Music has always been a huge industry with fans of all types of genres. Artists work their hardest to put out music and put on shows for their fans to go to, which of course doesn’t go unnoticed, but fans are starting to ask for more. Fans ask for meet and greets, cheaper shows/merch, and even things on a personal level. What we have to ask ourselves is: how much is too much?
While artists devote their lives to their band or solo act, fans devote much of their life to their favorite artists as well. Fans go to any shows they can, buy any albums they can, and support these people in any way they’re able to. It’s always been this way and it’s amazing that music can bring so many people together. The downside with this is that fans have become perhaps a little too demanding and much too personal at times. This obviously isn’t the case with all music fans but I have seen it all too often.
Dan Lambton, frontman of pop-punk band Real Friends, has expressed his feelings about fans becoming a little too personal with him. Just this past summer he made a few tweets regarding this issue. One tweet said, “There are people that go to the extent of changing a contact in their phone and posting a fake conversation with me”. Another tweet addressing fans posting old high school pictures of him said, “Let me post all your terrible acned and braced faced pics that you never want to see the light of day and we’ll be even”. This invades his personal privacy greatly and makes him feel exceedingly creeped out.
Almost every band member or musician experiences this same level of fans, but they typically accept it and keep quiet. It becomes a major problem when those artists are in a relationship, or even married. One of Lambton’s tweets read, “I have a girlfriend please stop sending me weird shit on here. I am not your ‘bae’, thank you”. Some may think Dan worded that tweet a little harshly, but it’s true all the same. A great deal of fans ask band members for pictures where either the band member is kissing them on the cheek, or the fan is kissing the artist on the cheek. How do their girlfriends/boyfriends feel about these types of pictures? How do the band members themselves feel about kissing/being kissed by a complete stranger? Perhaps this is an example of asking for a little too much from an artist.
Something that shocks me is the lack of respect some fans have for the people they call their “idols”. A few months back while on the Vans Warped Tour, Jake Bundrick, drummer of punk band Mayday Parade, posted an Instagram picture with the caption “One of my best dudes is getting a double lung transplant tonight. Please keep @shadyiv in your prayers”. You would assume any comments would be sympathetic with kind words, but this wasn’t the case. Most of the fans were respectful and kind, but one fan in particular only took time out to comment “follow me please”, and then commented once again saying “love me”. Not only are those comments extremely self-centered, they’re also very disrespectful considering the purpose of the picture.
Maybe these are things that just come with being in a successful band, but perhaps it is due to the integration of both social media platforms and slight entitlement from fans. Luckily bands that truly care about the people who get them where they are today are still willing to take time out of their day to interact with/meet fans. While this problem is not too severe, it’s still there and we all need to be aware of what is okay and what is creepy when it comes to interacting with our favorite artists. At the end of the day, the only thing they’re truly here for is to put out music.