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A-List Secrets: Why You Don't Get a Backstage Pass

How do you get VIP or backstage passes at concerts? I’m not a crazy, but I would love to meet Foo Fighters next time they play here.

–Jenna, Melville, N.Y.

I’d like to take this opportunity to dedicate this column to Kevin, That Other Jonas, who gets such little love from the kids. Everyone is always going on about Foo Fighters or Rihanna or the two hot Jonas Brothers. Doesn’t anyone want to hang out backstage with What’s-His-Name Jonas? Kevin? No?

Anyway, no matter. From what I learned today from Industry insiders, you stand very little chance of a backstage meeting with any of the above. Sorry. Actually, no I’m not. But I am fairly certain in my convictions.

Most of those people milling about backstage at a concert either work for the band or have jobs in the same industry as the band or have some business with the talent, according to a music-industry insider who has worked with Björk and other acts.

“You need to either be hot and put out, or work in the music business” to mill about backstage, says my informant, who fits into the latter category and has, for the record, hung out with Foo Fighters before one of the band’s shows. Dave Grohl is apparently lovely, but we’ll get to that later.

In the green room, before a concert, “almost every last one of those works either for the label, management, the venue, the promoter or, in some cases, the sponsor,” my source says. “Or they just ‘know people’ and have enough pull to score that access.”

In other words, your best chances for regular concert backstage access will come with a career change.

Yes, you could troll eBay or Ticketmaster, seeking out those extra-expensive VIP packages that include meet-and-greets with the band. But you really don’t want to do that. Take it from someone who has witnessed plenty of them.

“Meet-and-greets are almost always lame,” my music insider warns. “There is very little mingling between the artist and the ‘VIPs.’ At best, you will shake the person’s hand and get a photo with them.”

So instead, I leave you with this opportunity to live vicariously through my source, who once watched a game of B-ball with Grohl after he performed with Foo Fighters at a Tibetan freedom concert.

“He was totally down to earth,” she recalls, “friendly and funny. And I have friends who run into him all the time and say the same thing.”

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