The internet has really taken down the wall between fans and bands. You can interact with your favorite artists on Facebook, Instagram, twitter, and all kinds of other places on the web. Enjoy the accessibility of social media! You may not always get a response, but if you do—totally cool. Either way, it is the latest and greatest way to find out about tours, singles, appearances, and new albums, straight from the band itself. Most social media sites have ways to assure you that the account is legit. Look for a blue circle with a check mark on sites like Facebook and twitter, or something that says “verified account” so you know it isn’t some obsessed weirdo posting for who knows what creepy reason. Don’t just go by the word “official” or the account name. Check for verification first to be sure you aren’t wasting your time with some twelve-year-old future troll who is goofing off with his mom’s iPad.
Another great way to stay in the know when it comes to your favorite bands is fan clubs. Hey, they aren’t for screaming teenage girls and boy bands anymore, I swear! Fan clubs are actually a great way to support your favorite artists and easily found online. Just ask google, dude. You’ll come across two types of fan clubs: unofficial clubs, put together by fans to exchange information and sometimes bootlegs of shows; and official clubs that are run for the band themselves. Unofficial clubs are great if you are a big fan of message boards and file exchanges and don’t mind lots of speculation. There are a few well respected ones that even the artists will interact with, and those are worth a look. Especially in a band’s early stages, this might be your only route for information. I deal when I have to but I prefer official clubs. These tend to be easily found by looking on the band’s social media sites. You typically get cool stuff, receive insider info, and can sometimes get the first crack at concert tickets. Yes, some of them cost money but the perks tend to outweigh the cost. Think about it this way: if you’d go see them live, wouldn’t you want priority tickets? I know I would. Some clubs even track how long you’ve been a member and then you get seniority even within the club for tickets! Some send holiday gifts, others give you access to limited edition or exclusive merchandise. There are bands that even offer digital downloads, exclusive message boards, or run special contests, only for their biggest fans.
I am in a few fan clubs, and it has really paid off. You’d be surprised at the amount of loot I’ve received over the years. I’ve gotten autographs, crazy good seats at concerts, even gotten in to a “secret” show that one group did while filming a video last year. That’s right, I’m in a music video. It was amazeballs, man. Best day of my life.