Starting from the day new tour dates are announced I find myself on the receiving end of a lot of questions. In the hope of educating people (and saving us both a lot of time), I've compiled a FAQ of tour-based Manson questions here. Don't be mad if I reply to your (usually) polite pleas for help with a link to this page as sometimes answers lead to more questions and, again, the timesaving thing.
Section 1: Tour Dates
Q1: Will there be any more dates? Is he coming to ____?
A: -If the dates released are among the first few announced...
-If the dates released are spaced far apart....
-If the dates released completely skip places he's visited on every other tour...
-If the dates released completely skip major show locations (Toronto, London, NYC)....
...there will more than likely be more dates posted in the future. Be patient and check the usual outlets for the latest news. If your situation doesn't match any of the above, the answer is probably 'no' but keep an eye out anyway, just in case.
Q2: I heard there are new dates but I can't find where they are! Help!
Q3: I heard that he was coming to ____ but it's not listed on the site and I can't find any information online. Is it true?
A: Call the box office.
Q4: Can you tell him to come to ____?
Section 2: Tickets
Q1: How do I get tickets to the ____ show?
A: - Google the venue, go to the website, follow instructions
- Check www.ticketmaster.com, search for Marilyn Manson, follow instructions
Q2: The venue doesn't have a link to buy tickets. What do I do?
A: They're probably not on sale yet. Check back daily until ticket info is posted.
Q3: The show I want to go to isn't listed on Ticketmaster. Is the show still going on?
A: Not all venues sell tickets through Ticketmaster. Check the venue's website or call the box office.
Q4: I forgot to buy my tickets and the show is sold out! Am I out of luck?
A: -Venues frequently hold a small amount of tickets and release them for sale periodically as the show gets closer. Call the box office on the day of the show to see if that is the case.
-Go to the show and see if you can grab one off somebody standing around out front. Frequently people will try to unload tickets if they bought extra and some of their friends don't show up.
Q5: Can you get me tickets?
Section 3: Backstage Passes
Q1: I want to get backstage! Where can I buy passes?
A: You can't. Backstage passes aren't sold, they're given. [EDIT - Unless it is a tour where Golden Tickets are being offered. For VIP Golden Ticket package availability, check with the Golden Ticket people.
Q2: How do I get a pass?
A: -Be an attractive young girl with one or more of the following:
an elaborate and interesting outfit
a very tiny outfit
the ability to approach crew members wearing laminates that say ALL ACCESS and chat them up. Be friendly and sweet, make conversation, lay on the charm. Don't be a pushy bitch.
-Win one in a contest (usually held by radio stations or occasionally by the venue)
-Work for or befriend the venue owners, venue staff, security team, crew, support acts or anyone else with connections.
Q2b: OMG WHAT DO I WEAR
A: Most people think that the sluttier you are, the more likely you'll be going backstage. While making yourself sexually appealing definitely doesn't hurt, you can be appealing without looking like a skank. Keep in mind that the band and the crew see dozens of skanks on the daily. What you want is to stand out from the pack. You're a special unique beautiful Manson-loving snowflake just like everyone else, so you should dress in a way that makes you look and feel your best. Give yourself an honest assessment and put an outfit together that showcases your best assets. By "showcase" I don't necessarily mean "show". If you have a tiny waist, a clingy dress will show your figure off well even if it doesn't show too much. If you have a cute little bubble butt, a PVC skirt will reflect the light and accentuate it, even if it's down to your knees or even the floor, because you know half the girls in PVC will be rocking the 8" long Lip Service skirts that don't leave a lot to the imagination. Even just a shirt that brings out your eyes and shows just a hint of cleavage might work better for you than a leather bra. Think of how many other leather bras they must've seen by now. One of the primary evils of touring is boredom, you want to present yourself as something interesting enough to keep around. Also 99.9% of the people with passes to hand out are men, and men are visual creatures. Appeal to the eyes enough to attract attention, then have your conversation game up to par to seal the deal.
Q3: I've never had one before. How do backstage passes work?
A: If you're lucky enough to score a pass, it will likely be a triangle-shaped pass that says “AFTERSHOW”. There are other kinds of passes, round for VIP, oval for PHOTO, rectangular for WORKING. Each pass has different restrictions and permissions. The colors and shapes of the passes vary from tour to tour and day to day. Additionally each pass is dated and initialed by the person who handed it out to minimize fraud. You won't be able to use a pass more than once.
When you get your pass, peel off the paper backing and stick it to yourself somewhere visible. You can do this before the show or afterward. You run a slight risk of a crazed nutjob trying to rip it off of you in the pit, so it's best to do this after the show. Generally you have to be actually wearing the pass or you won't be allowed back. Also once the pass is stuck, it's stuck, so make sure you put it where you want it the first time as the sticky will be dead if you try to relocate it, and a pass that won't stick is a dead worthless pass. Keep in mind if you're putting it on PVC or latex that you may damage the garment taking it off. You might be better off sticking it directly to your skin.
After the show, the crew will come out to start taking down the stage and security will start moving everyone off the floor so the crew can work. Show them your pass and you'll be escorted to a holding area off to the side. You can go to the bathroom but try to stick with the group as much as you can. There's nothing worse than being in the bathroom and missing the chance to see someone. Or, even worse, coming out to see that the entire group has been relocated and you were left behind. If applicable, get your coat out of coat check. Sometimes backstage goes very late and you might not be allowed back out to get it later, if there's even someone still there to hand it to you.
Make friends or at least conversation with the people waiting with you. You already have several things in common and lot of time on your hands, you might as well start talking. A great many of the friends I have now started out as co-waiters in the backstage herd.
Sometimes the group will be moved from the working crew area into catering. This is where the band and crew eat. There may or may not be refreshments available for you. Frequently there's cold cuts for sandwiches, chips, pizza, a fruit and vegetable tray, water, sodas, coffee and tea, sometimes alcohol. This varies greatly from venue to venue. Make sure you have permission before taking anything. Politeness will go a long way. Sometimes the band will come in and hang out with you here, sometimes not. Sometimes one or more members will pop in, select a few people and disappear with them. Sometimes not. A few times the people with passes waited for nearly two hours before being told the band wasn't seeing anyone. Sometimes you sit for hours only to hear that the band left right after the show and nobody bothered to tell you. Sometimes they move you from location to location and then they leave you in the parking lot. Again, it's pretty random.
If you're very lucky you'll be led to a smaller, more intimate area or to the bus where you'll have the opportunity to meet with Manson. If he's receiving guests, he's likely in a good mood.
A few tips:
Ask before taking pictures. It's rude to flashblind him and you'll love the photo a lot more if you give him a chance to prepare for the photo. Would you rather have a shot of him where you both are facing the camera, or one of him in mid-sentence looking at someone else? Thought so.
Try to avoid crying, screaming, hyperventilating or physically attaching yourself to his leg. Security is always around and they will remove you if you act dangerous or unstable.
Q4: Is it true that passes are a “it's either who you know or who you blow” situation?
A: It is rumored that being willing to supply drugs or perform sexual acts will get you a backstage pass. I'm neither confirming nor denying that. And while I'm not going to suggest that anyone force themselves to do something illegal or out of the scope of their own moral boundaries, it probably wouldn't hurt your chances.
Many of the people I know who've been backstage multiple times haven't had to "do things" to get back there. They've been attractively or cleverly dressed (Hazekiah, for example, has gone to more than 100 shows, ends up backstage a lot of the time, is one of the most easygoing non-pushy fans I've ever met and always rocks his Cub Scout shirt and braids) and because they know how the game works and can conduct themselves like responsible adults, they're treated with respect and invited back frequently. If you act like trash, you'll be used and thrown out like it. There's a place for girls who just want to suck off someone in the band so they can say they did, there's a place for the girl with the crush, there's a place for whoever has the drugs, there's a place for the fans who just want to chill, there's room for the groupies of all shades of the groupie rainbow. I'm not trying to create a backstage caste system, nobody's worse or better than anyone else. Decide what you want out of your experience. What you put into it will generally match what you take away.
Q5: I'm a guy. Does that mean I don't have a chance?
A: Backstage seems to be a 90/10 split of girls vs boys, but there's always that 10%. Granted they're usually contest winners or friends of somebody or they came bearing gifts, but you're likely not going to be banned from the back because you're not a girl.
Q6: Can you get me a pass?
Section 4: Meeting The Band
Q: I wanna meet Marilyn! I am his bestest biggest fan of ALL TIEMS and I would just DIE if I could meet him! It is my dream! I love him soooooooo much! I WILL BE YOUR FRIEND FOREVER IF YOU CAN GET ME TO MEET HIM!!!11!!
A: Okay then. Well. You have a couple options. I shall review them now.
Option 1 - Get a backstage pass. (See Section 3)
GETTING A BACKSTAGE PASS DOES NOT GUARANTEE YOU WILL MEET ANYONE.
I need to say that again.
JUST BECAUSE YOU GOT A PASS DOES NOT MEAN YOU'RE DEFINITELY GOING TO MEET THE BAND.
There are a hundred reasons why the band may or may not feel like coming backstage for a meet-n-greet. The band likely drove in that afternoon, either from a nearby hotel or from the last show which could've been hundreds of miles away. They just played a 60-90 minute show after which they need time to shower or at least to sit down, catch their breath, get some water or a drink or just a few minutes of down time after being On for that long. They may be energized, excited, in the mood to party, horny, bored, or otherwise looking to hang out with fans. They may also be pissed off, exhausted, mentally drained, or wanting to hole themselves up alone for peace and quiet. They may have been injured during the show. They may be fighting off the flu. They may have friends or family visiting that take precedence over fans. They may have an interview scheduled. The next show may be so far away that they have to leave immediately after the show and they aren't allowed to stay no matter how much they might want to. You have no way of knowing what the situation is on any given night, or when it will change, or if conditions are favorable for meeting up with the band after a show. It's a gamble every time. There really aren't any guarantees for anyone.
Getting a pass will greatly increase your chances of being positioned to meet the band but who (if anyone) comes backstage to say hello is a crapshoot.
Option 2 – The Bus Stakeout
Some venues have the buses parked in the back safely behind locked gates. In this case you're pretty much SOL for this method. But some venues just put the buses in a different lot than public parking and if you're lucky, security will let you stand somewhat near the buses. Probably not directly next to them, but within sight distance. And if you're very patient and have a couple of hours to blow, you can stand there and wait for the band to leave the venue. It's not like they can sit in there all night. Eventually they'll have to come out, and this is your chance to at least lay eyes on them in the flesh and off the stage.
“But I want to really meet them! Will they come over?”
Sometimes they'll come down the line and sign a few things or pose for pictures. Sometimes this is limited only to the parts of the line nearest the door as they'll only pause where it's convenient on their way to the door. Sometimes they'll move down the entire line. I remember one time where Manson sat on the bus steps and everyone in line got the chance to say their hellos. It really depends on the factors mentioned in Option 1. Sometimes they'll speed walk directly onto the bus without so much as a wave in your direction. Sometimes you get a wave and that's it. Sometimes they'll sneak out in disguises and you won't be sure if the band is already loaded or if you should wait a bit longer just in case.
This method has the additional challenges of having to deal with the weather. You may be waiting for hours in the pouring rain, blinding snow, gusting wind, or the most beautiful summer night you've ever seen. You learn to embrace your blistered feet and rattling chest congestion. That's part of the fun, the sacrifice of your time and sanity and health that goes into the memory of each show. And besides, you have dozens of potential friends waiting with you. Pass around a joint or some cookies or a drink, talk about the shows you've seen and the upcoming dates you want to see. It makes the time go faster and when the tour is over, you'll have new friends to reminisce with during those long years between tours.
Option 3 – The Contest
Occasionally a radio station or website will have a “win and meet the band” contest. Enter and hope you win. It's the most reliable way to meet the band (if you win, you're guaranteed at least a handshake and an autograph) but the most difficult to score. IF they're having a contest. IF you win. Long odds, but great payoff.
“What contest? Is there a contest? How do I know if there's a contest?”
Check the rock station in your area. Call and hassle them about starting a contest. Check online mercilessly to be sure you don't miss anything. Odds are I don't live in your area, I don't know what's available to you.
Option 4 – The CD Signing
Manson has from time to time held CD signings, most frequently at Hot Topic in Los Angeles. People in the LA area or those able to travel there simply have to show up and they'll get at least the time it takes to sign an autograph.
Generally you have to show up at a certain time and the first #X of people will be given bracelets that will admit them to the meet-n-greet. Sometimes these bracelets are given out days before. Sometimes the purchase of an album is required to receive a bracelet. All of these stipulations are clearly stated by Hot Topic or the location holding the event. DO YOUR RESEARCH IN ADVANCE. It would suck if you flew from St Louis to Hollywood to meet him only to find out the bracelets were given out two days earlier.
Q: Is Manson gonna do a signing for the new album?
A: I have no idea. Check in on the social networks frequently to be sure you don't miss an announcement if/when one happens.
Section 5: Gifts
Q1: I have a demo/message/cookie/painting/bouquet of flowers/dead baby/bag of drugs/human skull/piece of taxidermy/bottle of absinthe/supposedly haunted 1930's embalmer's kit/party invitation/book of shitty poetry I want to give to Manson. How do I get it to him?
A: You have options.
Wade into the pit and hand it to him directly during the show. This works best if it's not terribly important as if he's in mid-song and you hand him something, odds are pretty good that he'll either throw it back out into the crowd or destroy it.
Ask one of the crew members. Frequently they will take the thing and put it backstage. Whether Manson actually gets these things or if they get thrown out, it's hard to tell. Risky business either way, but I've seen it work out for people in the past.
Bring it out near the bus and try to hand it to him there, or hand it to one of his crew members. I would think the odds of him getting it are slightly better by the bus where it's less likely to be lost in the shuffle or thrown out accidentally.
Q2: Can I just give it to you?