Yes, you have read correctly, I met one of my biggest idol : Kevin Richardson from the Backstreet Boys.
I have been a Backstreet Boys fan since day one. I have never stopped following them, buying their albums and listening to their music even when Kevin left the band (he’s my fave just so you know), and that even when we were 1500 people attending shows. I strongly believe that they are amazing singers, great entertainers and that if I were to play a new BSB song without people knowing it, they would love it as much as they enjoy a Justin Bieber hit let say. I have never cared about the fact that people think it’s stupid for me to be a true BSB fan. What can I say, they are one of my favorite bands and they are part of the reason why I decided to sing. I have to tell you for the sake of this story that I’ve met the BSB back in 2008 but at that time, Kevin wasn’t part of the band anymore. We had waited many hours in front of their hotel in order to meet them. It was a great moment where we quickly took pictures and took 1 minute. It was also the night Obama got elected for the first time and that made it even more special.
(2008, bad pictures because the excitement level was way too high)
This year, the BSB were in town for a show. My friend & I thought about waiting outside the hotel for a picture but as there was a ‘meet & greet’ and an after party planned, we decided to go for the more ”legit” way and pay 300$ to meet them. For the past 10 years, every single tour, we had been hesitating on purchasing or not a VIP package. It usually costs about 500$ which is believe me way too expensive for me, so we always ended up not buying it. This time, as it was cheaper, we decided to just do it, go crazy and pay ourselves a treat! Also, just so you have all the facts, the after-party (without the meet and greet was 30$).
I was SO nervous! Hang in there because this post is going to be long and just a heads up, I have rarely been that disappointed in something. I was so dumbfounded by how much this night made me feel ridicule that I felt like crying. I am a normal person that is pretty much broke and that has decided ONCE in her life, to pay for something big and I basically paid 270$ more for nothing.
Here’s how the night went :
1. We waited 2h for them to arrive. I totally understand that the people from the organization didn’t have the control over that and to a certain extend I was ok with waiting until 1am on a Sunday night to meet my idol. I was ready for this really important moment of my life.
The ‘meet & greet’
2.If you look at what usually is included in a BSB VIP packages, well it consists of, yes an official picture ( which now I know, I will never own a copy of), 1 minute to express your admiration and bonuses such as having access to the soundcheck and things like that. On this particular night, no one in the organization took the time to let us know what the night would be consisting of. No one ever told us that we wouldn’t have time to even take 1 minute to speak with them, no one indicated us that it would only consist of an official picture (no cellphone allowed for that portion of the night) and where and when this photo would be available. It was such a surprise to see that nothing except a 300$ picture was what ‘VIP’ meant. How difficult would it’ve been to explain us, while we were waiting, what was expected of us, what we would be able to experience and where to find this ***!* picture.
(”VIP” pictures, good right?)
3.Once our expeditious picture was taken (like I mean give a hug, take a picture and move on), we were send in a small section, that separated us from the people having paid 30$ with a cord, and that was supposedly the VIP section. Way to feel like a Very Important Person. This section was along a row of tables and on the other side of those tables was the section where the BSB would eventually end up in. Security was constantly asking us to move back in this tiny section, but for us that were among the first in line, it felt kind of absurd. We had just paid this great amount to be near them and were constantly asked to move further back. The guards were rude and were not helping with our questions. And to be fair I’d say that most of the crowd, if not the entire crowd was calm and polite, so why the rudeness,
VIP you said?
4. Once the photo part ended, the VIP section (meaning the cord that were separating us from the rest and that was supposedly giving us a vip access) disappeared. The cords were taken down and within a second, the VIP section vanished. We were simply not given a VIP access and were among the people who paid the 10th of the price. I was squished between the tables and people that were not VIP’s trying to get closer. If I would’ve know that paying 300$ would only be giving me the opportunity to have a picture, I would not have participated. I understand that business is business and money needs to be made, but this really felt like exploiting fans. I felt so humiliated the moment I realized that I could’ve paid 30$ and would have seen Kevin and would’ve been able to take a selfie with him.
Let it be clear that I wasn’t expecting to spend 10 minutes with them, to share a meal with them, I wasn’t expecting to be seated with them, but I was expecting a minimum of time with them, clear indications, a VIP access and my picture. How come I got almost the same thing as the 30$ ticket? I have written to both companies that have organized that evening but nothing came out of it.The main company is there to make money and have told me that as nothing is specified on the ticket as to what the VIP/Meet and greet consists of, well I shouldn’t have expected anything in particular. HELLO! I paid 300 bucks for crying out loud! Way to ruin a special moment.
On a positive note though I did hug Kevin, I did look him right in the eyes. I had prepared a little letter with what I needed to say to him and was SO glad I had brought it with me. I gave him the letter and the rest is history. I felt like he had the best energy ever. His energy was calm, it felt,sane and balanced. He was very polite with all the fans and he looked like he cared. I know this is crazy, but I truly hope that he reads my note. What are the chances right?
So there you have it. I did ‘meet’ my idol. But I can guarantee you that when we met the rest of the band we had wayyy more time and lattitude and it was free. I have learned my lesson. Now that it is over, I will continue to cherish the dream that one day, oh yes, one day, I will sing with the BSB, as silly as it sounds.
(sorry for the quality, this is a screen capture)