Backstage Band Pass

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 First Method of Obtaining a Backstage Band Pass

Become a Member of the Media
Now that we have gone through the introductory sections let’s get into the real meat of this course. This first method of getting a backstage band pass is the most successful if done properly.

Side note/advice: It is best to request a backstage band pass or media pass to small events to begin with—to stretch your wings a bit. If you have a small concert hall, theatre or outdoor festival in your area, contact the promotional director for these small events to learn the language, type of questions they ask and to get an overall feel of how these businesses perform. This will be a confidence booster and a great place to make your first mistakes—and you will make a few. But, if you’re smart, you can easily learn from these mistakes so you will not ruin your chances for the events you really want to go to.

The first thing you need to do is decide to what event(s) you want to get a backstage band pass. Let’s say you want to go backstage with your favorite rock band. You look at the back of one of their CDs and determine their record label is XYZ records and that their corporate office is in Boston, Mass. You then go to the telephone directory and look up their phone number(s). There are plenty of online telephone directories you can use to accomplish this quickly. my favorite and quickest source for celebrity information is contact any celebrity.  They have a massive database of contact information ,,,and its really cheap too.

 Once you find the phone number to their office, you need an excuse to call and speak with the promotion director. This is where the local media comes into play. In order to ask the band’s promotion department for a backstage band pass, you need proof that you work for a media agency. No problem, because I am going to teach you exactly how to be a bona fide member of the local media so you can get your backstage band pass.

 Becoming a Member of the Media
Whether or not you know anything about photography or writing articles in a newspaper or magazine, this is your chance to become an expert.

 You’ll need to call, write or fax your local newspaper, newsletter, magazine or television or radio station. I would recommend you start with a newspaper or magazine. Tell them that you are a freelance photographer trying to gain better credentials of the events that you have photographed. Tell them you should be getting a media pass to a particular venue/event and that you would be willing to submit pictures of the event to them free of charge if they agree to consider publishing them.  

Any media source in their right mind will allow you to do this. Particularly since you are not even charging them a fee!  

Alternatively, you can tell them you are going to do an interview with the band, crew, venue manger, etc. Use your imagination and don’t worry if you never wrote a paragraph before, later we will be discussing how to do this even if your writing skills are, well, let’s say—challenged—You can get a backstage band pass! 

After you have obtained their permission tell them you need a letter from them verifying that you are “working” for them for this event. (See the sample letter templates in upcoming pages).

 Once this letter is obtained it is time to go back to the phone number of the band’s publicity department. When you call, ask to speak with the media coordinator. Politely explain that you would like a media pass or backstage band pass to the upcoming event. They will ask you for your contact information. Do Not Lie—you don’t need to, you are working for a legitimate media source and there is no reason to hide anything—you are a member of the media and eligible for a backstage band pass.

 Believe me when I tell you that media departments love it when you actually take the effort to call them. It makes their lives easier as they normally have to contact the media themselves for publicity. They want to help you! (In fact, once you have made this contact, ask to be placed on their mailing list.

 Why? Because they will send you information about upcoming events and, sometimes, free promotional stuff.) Okay, they will then mail or fax you a Media Request Form to fill out and send back and you will then be sent your backstage band pass credentials or be told where to pick them up (more about this later).

Tip: It will be wise of you, if possible, to attach the verification letter you received from that local media source to the Media Request Form so there will be no questions asked. It is very important that you realize that this may make or break your chance of getting the backstage band pass.

When filling out this request form, be sure to be grammatically correct and do not make it sound like you are trying to get backstage just to hang out with the band, make it sound like you are truly more interested in advancing your career. You do not want to appear to be just another fan trying to get in because, as crazy as it seems to you now, the people who hold the key to your getting in do not want to help fans. You will only get the backstage band pass if they feel you can help them by promoting the band or celebrity by virtue of your being a member of the media, that is, by helping them get the publicity they want and need. Never ever say you are a fan! L

 Ask to attend the “Meet and Greet”
A meet and greet is a promotional event that starts off many venues. Sometimes nearly all media representatives are permitted to attend and other times there is limited access. You want to be sure to at least ask if there is a meet and greet and, if so, whether you will be authorized to attend.

 Also, you should try to see if there is going to be a pre-show interview for the general media and, if so, if you will be authorized to attend. Here you might be able to actually meet and pose some good questions for your favorite band or celebrity—and you sometimes get free drinks and eats too—go for it, its your backstage band pass, use it!

 Remember, the goal here is to get backstage, once you are there who knows what will happen or whom you may see! J

Backstage Band Pass Summary

  • Be sure you have all your contacts in order before you begin making calls.

  • Have pen and paper ready and write down information and have it in front of you so you sound professional and you appear like you have done the process a hundred times before. In short, be professional.
  • Practice! Please take my advice and try some small events first. Even if you are truly not interested in the act or celebrity, it is always good to practice.
  • Don’t get discouraged if you fail, keep trying. You’ll get better each time.
  • Have fun but act casual and professional when backstage. Don’t act like a fan.

Make good on your promise! Give the media the work you promised. It’s worth the extra effort and it is actually a lot of fun.

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