ebvent, but we need to get down to basics first--be patient)

       Free publicity can happen anytime, anywhere. It can be good and it can be bad. For example, a local television station helping out at a local high school football practice films a football star. This interaction with the community is considered good free publicity as it costs the star or his agent nothing.

       A boxer is arrested for assaulting a girlfriend in his house and the news reports on the incident. This is, obviously, bad publicity.

 Quite often publicity is what makes a star or celebrity who they are. Without this exposure to the world, people would not know who they are or what they do. This important and highly coveted part of their lives is the token you will use to gain access to events.

  Credentials: Credentials are, by definition, evidence or testimonials concerning one’s right to credit, confidence, or authority. You often see the tags and badges hanging around the necks of the press and people on the staff who are allowed backstage. These pieces are the most common examples of credentials. Credentials are your pass and key for getting your  backstage pass to concerts where you want to go, when you want to go. Getting Media Passes (i.e., Backstage Passes) is your main goal and the subject of this course. They are easy to get if you know how to ask for them and where to ask for them.

  Subcontractor/Freelancer: A subcontractor or freelancer is a person or group who has a special skill but who does not own or work for a particular business. Instead, larger businesses hire them on a per job basis to help expand their ability to have access to many events and, of course, to help lower costs. It will be your goal to “become” a freelancer for different types of media. Becoming a freelancer is one way to get the permission required to apply for backstage and VIP passes.

 Venue: You probably already know this, but, from time to time, I get a few inquires about this so I don’t want anyone to be confused.

  The term “venue” is merely another name for the concert or event. You should be prepared to speak like a media and entertainment “insider”—learn the language of the industry. You're on your way to getting your backstage pass to concerts.

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