How To: Be A Successful Groupie

With Taylor from Local Natives

How badly do you love your favorite musician? Enough to attend all of their concerts, or just enough to download their songs via iTunes?  Whatever the case, how badly do you want to meet them? Not only am I easily starstruck and obsessed with most of the musicians I listen to, I usually would do just about anything to meet my favorite musicians. Sure, call me a groupie. I take pride in it.  

I personally think that musical artists (depending on the age) love meeting college students.  We are turning into young professionals and even though we may show a hint of our younger selves when we jump up and down out of psychotic excitement, they secretly love it. My favorite thing about interacting with artists is that they are real people too.  They (some) were in college at some point just like us!  Just shaking their hand on a personal level makes me, at least, respect them even more.  

Here, I will tell you the steps you can take if you would like meet your favorite performer.  Just a sidenote: the musicians that I have met are not on the mainstream radar.  Never have I ever had a run-in with Justin Bieber, or Lady Gaga (I wish).  My encounters are usually with your well-known little indie band, or heard-the-name-tossed-around DJ.  So get out a piece of paper, and have your digital camera ready; these tips wont fail you!


At a Music Festival: Be Determined 

If you want to meet your favorite performer at a music festival, there are many ways of going about this.  First, you should look to see if they have an "autograph tent," which is common at large festivals.  If they do have one, make it a priority to get there early and wait for whoever you want to see.  If they are not having an autograph session, there is still hope. I recently went to the First Annual Snowball Music Fesival in Vail Valley, CO.  I mostly hung around in the tent that was featuring DJs and smaller performers.  My personal favorite, Diplo, was performing and I about nearly had a heart attack just seeing him on stage.  In order to meet your desired celebrity, you have to have courage and determination.  Not only did I bee-line for the front row when he touched some girls hands in the front to join him onstage, I even climbed the fence to get up there with him. After I was ushered off the stage, I hung around backstage until the concert was over.  When he finished his set, I hung around until everyone rushed out: which left me and about six others trying to meet him.  Of course, I blatantly went up to Diplo and told him how obsessed I was with him.  He was probably flattered and creeped out of this world, but I was so lucky to get to chat with him.  We got a picture, he re-tweeted me, and my life was complete for the evening.  

At a Local Venue: Linger
If your musician isn't being rushed off to his next destination within the hour, they usually hang out in the lobby of the venue after the show to meet their fans.  While some people are not concerned with this, I am not one of them.  For example, Local Natives played at our local venue, the Fox Theatre, and I purposely walked slowly and waited patiently to meet them.  This is the most traditional form of meeting musicians.  We snapped a picture together and now I have a little momento from the experience (see above picture)!

A Show on Campus: Don't Leave Early
Many musicians like to play shows at colleges because they know we are a good, supportive audience.  If a musician comes to perform, they will usually hang around after the concert.  If they come down to sign authographs, then follow them!  However, be casual about it.  You can be outwardly forward like myself, or just low-key and ask to take a quick picture.  I have learned the more relaxed you are, the more likely they are to have a meaningfu conversation with you.  When Trevor Hall visited CU, many people left early and didn't have the opportunity to talk to him.  I stuck around and got to talk to him after the show, and many students were able to as well.

In Your City: Pure Stalking
If you know your favorite musician is in town for a show, there are ways to find them.  I would not like having my privacy violated, but some non-mainstream musicians like to know that you are fan.  If the band has a Twitter or Foursquare account, then check their tweets and check-ins throughout the day to see if they give any leading clues to where they are.  If they do not reveal their location at all, then I would not go looking.  This option is for very dedicated fans. 


Sending a Facebook message can take you further than you think!

Once upon a time, I went way out of my comfort zone and Facebook messaged a band member from Guster.  He never responded for weeks and I was throughouly embarrassed.  Just when I thought all my dignity was gone, he messaged back and answered my question (it was about a roadie).  To make a long story short, we actually kept the thread running long enough that my friend and I scored VIP aftershow passes to one of Guster's shows.  This made me realize they are real humans, and they care about their fans.  However, know that every band is not like this, and not everyone online is to be trusted. 
 
There you have it.  Maybe it's just me, but I love meeting musicians.  They usually turn out to be legit people, and when you meet them, your connection with them deepens.  Yes, that sounds completely cheesy, but it's true!  Being a groupie does classify you as a creeper, but it also ups your fan status.  While you may think that people will ridicule you for taking your obsession too far, most of the time they are actually jealous of your interaction. So go forth and take these tips to heart.  If you are a dedicated fan, know that meeting the people behind the mic is a definite possibility.