As far as autograph collecting and music fan experiences goes, I find the range of stories I hear about various meet & greets to be pretty fascinating. I've heard of people paying modest fees (or nothing) for wonderful, fun experiences - and other stories of fans shelling out large amounts of money for a massive disappointment. And, of course, everything in between.
I thought we should have a comprehensive thread on the topic. Have you been to a pre-show or post-show meet and greet or know someone who has? Was it a bargain or a ripoff? What was the mood - structured and hurried or casual and fun?
My favorite band does meet and greets at every headline show they perform on this tour, chosen at fandom by fans who sign up for their fanclub and enter the show-specific drawing. There is no charge, and (usually) I don't believe a show ticket is even required. They were asked about this in an interview early this tour, and the response from one of the band members, Martin, was pretty passionate about musicians who charge high prices for meet & greets. FYI: I get that this band isn't quite a household name yet, so there might be a sentiment of "Who are they to say . . ." However they have an interesting perspective as both successful musicians with Top 10 records and huge music fans themselves).
Here's that portion of the interview:
Honestly, I still feel the best meet and greets are post-show experiences with the artists that are less formal (i.e. Maggie Rogers just chilling with a dozen or so fans post show a few months ago).
But here's a running list of the best meet & greets (combination of experience and value) in recent years that I've done.
Bishop Briggs (2017 headline tour) $35 add on package: The original format for Bishop's meet and greets was perfect. For $35, you got two autographs, multiple photos and two trips through the line. That was the first time I've seen a queue for the meet and greet and autographs followed by another for photo ops. It led to more relaxed, enjoyable experience.
Bebe Rexha (2017 headline tour) $120 add on package. The standard meet and greets were cheaper, but the slightly more expensive private package was an especially unique experience. I'd take "private" to mean "small group," but it really was private - just you and Bebe hanging out backstage with her tour photographer snapping some candid shots. She'd sign whatever you wanted (oddly few people asked her), put you on her snapchat, etc.
Kimbra (2014 headline tour) $40 add-on package. Perhaps a bit more formal than it needed to be, but still a very small group sitting down at a table with Kimbra, asking questions. She even sang me part of a song she'd just recorded.
Took a video of the Nina Nesbitt meet & greet in MKe last week. This show was small, and the M&G was even smaller (the lie in Chicago was much larger).
Interesting article my Paper magazine on the topic of paid meet and greets. It's a good read on a debatable topic.
From the Bea Miller meet and greet a couple days ago.
I got to meet Metallica, Machine Head, Korn, Slipknot, Disturbed, Rammstein, Devil Driver, Coal Chamber, Megadeth, Saliva, Doro, Onkelz, Scorpions, Megadeth and members of Linkin Park, Mudvayne, Sepultura and Marilyn Manson.
I also ran into Anthony Kiedis with Heidi Klum at the Airport in Atlanta.
Met David Copperfield and stayed in the same Hotel and got to meet Nicholas Hoult.
All of that was either luck or by investing hours of my time, but I have never payed for any of it.
I found it much easier to meet bands 15 years and more ago. Now it is almost impossible.