My viewpoint, backstage, during Cypress Hill's performance at splash! festival 2011, Germany
So, Ive had a number of people ask how the hell I get backstage at many of the events that I cover. I'll say that's it's not premeditated to the extent that I have a plan. It's usually some type of ebb and flow that occurs, patience is necessary, and I have found that there are a few consistencies that I've found. Those patterns are a few of the things that I've listed below, as my pointers to getting behind the red tape at events.
1. LEAVE THE ENTOURAGE AT HOME...GO ALONE
This is by far the most important. There are things you can maneuver and places you can get into, if you're by yourself that simply won't happen if you're running with a crew. I have gotten into most places because it's one thing to let one person (especially a female) sneak by, but the more you have the lower your chances of getting anywhere are. I'd say the ratio is that your chances are cut in half x how many people you have. Just one other person cuts it in half. Trust me, go it alone!
2. STAY LATER THAN EVERYONE ELSE
Even when most people attend concerts for people they LOVVVVVVVE, they don't really cool out and scope the scene afterwards. They want to get on the train before the crowd, or get the car out before the traffic, or their hells are hurting their feet. Attention spans run thin and that's when you go in for the kill. Cool out and see who is around the artist and go to get their attention! That's key. Patience. Be calm, cool, collected, and wait to get a good idea of venue and people navigation.
3. NEW YORK STAND UP!
If you're from, or live in New York, say it! I don't know what it is, but this works! The world opens up like parting seas when you let people know this fact, particuarly in foreign countries. I learned this first in Japan, and second in Germany.
4. HAVE A LEGIT PURPOSE
No one wants a crazy fan in their midst, but if you have a solid purpose for wanting to get backstage that works best when you are stopped and questioned...which you will be, everytime. Even if it's a blog, magazine, what have you. Have something legit in your back pocket when questioned.
5. BOOBS WORK
Sorry guys this one is for the ladies. I'm not saying slut it out or go around flashing, but it helps to look nice, and boobs many times do the trick. Cleavage is enough. It sometimes diverts the attention. That purpose you created from above doesn't matter as much.
6. GO INTERNATIONAL
You have a higher likelihood of getting the attention of your favorite artist if you catch them when they're abroad. First off, we're like vultures in the States and that guard is already up. If they're abroad they assume they aren't going to meet anyone that is where they are from. It's the homesickness effect. Travelers know. If you travel to a far off land, and meet someone from your neighborhood, weirdly enough you become these fast friends and could talk for hours with a stranger. Same deal here.
7. VIBES ARE EVERYTHING
Go with the ebb and flow of the situation. Don't push too hard, and also don't be a push over. You are going to be a little nervous because you're trying to enter an area that you know good and well is off limits to you. Play like you know the surroundings and move with everyone else. And seriously, if it isn't going to work LET IT GO! You do not want to be pegged as that person at the event. They take note, and so will the artist.