A beginner’s guide to backstage passes

[This was my weekly column for GlobalNews.ca. – AC]

If there’s one question I get most often about live shows, it’s this: “How can I get a backstage pass to [insert name of artist here]?

The short answer is always the same: “You can’t. Besides, what did you think you’d find backstage, anyway? Caligula-strength orgies with groupies? Wild parties catered with all manner of booze and food? Tables heaped with cocaine? Or were you just thinking of hanging with the band in their dressing room before they go to work?”

Let me set you straight: Most of what you’ve ever heard or read about what goes on backstage is a complete lie. Yes, things used to be a lot looser in the pre-#MeToo era (read: the 1970s and ’80s, or so I’ve heard). But with today’s concert business, there’s not a lot of time or patience for messing around with people who don’t belong backstage. Schedules are tight, security is strict, and privacy is paramount.

However, since these questions keep coming in, let me give you a bit of schooling, starting with a little history.

Keep reading.

beginner's guide to backstage passes

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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