Can I use Sway Sway Baby, You're So Audio as a title again?
July 29, 2011 4:26 AM   Subscribe

Last minute (Australia-filter) hopefulness: how can I contact a band and get them to acknowledge a 13 year old fan who is now on crutches and can't be up the front of the mosh pit?

My daughter just turned 13, and we're going to see her favourite band tomorrow night (part of her birthday present). Driving over 400km to do so, may I add. She's even made gifts for them that she planned on throwing on stage.

But now she's badly sprained her ankle and will be on crutches. I've told her she's not allowed to stand up the front amongst the throng due to her cankle and bruised foot/toes. I suspect the many tweenagers and teenagers would be pissed off if I, a tall 43 year old woman, shoved both of us up the front. I'm not going to ruin other kids nights just to get my baby up front.

I would KILL for the band to acknowledge her in some way. I've tried Twitter and Facebook, no response. I've tried googling their management to get in touch with them, no joy, google throws up different management/agencies, none of which have email addresses anyway.

Band: Short Stack. Venue: Newcastle Panthers Club. We're staying in a motel nearby, so waiting at the back door of the venue after the gig is not out of the question... but she's on crutches, and the bruising is still coming out, and she's in more pain than she wants to admit.

I'm wavering between letting her be a fangirl from hell - possibly to the detriment of her fellow concert-goers - and protecting her from having her crutches knocked out from underneath her - possibly doing more damage to her ankle.

She's so very disappointed that she won't be 'able-bodied' to make the most of the night. I want to turn this negative (sprained ankle) into a positive (OMG, Short Stack gave me a shout-out on stage!).

Any suggestions?
posted by malibustacey9999 to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Try the general manager of the venue. If you Google the venue, you get his name (hint: initials AK) and you add that to
posted by essexjan at 4:51 AM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm wavering between letting her be a fangirl from hell - possibly to the detriment of her fellow concert-goers - and protecting her from having her crutches knocked out from underneath her - possibly doing more damage to her ankle.

DO: Try and get ahold of the manager of the venue, and if you don't hear anything, show up at the show EARLY to try and talk to someone through the boxoffice before there's a line waiting to get in the venue and make your case there. There's often balcony/sidestage space for VIPs/band attachments, if they're sympathetic to your cause you might get something that sweet, or possibly just the club working out an accommodation ad-hoc.

DON'T: Get in the middle of an active crowd with a non-active participant. Not only does that just increase the chance that she could get injured if the audience is rollicking in general, there are few things more disruptive to an energetic show experience than having to deal with the 'big immobile guy in the pit protecting his tiny ward', be she girlfriend, daughter, whatever. This band sounds like they might have a pretty bouncy crowd, and the MOST energetic parts of the crowd are the ones who move up front, where the mosh pits are. Trying to protect her up there would be like wading out fifty feet from shore and trying to protect her from the ocean.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:34 AM on July 29, 2011

Best answer: I'm not familiar with Short Stack, so I don't know if it's a pop band, if the members play instruments or sing to pre-recorded tracks or what, but any time I've managed to meet a favorite band long enough to get an autograph and photo was at the band's hotel. Get to the area where the venue is located as early in the day as possible, then scout out the local higher-end hotels. You're looking for tour buses in the parking lot (the tour buses usually park in the back of the building, they won't be right out front). That's a good indication that you've found where the band is staying. Now comes the long, boring part - you sit in the lobby and wait. In the good ol' days most bands left the hotel between 4:00 and 6:00 to go to the venue for a sound check, but I don't know if today's techno-pop/tape reliant groups bother to do sound checks any more. Anyway, that time of late afternoon was always a pretty sure way of catching them in the lobby. And if you're very polite when approaching them, chances are 99% that they will pause for a few minutes to chat and sign an autograph.

In those years when I haunted hotel lobbies I only witnessed one artist who refused to stop - Billy Squier. I didn't approach him (I was waiting for Queen, for whom he was the opening act) but some other people did and his bodyguard fended them off, saying "Mr. Squier has had a long day." Hmph. Interestingly enough, Freddie Mercury, who was arguably a bigger star and worked much harder onstage than Mr. Squier, tripped into lobby at around 4:30AM but he was more than obliging when the remaining fans approached him. He signed autographs, answered questions and posed for photographs.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:52 AM on July 29, 2011

Response by poster: Great suggestions, thanks. I'll follow all your advice and let you know if I had any success when we get home tomorrow.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 2:11 PM on July 29, 2011

Response by poster: Well, none of our plotting/your suggestions worked out, but she had a blast anyway. I didn't get a reply to my email to the general manager, I unsuccessfully cruised the motels most likely to be hiding a tour bus, and I spent some time in the lobby of our motel in case they were staying there.

She joined a couple of her friends in line out the front of the venue... 5 hours ahead of the start time. Our motel was a stone's throw away, I could see her from the windows, so I let her stay as long as she was comfortable, and I rang her and dropped in a couple of times to check on her. She stayed sitting the entire time, her friends took turns to fetch her food and water as needed.

Another girl in the line was also on crutches. When I went to meet my daughter 30 minutes before the advertised start time, she and the other girl on crutches had been moved to the head of the queue so they could sit on the stairs. (Other able-bodied girls still in the queue outside the doors were quite snarky, I was unimpressed at the comments like "if you're on crutches, you should have just stayed home!". Whatever.)

So, she and the other girl (and those of us on the same tickets) were given access to the venue earlier than the mere mortals. We were escorted by security to the very front of the floor, dead-centre, and had security standing in front of them the whole time to keep an eye on them. One girl near them fainted and was immediately lifted clear of the crowd. I was very impressed with the duty of care taken by the staff. Newcastle Panthers Club staff rock.

I stayed with her upfront for a while until I was sure she'd be okay, and then retreated to the back (okay, there was a bar just outside the doors so I may have enjoyed a quiet beverage away from squealing 13 year old girls).

The lead singer threw her his empty water bottle, which is now her most treasured possession. So it all worked out in the end.

Thanks for your advice, though, I'll keep it in mind for next time my music-mad kids go to see a favourite band.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 1:00 AM on July 31, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Yay! I'm so glad she had a good time.
posted by essexjan at 1:18 AM on July 31, 2011

Response by poster: Oh, and it turns out she was misdiagnosed. Her ankle is broken, not sprained. Gotta love rural health services in Australia. Not.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 2:17 AM on August 3, 2011

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