This is a topic I don’t talk about lightly; especially when it involves a band that I have held in high esteem, up on a pedestal above everyone else and have defended to the hilt every single time needed.
I’ll still defend them against the b.s. I’ll still buy the music. But this will possibly be the last time I see them live unless many things change…. The main one being monetary.
The band? 30 Seconds to Mars, fronted by all round business man and actor Jared Leto along with his brother Shannon and their friend Tomo (Also Stevie. Not gonna forget him!)
I understand how money changes, prices get hiked cuz of the cost of living etc and that for the most part prices aren’t set by the band (in this case, Jared). I get that and they have to cover costs too.
It doesn’t stop $500 for a meet and greet being fucking ridiculous… With that you don’t even see your poster being signed. Merch is pre-signed.
I’ve been to only two meet & greets. Ever. One was for MARS and one was for Backyard Babies.
Mars was incredibly inpersonal, more like a production line. In, 45 minute q&a, get your poster signed, walking around to the back of the queue, get your pic with band and out to wait for the let in for merch and gig barriers. $260 (at the time with gig ticket).
BYB, by contrast was pretty amazing. In, hang out and get your merch and a drink, talk with the band and get selfies, through to sound check and another opportunity for a group photo on your own phone, grab another drink then head back out before getting let in uber early for front row. (£26 plus £20 for ticket?! I think…. At the time.)
The difference between them, not just from those descriptions, but actually being there felt entirely different.
Before I get to the OTHER main issue which isnt directly to do with the band…
CampMars 2018! The one that Jared said wasn’t gonna happen… For whatever reason. Many friends I know made other plans. They had said they’d attend Camp ’18 but when it was spoken about not happening they all made other plans… And now BAM. Hi. CampMars 2018 and many pissed off fans.
Also… Can we talk about prices?! Pre sale was $700 and now “normal” sale is $999.99 with about $399/$499 for a days early entry. And that’s the MINIMUM price – last year prices went up to $4000. This year I think they go up to $2599.
When fans are ready to take out loans, re-mortgage houses and take out the damned PAYMENT PLANS for a camp weekend or a M&G, there’s a problem. And yes there are payment plans for m&g. Fuck knows they’re needed for those prices.
This brings me to another issue that’s not the fault of the band directly.
There is an elitism within the fanbase AKA the Echelon. I guess because I’ve been in the fanbase for so long (since I was 16/17? I’m almost 32 now) I’ve seen a lot of it… And yes I know there are the fans who have been there from the very start…. Don’t get me started. Some of them are part of the problem..
Within ANY fandom or movement there are gonnabe elitists and for the most part they stick to themselves and don’t get in anyone’s way…. Sadly not so with the Echelon.
Within this fandom, which is quickly becoming quite toxic, you’re only really seen as a “true fan” by those who have been there forever, if you spend all your money on merch, gigs, camp, music, everything and sacrifice your damn soul to the cause.
When did music become all about the money? Did I miss a step somewhere?!
Last I checked all I had to do was support them, whether I could afford merch/music/gigs or not….
I miss the days of MARS where making your own merch was a thing! Make your own tee and jacket and bag and whatever else.
P.S. ….. Don’t even get me STARTED on VyRT.