Category Archives: Fangirl Handbook

The Fangirl Handbook #3: Ticket Buying 101

We discussed Concert Etiquette & How to Meet the Band in the first two chapters of The Fangirl Handbook.  Now you know what to do at the show; but you’ve got to get tickets first!

There’s nothing better than when your favorite artist finally announces a big tour!  And let’s face it: there’s nothing worse than trying to buy tickets.   We’ve learned a lot over the years on how to get the best seats for any show, and want to share some of our advice.  We refuse to buy resale tickets, and with a little luck, determination and patience, have been able to get great seats to some of the hottest tickets in town.

1. Be sure to join the mailing list (free!) or fan club of all of your favorite artists.  They won’t email you a lot; and when they do it’s usually with important info like tour dates, or pre-sale passwords!   Some artists have completely affordable fan club options as well – for around $10 you can have access to pre-sale codes for an entire year of touring.   Of course artist’s #1 priority is selling tickets to their fans, not ticket brokers, so this is usually the best way to get tickets.  And, if you think about sharing the cost with everyone who’s going (say, a group of 4) and agree to split the cost of the membership, it’s just an extra $3 on top of your ticket price.  And you’re more likely to get a good seat.

2.  Keep up with Livenation on social media and email.  They will send out weekly updates; but these emails usually contain important info!  We’ve seen concert announcements via Livenation before the artists share the news.  Livenation is great at having pre-sales through social media (Facebook, Twitter) and their mobile app.  The codes are usually pretty easy to find, and if you ask them on Twitter they will likely help you out.

3.  Have a Ticketmaster account.  Every second counts when buying tickets, and having this extra step out of the way is one less thing to worry about!

4. Keep trying!  With popular shows, sometimes it can take the system a while to load.  Don’t be discouraged if you come up with no tickets after the 3rd (or 33rd try).  We’ve gotten great seats just by never giving up!!

5. Be ready to go before the on-sale time.  We like to set up a “ticket buying” station whenever possible.  We have open as many computers / iPads / iPhones as possible, with wallets and credit cards nearby just in case.  And if we’re buying for a group, we make sure to be on the phone / gchat / etc with them, just so we’re all in agreement on which seats to buy.  And so whomever gets the best seats gets those!

6.  Know what seats you want ahead of time.  The seating charts are always posted before the on-sale.  Discuss with your group which are your 1st, 2nd and even 3rd choice seats, what seats you do NOT want, and what to do if you only get literally the last row in the arena.  With an obstructed view.

7.  Know your price limit ahead of time and make sure everyone agrees.  Sometimes you aren’t able to see the different pricing levels until the on-sale starts.  It helps to have an absolute maximum price level set, so you aren’t panicked when that dreaded Ticketmaster timer is counting down!

Hope we haven’t given away too many of our secrets, but that this will help you score tickets to see your favorite artist on tour!

Be sure to follow Secret Fangirls on Twitter & check out The Fangirl Handbook!

The Fangirl Handbook #2: Meeting the Band

Time for part 2 of The Fangirl Handbook! In part 1, we reviewed the proper concert etiquette. Now let’s discuss how to meet the band! Thanks to social media and companies like VIP Nation, it’s become easier than ever to meet your favorite celebs. Meeting your favorite band or celebrity is something you’ll remember forever – both the good and the bad.  There are two scenarios to the meet and greet:

1. How You Think the Meet & Greet Will Go:
Your favorite band member is so taken by your beauty, wit, and that perfect outfit you planned that they spend hours talking to you as if no one else is in the room.  You get to have a full, intelligent conversation with each member of the band, and then take the perfect meet and greet photo which you can instantly share.

2. What the Meet & Greet is Actually Like:
You are in a line with approximately 500 other people. You overhear a security guard complain that they are running behind. Venue staff are panicking because doors open in 45 minutes and they’ve got to corral thousands of screaming girls into the venue. Instructions are being yelled at you, usually some variation of “no touching, no cell phones, no cameras, no autographs” as you make your way towards that moment you’ve been dreaming of. You can finally see them in the distance! This is your chance! Based on how quickly the line is moving, you calculate you will have about 15 seconds, 20 if you’re lucky. Panic sets in. You’re next! What do you say? His eyes are more beautiful than you remember from the hi-res photos you found on Tumblr. You barely manage to get out a “hello” before you feel yourself being pushed between your least favorite boys. Security yells at you to turn around for your picture, and voila your moment is over. You didn’t even make it down the line to say hi to your favorite!!  Six days go by, and you STILL don’t have that priceless meet and greet photo, which you’re sure by now is a total disaster.

We’ve been lucky enough to meet a few of our favorite bands before, here is some of our advice to make the most of it (for you and everyone else involved).

DOs and DON’Ts of Meeting the Band.


  • Be polite.
  • Stay calm.
  • Talk to them! You might not get the chance again.
  • Ask for a picture if you can. A picture says 1000 words.
  • Have an idea of what you want to say in advance. Usually you will get just a couple of minutes (even seconds) and having something in mind keeps you from freezing up or worse rambling incoherently at them.
  • Give them a chance to talk too!
  • Thank them! They do not have to be standing around for hours taking pictures and meeting hundreds of people. Not everyone does.
  • Introduce yourself. It may be your FAVORITE BAND MEMBER OF ALL TIME OMG but they are people too. Think of meeting them like you would any other person. This helps with remaining calm.
  • Be nice to them. We shouldn’t have to say this, but you would be surprised.
  • Have your camera ready! You will have very limited time, so don’t waste any digging in your purse for your camera!
  • Be kind to other fans and help each other out! (Again, we shouldn’t have to say this). Remember, we’re all in this together!
  • Follow directions. If security says no hugging, then just don’t do it. They have rules for a reason, whether you like them or not. You don’t want to be that person that gets escorted out.


  • Scream in their face. Would you like a random stranger running up to you screaming in your face? No? Then don’t do it to them.
  • Scream as soon as they enter your line of vision. You are both taking time away from someone else, and scaring the band.
  • Touch them inappropriately. (Yes, we’ve seen this happen.) Just generally don’t touch the talent.  As we were told on TRL however, the talent can (and will) do whatever they want.
  • Jump on them. They see you. They know you are excited. You don’t need to physically attack them to show this.
  • Ask for more than one photo. If your first photo turned out, there is no need to ask for a “selfie!”. Use the extra time to chat with them – you already have 1 photo, enjoy your brief time!
  • Twerk. Ever. Just stop. It’s not cute.
  • Say rude things to them. Don’t like his girlfriend? Keep it to yourself.
  • Bring embarrassing or inappropriate photos for them to sign, or bring up uncomfortable topics. This should be self explanatory. Don’t do it, it’s not funny or cute. It’s just plain rude.
  • Attack them before they’ve gotten out of the car/off stage/etc. Just calm down. They see you. They are more than happy to meet you if you are calm and nice, but will get scared if you suddenly jump on them and start twerking and asking for selfies.
  • Push/shove other fans out of the way, or use people’s heads as a tripod. Once the pushing starts, they will get scared and leave…as would any sane person. And you’re ruining the experience for someone else.

We hope this list of Do’s and Don’ts help prepare you for the next time you get the chance to see your favorite boy band on tour! Check out VIP Nation for upcoming tour info.

(Feature photo from Backstreet Boys “I Want it That Way“)

The Fangirl Handbook #1: Concert Etiquette

We’ve been to a lot of concerts over the years, everywhere from CBGBs (RIP) to Madison Square Garden and everything in between.   So when it comes to concert behavior, we’ve experienced it all, good and bad.

Here are some simple rules to keep in mind at your next show.

1.  There are people behind you!  This is not the time to break out your finest top hat.  Also, please don’t put anyone on your shoulders, especially if you’re already 6+ feet.  And while we love and encourage dancing, please try not to jump back onto the people behind you.

 Fan Girl hand book NO TOP HATS         fan girl handbook NO kids on shoulders

2. There is a time and place for screaming.  If the artist is introducing a meaningful ballad, try to keep the “I LOVE YOUUU!” in for just a little bit longer and you’ll be fine.   If you’re waiting in line to see the band, and you get that first up close glimpse of them, we know it’s exciting but please don’t scream.  You’re simultaneously scaring the band and taking up someone else’s brief time with them.

3.  If it’s an arena show, try your best to arrive before the main artist takes the stage.  There is nothing more annoying than having to wait for someone to shuffle by and locate their seats (and they can never find them) blocking your view while you miss your favorite song.

4. Put the phone away.  Of course, take a few photos and videos, but if you are sitting there texting the entire time, why are you there in the first place?  You can do that at home – for free!  And isn’t it nice to experience things in real life once and a while, rather than through a screen?

5.  Personal space.  You aren’t the only person in the room.

6.  No smoking of ANY kind.  This shouldn’t even have to be said, but you’d be surprised.

7.  Mind your beverages.  Try to keep them in your hand, and off of my purse/coat/new shoes/merch I just bought/head/etc.

8.  Standing is totally fine, IF you are in your own seat.  Do not stand in the stairway.  Do not stand on the barricade at the end of the stairway.  Do not stand on your chair. 99.9% of the time, you will be blocking the view of someone who actually paid for a seat in that section.  Also, if you can’t see because you’re seated and someone in front of you is standing, don’t get mad and rudely shout at the other person to sit.  Stand up!  It’s a concert, you should be dancing!

9.  Posters should only be used between songs, or held up for brief moments.  Again, just keep in mind your giant poster board is guaranteed to be blocking the views of everyone behind you.  Easy rule to follow?  If the band is singing, don’t put the sign up.  Wait for between songs.

10. Do not throw things on stage.  Ever.  This is why we can’t have nice things, like bottle caps at concerts.

11. If you are just arriving to a GA show seconds before showtime, no one believes that your “friend” is holding your spot in the front row.  Most likely everyone in the front has already been there for hours (even days), respect that, and don’t violently force and push your way through the crowd.  Want to be in the front?  You’ve got to put in the time.

Now if we could just get everyone to follow these simple guidelines, we can all enjoy the show!  (Don’t even get us started on tennis watching etiquette…)

Stay tuned for part 2 of our Fangirl Handbook:  How to Meet the Band