Lately it seems to me that more and more musicians offer special packages for their shows at, sometimes, insane high prices. These packages include a variation of things like meeting the artist/band, seeing the show from a special place on the stage, get signed stuff, be able to ask the band/artiest questions and I'm sure there a plenty more things.
It is a great commercial move to sell such packages. You give a chance to those who can pay it to meet their idol(s) while people who don't have the money have just to save up to get their hands on a ticket for the show. Everything costs money and a lot music is, unfortunately or perhaps luckily, due to the internet accessible for free while it costs a lot to make it and get it out in the world. My BF and I always buy the CD's we like if we can get out hands on them (some or not so easy to find unless you are willing to pay an insane amount of shipping costs) and I will always but a piece of merchandise if I have the money and I like the artist.
I do understand why people buy such packages and I won't condemn them for it, but honestly it's just like visiting the zoo but except it's most likely not as educational as the zoo. And the artist(s) who offer such a packages are oblige to be friendly and in a good mood when they talk to their fans or whatever they have to do to full fill their end of the deal. I am pretty sure most fans would not be very pleased if the artist(s) are in a grumpy or bad mood. Isn't it more special that you meet the artist(s) after the show in the bar our outside the venue and that they listen/talk to you because they want to? I can imagine that it is not possible for every artist to do that so easily, but is the package formula than the right substitute? I think not. Give fans who don't have the money a chance to meet you as well or do not meet them at all. It's pretty pathetic if money should determine if you can meet your idol or not (excluding travelling expenses for it is logistically not possible for every artist to play a gig in your town). And I do understand that not after concert the artist(s) are in the mood to meet fans and don't come out at all and or go straight to the bus/car/whatever. That might be quite hard for a fan who's waiting for hours to see them, but artists are people as well and can have bad days. I would rather not talk to an artist at all than talk to one who is annoyed or in a bad mood.
Anyway, the aspect I hate the most about packages is the early access to the venue. I know it is handy, you don't have to wait all day in whatever weather it is, but you'll miss half the fun. Queueing all day long to get a good front row spot (preferably right in front the singer or whomever you prefer) is so much fun and sometimes a terrible torture. You get to meet knew people who share at least on interest with you, you might have to improvise a way be able to go to the toilet or try and stay dry and not freeze to death or melt away. If it is a torture, you will be glad you were a martyr when the the artist(s) steps on the stage and throw you a bright smile because they know you were insane and dedicated enough to wait form them all they. Most artists are not ignorant and know that the people in the first rows have waited for hours.
I could go one on this for hours and hours and I am not going to do that. But remember that the fans have placed the artists on a pedestal. The fans are the ones who buy the CD's and come to the concerts and idolize the artists. It are also the fans who buy those packages and it is, unfortunately, due to those fans that they keep on doing it because it is successful.