If you are not part of a major fandom or a part of "stan Twitter" (a group of people on the site who are ardent fans of a celebrity or group) then this title probably baffles you. You're probably thinking, "Fans TOURING with artists? What?" You always hear about singers on the road touring, but not about their fans touring with them. I didn't even know this existed until recently.
One of my favorite singers, Harry Styles from my old favorite band, One Direction, began his worldwide arena tour earlier this year and came to the US at the start of June to finish it off.
I attended his show at the BB&T; center on June 9th in Sunrise, Florida, as most Florida fans did since he only had one show in the sunshine state. The show was incredible. I was in the GA pit which is the closest you can get to the stage and I was just feet away from him. I loved every minute of the show, and after it was over I wanted to go to another one, even though I couldn't afford to. I feel like lots of fans feel as though one show isn't enough because it does go quickly, and I get that, but some fans, for some bizarre reason have decided to literally TOUR with Harry. They have decided that 1-2 shows aren't enough, so they have to go to 5-10 or more.
When I found out about this, I was honestly shocked. I was shocked for multiple reasons and had questions.
1. How do these young fans afford to purchase tickets to all these shows AND pay for travel expenses, lodging, food, and overpriced merchandise at the venues?
2. How are their parents okay with their child spending their time and money following a celebrity on tour (considering that many fans are underage or still live with their parents).
And 3. How do fans not get tired physically and how do they not get tired of seeing the same show 10 times continuously?
There has been a lot of debate on twitter over this new hobby Harry's fans have taken up. A lot of fans have questioned others about where all the money to attend shows comes from. You have to understand that a face value ticket for Harry, (a good seat) is $99 minimum. Bad seats are around $40, but all of the tour fans are seen on the floor, in the GA pit, or in a good section.
Many of these fans tend to purchase Laneone tickets. Laneone is a company that allows people to buy overpriced tickets that will get them into the venue before anyone else; even before the people who camp out for the pit. I've seen tons of these fans buying Laneone pit tickets for $350-500. They want to be the first ones in, so that they can be next to the barricade and interact with Harry.
They go to shows all over the US, meaning they have to fly to different states. An average plane ticket costs around $200 alone. They are seen staying at hotels each time. A night at a hotel is around $100 minimum. When you add the price of merch ($45 for a T-shirt) and food needed to survive those days, a single show can cost around $600. If a Laneone ticket is involved, a single show can end up costing around $1,000.
To answer the cost questions, these fans have said they got jobs prior to the tour and are paying for it with their own money. A lot of people have asked why they would just quit their jobs as soon as Harry began touring, because having time off work is not a plausible idea, considering they would need around a month off if they want to go to that many shows, causing them to be fired.
I feel like many of these fans think it's normal to blow so much money on concerts and don't realize that many people don't have the money to do this. I've seen some fans acting like they are superior and a better fan for attending all these shows, which is wrong. Just because they are privileged enough to go to all these shows and interact with Harry a ton, does not make them any better; when did concert going turn into a competition? A lot of these fans don't realize this or that they could be saving their money instead, which brings me to my next point.
Fans were asked how their parents were okay with them spending all their time and money on Harry. I don't think many answered that one. The general consensus was "it's my money so they don't care." They were raised one way, but I know for sure that most parents would tell their child to save their earned cash for college or a car and to spend the summer doing something more productive than watching the same concert 10 times.
The last questions that were prevalent were about getting tired physically and tired of watching the same concert. I would assume that going to that many shows would tire someone out. Artists get exhausted on tours all the time and they have comfortable places to sleep the whole time. I waited in the GA line for Harry for about 9 hours and I was aching all over the next day. Girls next to me were sleeping on the floor and looked worn out. I've seen some fans on twitter who are touring nearly pass out from all the constant travel and waiting in the hot sun, yet they continue to tour.
I've loved One Direction and Harry since I was in the seventh grade. I have so much fun at their shows, and I would love to go to more than one sometimes, but I don't think I'd ever had the desire to see the same concert 10 times, no matter who is on stage, but to each their own.
I wrote this to express how I'm viewing this new phenomenon. I am confused in many ways and would like to know the appeal of touring. I would also like to know why fans don't do this with say Niall Horan, another former 1D member who is currently on tour. People have the right to spend their money how they want to, I simply want to understand why they choose to do it in this way because I feel very differently about the topic.