Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How to Get Backstage After the Show

Posted By on Wed, May 11, 2011 at 9:04 AM

These days, being backstage at a show usually involves little more

than watching a pile of people obsess about food, try to locate the nearest

shower, and -- most importantly -- get venue Wi-Fi to work. Behind The Music-style rock 'n' roll hedonism is a rarity these days, but if you're still one of

those people desperate to see backstage action, or if it's a special night and you

know for sure that there's a raging party going on back there that you just

have to get into, you're facing a number of hurdles. Here's how you get over


click to enlarge backstage.jpg

  • Fake an illness
    There was this incident in 2001 at an Ataris show in the U.K.

    where a 15-year-old girl faked passing out so she could get beyond the

    backstage barriers. Once she got back, a friend of hers begged security

    to allow her through as well, to check on her friend. Once they were both back

    there, they burst into the band's room and started making out with each other

    in a vague attempt to seduce a pile of pop-punkers old enough to be their dads.

    We were there. It was one of the grossest things we've ever seen. But it was

    also kind of genius because it totally worked and no one kicked them out. High five, repulsive English teenagers!

  • Walk with purpose
    In a particularly great episode of 30 Rock recently, Matt

    Damon's character -- a pilot named Carol -- says "You walk briskly in a pilot's

    uniform, you can go pretty much anywhere. I've been upstairs at the White House

    while the Obamas were sleeping."
    Well, you don't need a pilot's uniform. You just need a quiet air

    of arrogance and the right body language. You also need to walk directly

    behind people who are getting escorted in by someone with a laminate. And if

    they eye you suspiciously at any point, just start talking to those people like you know the

    band too. Job done.

  • Be a raging slut

    Groupies have a tendency to think they're really cool and

    that everyone loves them because, after the sex, they're not there on the bus when

    the band and crew are mocking them relentlessly. We feel it's important to

    mention this, in case you're considering attempting slutdom to get backstage.

    It does work a fair amount and you do at least get laid, but we wouldn't feel

    right suggesting this without full disclosure: You will be selling your soul

    and you will get laughed at by at least eight people afterwards. If you can

    live with that, that's your business. (Whore.)

  • Locate tour manager and bullshit, bullshit, bullshit
    Tour managers are tough nuts to crack. They

    are usually tense, sober, highly stressed, and slightly OCD. Bullshitting your

    way in via the tour manager is the toughest route here. Your best bet, though,

    is to approach them as if you're old friends. They do nothing but travel

    and meet different people every single day, so if you act like you're a

    buddy and you've hung out a ton before, and you're superhappy to see them,

    there is a chance they'll let you in with them. You just have to be the most

    charming and funny and warm that you've ever been in your entire life. This move does

    work, but only sometimes. And if they smell bullshit, they will humiliate

    you. You have been warned.

  • Get a job, asshole
    click to enlarge tour_bus.jpg

    You wanna be backstage that bad? Get a job that allows you

    to be back there, without you having to resort to shady shit. Do merch, do

    sound, be a roadie, be a tour manager, work at a venue, be a PR person, be a

    stylist, work for a record label, be a journalist, be a photographer. Hell, form a damn band! All of

    the above are easy ways of getting a laminate or a sticky. You just have to get

    the job first. Good luck out there!


Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Rae Alexandra @Raemondjjjj, and like us at

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , , ,

About The Author

Rae Alexandra


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"