For those willing to shell out extra dough, purchasing a VIP package to accompany your ticket to some of this summer's hottest tours can either be a waste of money or an investment in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. From photos to exclusive merch to spending quality time with your favorite stars, here's a breakdown of some of the summer's biggest VIP packages and our take on whether or not they're worth the cash.
Price: Beyfirst Package, $1,505
Includes: A reserved front-row seat; a pre-show reception featuring free booze and food, as well as your favorite Beyoncé hits and "themed decor"; a souvenir seat-back cover; your own parking spot; "crowd-free" merchandise shopping; an exclusive "merchandise item"
Experts Say: "The bottom line, to me, with these packages is, do you get to meet the artist?" says Warped Tour producer Kevin Lyman. "There's no meeting Beyoncé here. Eliminate all that other stuff and get Beyoncé to shake your hand, and I bet you would be just as happy."
Price: The Ultimate VIP Dressing Room Package, $10,000
Includes: You and three friends get a dressing room backstage, including your own rider; Jonas and Lovato will both visit you in your dressing room to "say hi," sign items and take photos; access to a stage-side lounge; poster hand-signed by Jonas and Lovato; dinner in "tour catering," presumably alongside confused roadies.
Experts Say: "The artists are really committing themselves here – they are actually going to come out and spend some time with you," says Lyman. "This is what people want: access to the artist, bathrooms and bars. Although I would hate to be the father that has to write that check."
Price: Ultimate Experience Package, $2,500
Includes: A reserved front-row seat and the chance to watch the band's soundcheck; a photo with Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi; you'll get to go into Ozzy's dressing room and ask him whatever you want; a pre-show reception with an open bar; an "on-site VIP host"
Experts Say: "There's a market of people willing to pay for a greater experience than just going to a show," says Dennis Arfa, agent for Metallica, Rod Stewart and Billy Joel. "People want to buy into a party. This is a good package – it's basically one step below having a drink with Ozzy."
Price: Welcome to the Jungle Pit Experience, $1,750
Includes: A spot in the general-admission pit, right in front of the stage; a backstage tour and the chance to ask questions to "select members of the GN'R crew"; access to the Paradise City backstage lounge; a party area with a photo booth and the chance to play in a GN'R trivia contest; an onstage photo before the show
Experts Say: "There's clearly no access to the band," says David Viecelli, agent for Arcade Fire, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, and more. "I'd say it's not worth the money. I feel for the crew who have to put up with this nonsense. I'm imagining the production manager: 'I gotta do what? Fuck me.'"
Price: 6 God Meet and Greet Package, $1,000
Includes: Ticket in the first five rows; professionally taken photo with Drake; 6 God candle; 6 God incense holder; 6 God custom disposable camera; 6 God picture frame; 6 God foam hand; Summer Sixteen pins; Summer Sixteen patches; Summer Sixteen car freshener; Summer Sixteen "floaty pen"; Summer Sixteen bag
Experts Say: "That sounds like a lot of goofy cheap stuff that I think people are meant to ascribe a higher value to than [they] really should be," Viecelli says of the package. "The whole value is you theoretically get to stand next to Drake and prove it, and you get a really good seat. The rest of it seems like a lot of fluff. I guess it would mean something to a real fanatical fan."