Would you pay more than £1,000 to meet your idol?

Sarah Coles
Meet and Greet celebrities for £1,000 or more
Meet and Greet celebrities for £1,000 or more

Celebrities have realised they can cash in on fans who are desperate to meet their idol. They are willing to pay a small fortune to meet the stars for a few minutes, have a quick chat, get a selfie, and possibly leave with an autograph.

So how much would it cost to meet your idol, and how can you do it on the cheap?

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The 'meet and greet' is a serious money-spinner. It has been driven partly by the fact that music streaming makes it hard to make money from selling music. As a result, musicians need to make a fortune from tours. They know people will pay through the nose to meet them, and this can add hundreds of thousands of pounds to their tour revenue.

It has also been driven by demand from fans, who connect with their idols direct on social media, and want to do so in the real world too. They are more than happy to pay whatever it takes - so there's a keen market, happy to pay the price.

The cost

The cost of a 'meet and greet' varies dramatically, and some stars charge an arm and a leg for a VIP package where you get to meet them before or after a performance.

In 2009, for example, Beyonce charged £1,265 for a package including a pre-show party in a VIP room with dinner and a complimentary bar. You also got a personal meeting, a goodie bag and a front row seat.

Lady Gaga charged a similar price (£1,200) for a VIP ticket that got fans a seat on the stage during the show, plus a photo with Lady Gaga and a goodie bag.

Madonna, meanwhile, charged £1,195 for meet and-greet tickets at her Hyde Park concert in July 2012. The incredible cost was largely due to the fact that the star hardly ever holds these, and there were an incredibly small number of them released.

But perhaps most impressively, this year Metallica charged £2,099 for a pre-show party with two drinks and a buffet, plus entrance to an exhibit of band memorabilia, a poster, a t-shirt, a seat in one of the first two rows, a signed set list, and a meet and greet with members of the band. The tickets sold out.

Cheaper alternatives
If that's a bit rich for your blood, there are five cheaper alternatives.

1. Choose your idols carefully
While global superstars may be able to charge thousands of pounds, you can buy tickets to meet famous people for far less - if their profile isn't quite at this level. At the moment, for example, you can buy a VIP Meet and Greet ticket to see Peter Andre hosted by Pay Sharp in Milton Keynes, for £75 plus fees.

Alternatively, you can pay £135 to see John Cleese at the London Film and Comic Con, where you get time for a chat, a selfie and an autograph.

2. Check the lists at conventions
Assuming you're not targeting A-Listers, there are some stars who show up at conventions and don't charge the earth for an autograph. Walking Dead star David Morrissey, for example, will be at the same convention as John Cleese, but will only charge £25 for a signed photo and a chat (You're bound to be able to squeeze a selfie in). Christopher Lloyd (of Back to the Future fame), meanwhile has a number of options available, but starts at £35 for an autograph, and Colin Baker (Dr Who) charges just £15.

3. Hang around
If you are wiling to put in the time, you will meet the stars. Every star has seen their super-fans waiting for them often enough to give them a wave, and have a quick chat. You can track them down everywhere from outside TV appearances, to leaving stage doors and before concerts. The general rule is that the earlier you arrive, the more of an impression you will make, and the more likely you are to see your idol. This particular approach is free, but don't underestimate the many hours you will need to put in to be seen as a super-fan.

4. Go to a book signing
For the price of the book you will get a quick chat and possibly a selfie. Some authors really put the time in to talk to their fans during signings, so you could get the chance for a more meaningful chat. Bear in mind though that popular stars will have huge queues, so make sure you arrive far earlier than you think you need to.

5. Go to a TV show filming
You aren't guaranteed a one-to-one with your favourite stars, but if you get there early to see them arriving, they may stop to say hello. You don't have to pay for tickets, Applause Store always has free tickets on offer. At the moment, for example, you can get tickets to A League of their Own, Celebrity Juice and the X Factor.