Gemma Tarlach of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that "in the emerging world of VIP concert tickets, four-digit price tags are not uncommon for packages that can include front row seats, a photo op with the band and even an autographed guitar. Like Internet pre-sales and dues-charging fan clubs, pricey concert packages are a new way for bands to make a buck off their die-hard fan bases."While some observers believe VIP packages are purely profit-motivated, other industry experts contend that, in this case, greed really is good — fans get unprecedented access and extra special souvenirs. " 'I don't think it's greed. I think there are some bands that may try it out of greed, but the true professionals are doing it for the fans,' said John Kunz, executive director of Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, which will host two VIP package-selling bands, AEROSMITH and KISS, on Sept. 6. " 'Now, instead of the bands deciding who gets to meet them, the fans decide if they want to meet the bands,' Kunz added. "And the fans are buying. "Jason White spent $2,000 on a pair of VIP packages for himself and wife Brandy to celebrate his 30th birthday with KISS at the band's recent show in his hometown of Indianapolis. " 'The last couple shows, I paid close to that amount to scalpers. Why not get backstage and meet the band, too?' said White. "The 'Platinum Experience' package landed the Whites great seats, special T-shirts and laminates, professionally snapped photos posing with KISS and a half-hour of quality time chatting with the band, plus a load of KISS-themed loot. "White said he has no problem forking over cash that would probably otherwise land in a scalper's pocket. " 'I'm a businessman, and they're businessmen, too,' said White, a general manager at a collision repair service. " 'It makes wonderful sense for the bands and I don't blame them for taking advantage of a situation that others have been taking advantage of for years,' White added." Read more.
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