some thoughts around fandom


What are the acts that you associate with fans?

one direction, justin beiber, lady gaga, the beatles, 30 seconds to mars, beyonce, rihanna, drake, manic street preachers, cribs, katy perry, backstreet boys, david bowie, britney spears

What makes a real fan?

buying merch, attending shows, telling other people about them, getting tattoos, obsession/perfume, having a fan title (maggots, directioners, beliebers, kunts), actually listening to the music, watching videos/documentaries, fashion style, tweeting them/messaging them, checking out their recommendations, celebrity endorsements, buying their personal items, ‘I liked gaga before you liked gaga’, not allowed to jump on the bandwagon, dedication, knowledge, going to their other non-music events, actually buying their music instead of ripping it, buying all the different formats, prepared to put up with the ‘crap records’, willing to defend the artist, don’t (and do) care about genre changes, like the artists as actual people, karaoke, music snob

How are artists supposed to act towards their fans?

pose for #selfies, sign merch, speak to fans on social media, donate money to good causes, hold fan events, be encouraging/role model, meet and greet with fans, VIP tix, acoustic songs, video/skype with fans, video updates, new release announcement to fans first/presale for fans, fan competitions, let a fan design their artwork or fan-made music videos, fan-made remixes, dedicate songs to fans, collect stage items from fans

Why do people become fans?

they like the music, they need to find release/lacking emotion, they aspire to be like them, they like the artist as actual people, personality/fashion/genre/style package, personal connection/relate to them, to be cool, to be part of a sub-culture, identity, emotional connection/nostalgia, music helps you through rough patch/healing, enjoy their live performance, inspiration, education/support of causes, musician taking the place of religious or political leader, for the sense of community

How do fans connect with one another?

social media (twitter, facebook, tumblr, youtube, instagram, snapchat, vine, pinterist), fandom groups, at gigs, music/record collecting, street teams, festivals, collaborations, cover bands

Other words for fans?

Music snobs, stalkers, music lovers, musos, nerds, musicians, groupies, obsessives, screaming females, headbangers, indie kids, scene kids, fangirls, fanboys

Fangirls vs Fanboys (varies from genre to genre)

Fangirls: hysterical, screaming, trying to get to the front, can’t communicate, crying, not human, obsessive, abnormal, ‘superficial’

Fanboys: not screamy, excited to friends, very active online/Tweeting, more reserved, like to take pictures but don’t talk, aspire to be like them, true idolization, ‘true’ fans

When good fans turn bad

#cutforbeiber, create trolling accounts to defend the wrong actions of their heroes, fans taking sides against another artist in a vociferous manner, fans being rude to other fans [beiber vs bring me, coldplay vs bring me], willing to forgive/overlook personal faults/actions

 What makes me a fan?

checking out their posts on Twitter
buying their music, supporting them, helping them have bigger hits
willingness to accept all of the music – solo projects, side-projects – not just the main band
sharing the videos with friends and reblogging/reTweeting their posts
getting their name out there, promoting their name to friends, showing their videos and playing their albums to friends, helping the band with exposure by writing or photographing them
checking out what your idols care about, to show them you care as well
doing unpaid street team work
voting for them when they’ve been nominated for awards
being proud of your association with them
sticking by them

Similarities between being a fan and…?

not a replacement for something else, but self-identity is obtained through association with music and subculture and chosen communities; helps with insecurity and feelings of self-worth; provides support system

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