The Reason Why Meeting our Idols is a BIG DEAL in Fandoms

Today is #7YearsOfPhan! Basically, when Dan met Phil for the first time in Manchester Station at 12:40 pm (UK Time).

What’s special about this is that this meet up was more than just a meet up between the fan and the creator (because he started of as an AmazingPhil fan) but this showed the lengths Dan went through in order to meet his ‘hero’ (Remember: Phil was like one of his role models and inspired him to make YouTube videos).

The common thing when it comes to fandoms is the need to meet our fave celebrities and idols and why we are willing to spend so much money and skip important commitments like school just to see them in real life. We are also dealing with the fact that sometimes, our parents don’t understand why we do these things when in fact, they have done it before at some point at their youth.

I’m looking at you mum and dad. Don’t tell me that you’d do whatever it takes to meet ‘Aldub’ in real life.

Aldub – a ship name of Yaya Dub and Aiden Richards from Kalye Serye (a segment in the Philippine TV Show: Eat Bulaga). It’s one of the current most popular ships in the Philippines with their hashtags trending EVERY… SINGLE… TIME!!!

But today, I shall attempt to give a reasonable explanation on why it is important for us fandom members to meet people who probably won’t remember us and/or uses meet ups to exploit more money out of fans’ pockets and some advice to convince your parents to let you meet them.

1. It’s been done before

Before internet culture, before movies, before video games, before anime, EVEN before Beatlemaina, meeting your heroes or fave celebrities can be traced back (in my opinion) in Religion.

Before I get attacked, I will want to point out that I’m Roman Catholic and in Filipino culture, they expect us to know the main stories in the Bible. Sorry if I do offend people.

In the Bible, some passages talks about how crowds of nearly 3-10 thousand people gather around to follow Jesus and even be healed by him. There is even a Bible story about a tax collector named Zacchaeus who wanted to see Jesus that he climbed up a tree just to see him.

2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

– Luke 19: 2 – 4

In my opinion, it is around the Jesus era is when people are willing to go through such great lengths just to meet someone. And even meeting or being associated with Jesus is risky at the time since the Pharisees and High Jewish Priest wanted him dead due to blasphemy.

You may be asking ‘How is this similar to what’s happening now?

Let’s use Justin Bieber for an example (I’m so sorry to all the beliebers)

When Justin Bieber visited Australia for the first time in 2010, he was supposed to perform live at Channel 7’s Sunrise but it was canceled due to large numbers of fans willing to watch him and created some safety concerns. Some are willing to camp out just to see the guy.

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(Image source)

The problem was, as well as the numbers, was that the number of young girls without their parents. We were urging these girls to move back, and there was plenty of open space, and the girls simply refused

Sydney Morning Herald (2010)

Can we also point out that there was a time where he did some questionable stuff like getting arrested in the past. In Debate.org, it’s a near 50% split if he’s a good role model or not. Besides the comments regarding his music, one topic that get’s mentioned is about how he does drugs and gets arrested that people think he’s not a good influence.

I know comparing what happened in the past to what happened now is a weird concept but if you think about it, it’s near similar. The amount of people that’s willing to meet someone in public, the lengths they would go through, and the debate if they’re good people or not, it’s the same… or at least similar.

2. ‘The odds of meeting them are minimum MUM!!!’

The question on every concerning parent and, in some cases, ‘friends who don’t understand’, is why are we willing go through such lengths just to meet someone who will never be our friend.

And the answer is simple, because this is our only chance to see them. (Even if they do come back every single year, you may never know when they’ll just stay at home forever or stop touring in said country, AKA: One of Australia’s biggest fandom problems).

An example of this can be based in one of my experiences:

When the USA tour was in it’s 4th week, I begged my dad if I can go to the Seattle tour just to meet Dan and Phil because back then, I thought TATINOF Aus is next year. My dad kept calling me stuff not worth mentioning (but it did hurt a bit) because I’m going to be the first in the family to go to the USA. I have the whole thing planned out. I have my grandma who’s willing to help me, I know someone who can still hook me up with VIP tickets and I have the money. And most importantly, I had no university on the day.

My dad kept trying to convince me to not go since it’s ‘selfish’ for me to go alone. But I kept telling him that this is my only chance to see them. In the end, my dad and I made a compromise and he’s willing to allow me to go alone to TATINOF if it comes to Australia and will help pay for my ticket.

The idea behind this story is that I’m basically saying ‘F*** the Filipino morals and stuff, I just want to meet Dan and Phil and I’m willing to travel just to meet them‘. I’m basically throwing away what my parents wants me to have when I grow up out the window just to see two British boys (which gives the concept ‘selling your soul to the phandom‘ a whole new level).

But that’s different to the hundreds of girls willing to sneak out or ditch school just to meet their idols. I know people who actually skipped school just to go to a concert or is willing to pay more money just to see a concert because tickets were sold out. Some even spending hundreds of dollars just to see them.

Sometimes, meeting someone comes with a cost… no matter how big or small. But even if we do want to meet them, the main question we need to ask is this:

3. Is It Worth It?

This is the final concern with parents when it comes to allowing their kids to meet someone, it the money worth 20 seconds of saying ‘hi’?

This will depend on the following factors:

  • The odds of seeing them (eg: will they come back next year?)
  • The cost
  • The safety concerns (eg: time of the event, the rep of the celeb)
  • Clash of plans (eg: do you have school?)
  • Reputation (like will you get bullied just for meeting them)

For some parents, they don’t care and allow you to go freely, and for some, these are somethings that can determine if you should go or not.

And you can’t always say ‘it’s worth it’ because some meet and greets aren’t equivalent to it’s cost.

For example:

TATINOF vs Good Game Meet and Greets

During every Good Game Live/Unplugged shows in the EBGames Expo, the show is at least $10 entrance additional ticket to the general admission (or whatever pass you get) and you have the chance to ask a question to them and the response can be longer than 20 seconds. Or the meet and greet during the expo where you can have 1 – 3 mins with each host and they can sign as many things as you want (and the cost, a general admission fee for one of the exhibition sessions [or whatever pass you get]).

Compare that to TATINOF meet and greet where you get at least 20 seconds – 1 min with Dan and Phil and you only get to have one item signed.

Both meet and greets last for an hour. I guess the difference is that between Dan and Phil and meeting the host of Good Game, you’re dealing with a size difference of at least 100 fans per show/day.

Not all meet and greets are the same depending on the demand on the celebrity hence why some cost too much money while some are free.

But the question at hand is why? Why go through the effort on meeting someone we watch on TV or online? What’s the point?

This varies for multiple reasons depending on the person. It could be that they have some kind of affection towards them, it could be because they want to be validated or be acknowledged of their existence or it could also be because it’s for the sake of seeing them in real life.

I believe the reason for this is that it’s the idea of knowing that these people exist and meeting them is taking another step between the relationship between fan and creator. Because when you meet them in real life, you’re proving to people that heroes don’t have to wear capes and that you’re somewhat thanking them for everything they’ve done. An example is when I met Dan and Phil in TATINOF.

(This argument however is questionable since due to the YouTube sexual allegations in 2014, there have been some concerns with a few fans and parents if letting their kids meet male YouTubers [or even befriending them] is a safe idea).

Another reason is that you’re telling them that they’ve been an important part of your life or what they’ve created had an impact on who you are as a person or someone you used to be in the past. For example, during my Hachioji P and Good Game meet ups, these people represented a part of my identity in the past as a gamer and a Hatsune Miku fan (AKA: me in years 9 – 10).

Or perhaps its because you want to continue an incident that happened between you and the creator. You want to finish off the beef that wasn’t settled when they noticed you on Twitter or Instagram that meeting them can help give you that satisfaction. An example: My meet up with Evan Edinger when I continued off the ‘Box of Milk‘ tweet I sent him, proving that I’m not Canadian. (He still thinks it’s ‘Canadian’ of me to say it thou).

But to most people, it’s just them having a huge appreciation for them that meeting them would just make your day. An example: meeting your favourite band/celebrities. This is most likely the reason why your parents are still questioning why you want to spend so much money for 20 seconds of ‘hello’ so my advice, if you want to meet someone, you need to be able to find a reason beyond this.

But in the end, there are many reasons why it’s done depending on the person. So if you want to meet someone, just go do it, because in the end you will die in your deathbed thinking ‘I finally met them all’.

shia-labeouf-motivation-just-do-it

(Image source)

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Source:

  • Bible Gateway (n.d) Luke 19: 1-10, Retrieved From:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2019%3A1-10
  • Kaufman, G (2010, April 26)  Justin Bieber concert cancelled in Australia due to Crowd Stampede, MTV news, Retrieved From: http://www.mtv.com/news/1637748/justin-bieber-concert-canceled-in-australia-due-to-crowd-stampede/
  • Tatnell, P (2010, April 26), Finger pointed at parents as Bieber fever catches Sydney by surprise, Sydney Morning Herald, Retrieved From: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/finger-pointed-at-parents-as-bieber-fever-catches-sydney-by-surprise-20100426-tmi4.html?autostart=1
  • Debate.org (n.d) Is Justin Bieber a good role model, Retrieved From: http://www.debate.org/opinions/is-justin-bieber-a-good-role-model
  • EBGames Expo (2016) Saturday Schedule, Retrieved From: http://www.ebexpo.com.au/saturday.html [No longer accessible]
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