1. Not me, but my mom got to meet Robert Downey Jr and he ended up asking to crash at her apartment to avoid crazy fans and traffic before his flight the next morning.
2. So I have been a big fan of Reba since I was 5. As a member of the Fan Club I had a chance for backstage passes, and I got them when I was 8. So my parents take my sister and I to her concert with John Michael Montgomery, and because I’m 8, I fell asleep before the end.
So next thing I know I wake up on the way home, find out they didn’t wake me, and my sister and mother got to meet Reba.
They weren’t even fans!!! I’m still pissed they didn’t wake me!!
3. I won a Skype call with Bella Thorne by donating about $1,000 to a charity. I wanted to donate the call to my local school, because I lived in a very poverty-stricken area and knew the kids would love it. Most of the kids had never even seen a stop light or been to McDonalds, so the concept of talking with a celebrity was a dream come true. The school had about 40 high schoolers in the entire school. The school was basically just going to let a few of the kids ask her questions that all of the kids collectively chose. She (or her agent or whatever) refused. So I refused to accept the call. The agent said they MAY be able to work something out. I passed along contact information to the school in case she changed her mind, but the kids I talked to said they never got to Skype her; so I guess the call didn’t happen. The money still went to charity. Still disappointed with Bella Thorne.
4. Went to school with the president of the Dolly Parton Fan Club and bought a raffle ticket from her for “Dinner with Dolly” at Pigeon Forge Tenn. I won and got to meet her and she is honestly the most kind, easy going, fun person to be around ever. Like having dinner with a really close aunt. Really frank about her boobs and plastic surgery and anything else that popped into her head. She is also really, REALLY tiny in person. Like 5’ even. She loves to talk about her home and upbringing. (She bought the theme park that is now Dollywood to save the town of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to preserve it and keep it from getting absorbed by Gatlinburg.) Dinner lasted for like 4 hours but it felt like minutes.
5. This was about 10 years ago. Won a meet and great with Britney Spears before her concert thru local radio station.
We were warned on the night by one of her staff, that she can be rather shy & it was 50/50 as to whether we’d actually get the meet and if we were to meet her, we were told definitely don’t touch her. Sounds harsh, but in hindsight I wouldnt want randoms backstage touching me either.
We were in luck, got to meet her v briefly, took a couple of snaps where she put her arms around us and then watched the gig front row. She was much smaller than you think and was lovely in that little moment. Show was excellent too. Thanks Britney.
6. Parents won a competition to fly with the Black Eyed Peas to their concert. They had a good time, briefly held the world record for highest altitude karaoke.
But here’s the best bit. Not only did they meet up and hang out with the BEP, but Redfoo was also on the flight (before he got famous), and even refilled my Mum’s champagne.
7. During my MBA I got to go meet Warren Buffett and he was about the most down to earth dude you would ever meet. He bought us all a steak and root beer floats which he loves. There were several dozen of us from different schools, and the rule was each school had to bring at least half businesswomen.
8. I won one of these once, for a small meet and greet with a country singer, Carrie Underwood, if memory serves. It was pretty small. Essentially we waited around for hours for the announcement with maybe 75 other people at a pop up tent for a local radio station. The whole time they were pushing this contest where you could buy raffle tickets to meet her, blaring music and hosting their radio show. It was actually pretty chilled out and nice since it had the rule you had to be present to win, so there were a lot of people milling around and just hanging out. The problem was we waited around for several hours and my mother and I go so bored we were leaving when they started the drawing. We figured the odds were so small of us winning anyway that there wasn’t much point in wasting all day standing there instead of going to get something to eat. If we walked away three minutes sooner we would have missed out names being announced, and when they were we were in a mild state of shock and had to go to the table and double check that we heard right. Then we waited another half hour to an hour or so to be ushered back stage where Ms. Underwood was already doing other interviews/meet and greets. She was surrounded by people, from photographers and reporters, to I assume staff and security and other people from other contests for meet and greets too. We were guided to an open spot of floor next to her, got a hug, a brief hello, and an autograph and picture. She was super, ridiculously nice. Overall the actual “experience” was probably five minutes. I have to say I admired her ability to be amazingly polite and courteous under all the pressure of people demanding her attention. The fact that she seemed genuinely happy to see us was something that surprised me. I expected the normal polite but distant thing I’d encountered before with other celebrity autograph sessions and the like, but she was actually engaged with us and seemed to care. So, %99 percent of the whole thing was a bunch of waiting, but the actual thing we won was pretty cool and definitely memorable.
9. My mom won Everclear tickets that landed on my sisters 18nth Birthday. Everclear used to be a pretty famous band from Portland OR, local for us. they didn’t realize that it was backstage passes, they thought it was just like an after party. And they wouldn’t see the band. Cue them crowded around the free food. When my sister sees the band walk in. Everyone was super nice, and my mom hit it off with the guitarist. She had her walker with her. Apparently they both have chronic illnesses, and she got his actual Facebook page. they still talk every now and again.
10. I had a meet and greet with Palaye Royale. They were funny, sweet, and chill.
11. My then husband and I won a radio contest to meet the band Jethro Tull in the 80’s.
It was an epic thing. Ex is a crazy lunatic musician and absolutely worshipped the band, and I was (still am) a weird hippie chick who absolutely worshipped the band.
We were flown to Minneapolis from our nearby-ish hometown, put up in a fairly decent hotel, and driven to the venue for sound checks. I was 5 months pregnant at the time, and the one sad thing that happened during our time with them was that they were hoping to have the female winner stand on stage and be a silhouette during one of their music numbers (90’s special effects, what do you want?) – apparently preggo isn’t sexy so they let an intern do it. Dammit.
But the rest – good Lord. Sound checks were long but interesting – and I still say “icicles, bicycles, spectacles…TESTING” whenever I’m near a microphone, thanks Ian.
Ex drank more than multiple beers with the guys, everyone patted my tummy and told me I was going to have a fine little one and I got a leer from Mr. Anderson himself and a pervy “so then you’d be safe for a shag and no messy lawsuits later, aye?” (Fuck yeah I was flattered and he said it in front of the husband so it was all in fun, no offense at all)
We all went back to our respective hotels for a nap, and then we had front row seats for the concert, drank more beers and had a late dinner backstage with them, ex got to mess about with their guitars and had a mini jam session. It was amazing.
But the best part was that by sheer coincidence, we all went shopping at the same mall the next day. So we’re sitting in the food court of a random mall in middle America, and a crazed Englishman came running up to us and said “ah yeah hey guys, good to see you, thanks for everything, nice to meet you. Oh and if you see our FUCKING DRUMMER tell him to get his ARSE to the car or we’re going to miss our FUCKING FLIGHT, yeah?”
Hearing all these other stories, and having later worked in radio for a brief time, I now know how amazingly lucky we were. This was NOT a typical meet and greet, and I have so much love and respect for the band. At the time they were still pretty well known and they had a big career behind them. They could have been assholes. They could have done the pics-and-gtfo thing. But they were mates and gents and crazy without being stupid. I loved every second of it and it was the best contest I’ve ever won.
12. Won a meet and greet with zztop. When I got to the venue before the show me and about 30 other “winners” waited in the designated area for about 3 hours. When the time finally came zztop walked out of one door into the room and without stopping to say a word walked through the room and into another door. All we got was a wave and a brief enough look to maybe snap one blurry picture.
The tour manager embarrassed as hell handed out some merch and told us to enjoy the show. We all thought he was kidding but we were quickly pushed out from backstage and back into the general area.
13. My neighbor bought a dinner with George Bush and was pissed because apparently they just ate Doritos while standing up.
14. I won a post show meet and greet with Michael Bolton. I couldn’t give the tickets away so had to go to the concert. Got a signed CD and a t-shirt out of it. He was grumpy and obviously did not want to do this. He couldn’t muster up the enthusiasm to do more than smile during the awkward photos. I felt sorry for his actual fans in the room because he was so reluctant to even pretend to be happy for 20 minutes.
15. My mom and I won tickets to have lunch with the band Casting Crowns quite a few years ago. We were really excited about it, but we won them months before the lunch was supposed to take place, so we wound up forgetting all about it. I found the tickets a few months after the lunch had passed and realized that we stood up one of our favorite bands.
16. Got to meet with a Utah Jazz player (Royce O’Neale) and then get to shoot a basket on the Jazz court in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was literally just a 45 minute line, not even a minute to see him, got to have something signed, and then leave. So literally just get to say hi, have something signed, and get a picture. Then next person. Taking a shot on the court was cool though. Most people couldn’t make it. I somehow did. (note I am not good at basketball for the life of me)
17. Won backstage passes and a meet-and-greet with Korn, Disturbed, and Trustcompany back in 2002. There were about a half-dozen of us in total in the group, so it wasn’t a total mob, which was nice. All the bands put on great shows individually, and the meet-and-greets were sincere enough – a handshake, a thanks-for-coming-out, and a picture with the band. What was most memorable was a couple of the guys from Trustcompany hanging out with us after their set and meet-and-greet was done and watching Disturbed and Korn’s sets – fans just like us, which was pretty cool. Never really followed their music after the first album, but it’s a good memory.
18. Won a trip to NY fashion week in 2006 from doing a quiz sent to me in email from glam.com.
I got to take a guest (took my little sister) and we were flown to NYC, driven around in a Lincoln towncar,
We were taken to Diane con furstenburgs shop and picked dresses off the rack for free to wear to her fashion show. Went to bergdorf Goodman’s and got mani/pedi/brows/makeup done. Went to the fashion show and I ended up walking down to floor level and meeting / taking a photo with Susan Sarandon.
We went to the DVF after party at her loft and met her at the afterparty. I’ll never forget it was super bowl Sunday and a bunch of people were watching the super bowl during the party.
It was neat.
19. My mom won a lunch for four with Delilah Renee, who is a radio DJ syndicated all over the U.S. but based in Seattle. Her show is very heartfelt, romantic, and positive with many feel-good stories and tales of love. She is a gorgeous and tall, Junoesque blonde, and we didn’t know what to expect–would she make us hold hands and sing Kum-bay-ah? Would we have to tell our marriage stories or about the best day of our lives?
That is not how it went. She cursed like a sailor and had a wicked sense of humor. She was honest about her several failed marriages, and she had her latest boyfriend with her who was just as funny as she was. She has adopted many children from around the world and lives on a farm across the Puget Sound. It was most enjoyable and surprising, plus the lunch was a brunch buffet at Salty’s, a popular local restaurant, and the food was amazing!
Our favorite story she told was how over the years, when she has been going through divorces or other heartache, she has been taking calls from listeners who are gushing about their charmed love stories. She has to put them on mute or hold sometimes to sob her eyes out, swear a bracing stream of obscenities, then get back to the caller, all serene and encouraging. Great lady!
20. Won a bid for tickets to have dinner with a member of a japanese pop/rock band my sister and I were fans of. We got picked up in a van with the other 3 winners (we all joked we were being kidnapped) before getting to a thai restaurant. Told us to eat before he got there, so we did. Then he showed up and was super kind and courteous, even speaking through a translator. Middle of dinner a friend/bandmate of his just drops into dinner like “yo what’s up”. Very cool. Ended with pictures and poses and just overall a great time.
21. Got free tix and back stage private meet and greet with B.B.King at House of Blues in Chicago. After show, got escorted up above the stage and through some catwalks by a huge bouncer dude who said “Follow Me” and “Go in here.” and nothing else until I left and he said “Thanks. Good night.”
BBK was super chill and cool. He was eating applesauce and cheese cubes (something about diabetes?). We got a picture and I thought that was pretty much it. When he found out we were both from Mississippi, he invited me to sit down and shoot the shit with him about our favorites Miss. restaurants in my hometown, Biloxi, which he had been to a bunch of times on tours. Anyways, just a really cool, laid back dude.
22. I was about 11 and it was one of those send in contests. (Really showing my age.) Anyway I was a huge wrestling fan, we didn’t have the internet and I was young so I KNEW wrestling was real. There was a contest where you could send in and meet with your favorite wrestler, mine of course was Kane since he was a total badass. I never win anything so I was super surprised when I heard back and I won. I was the happiest little kid ever. The day I got to meet him I was so excited, I wore his mask to the event and I remember asking young kid questions like “how did you survive getting hit with weapons” and stuff like that. He was a great guy, I asked him to chokeslam me through a table but he respectively declined. Thinking back he was very nice to my mom, who was single at the time. Makes me wonder…..
23. Not sure if this counts, but I got to meet and hang out with the local pro hockey team (Ottawa Senators) after winning a contest where we had to guess where the alumni players were and then go find/high five them at a bank. It happened to be down the street, so I ran down there, had my photo taken with Denis Potvin, and won a new (at the time) black heritage jersey.
Out of all the winners of that contest, they picked a few of us to go down to ice level and chat with the players before a playoff game (I think it was against Pittsburgh.) My friend and I were already going to the game, so I gave the pair of tickets I won to his parents.
Overall it was a really cool experience. I chatted with a few of the players before they went on the ice, they were asking us about the contest and who we cheered for and then we were allowed to high five them after warm up.
24. I had a Meet and greet with Kenny Chesney when no shirt no shoes no problem album came out. He was shorter than I expected. He was very nice to everyone but I never got a chance to introduce myself or get a picture or anything. I won a contest along with fifteen or twenty others, they were mostly women, and the lady with Kenny organizing the introductions and I’m guessing she ran the meet and greet in general pulled me out of line with no context and left me hanging there. I was 14 and didn’t know what to do so I waited and after everyone else got through the line we were shown out of the room. It broke my heart because i just wanted an opportunity to tell him he recorded my favorite song ever. It’s still my favorite to this day. I really regret not standing up for myself.
25. I once won an opportunity to meet Jamie Oliver and have a catered lunch with the other winners (there were other winners too) and some additional special guests who had also been invited. There was a lot of food and the whole thing went for about 3 to 4 hours. I had almost zero expectations, so it was pretty good. They were generous with the food and time, and Jamie made sure he went around and talked to all of us. I got a personally signed book as well, which I wasn’t expecting and was done towards the end as it was wrapping up.
He’s a very nice person, exactly like he is on TV. Very open to having people walk up to him and chat. Not at all pretentious or dismissive, like some other celebrities who I’ve heard put on a fake-friendly public persona.
Reading some of the comments I’ve seen posted about him make me a bit sad, I’m sure some people just don’t like his personality or style for whatever reason, but from my experience meeting him in-person he really is a pretty cool and friendly guy.
26. My boyfriend’s mom had a friend who was obsessed with competing in sweepstakes. So she’d just sign up for stuff she didn’t want. And one day she won one of those Danimals sweepstakes to see the Naked Brothers Band. She didn’t want it so she gave it to my boyfriend. He went and said it was so weird. They were just in this weird hotel ballroom with a few other kids and the youngest member of the band was just running around and acting crazy and other members were just awkward, considering they were kids. He said it was pretty bizarre and boring.
27. Had dinner with the French rugby World Cup team in 1987.
They spent the night flirting with my mother but like their effort in the final against the All Blacks they came second.
28. Back in 2005 I called in to a local radio contest on like a Tuesday to win free tickets to see Maroon 5 in concert on the upcoming weekend. They were giving a pair of tickets away like every hour and I was the correct caller to get a pair of tickets. Later that same week someone from the radio station called me back to say that I’d been chosen as the grand prize winner among of all the people who called in for free tickets, meaning that I got to sit side stage on a little private stage of my own with my guest and also got a meet-and-greet with the band before the show.
The meet and greet part was hilarious. There was a long line of like 50 or more people who had also won meet and greets through various other contests from other radio/TV etc. so we all got shuffled up to the band like an assembly line. Band member 1: shake hands, “hi, nice to meet you!” Band member 2: shake hands, “hi, nice to meet you!” Etc. we weren’t allowed to take pictures and there was no photographer present. Whole thing with the band took under 30 seconds. I did tell Adam Levine that I liked his sweater, so there’s that.
Getting the side stage tickets was totally rad, though. It was a great concert and they were just starting to get big, only had the one album out at the time.
29. Friend of mine was ‘won’ a spend the day / ‘asked’ to sing with Shania Twain at a concert. She was the lead in a big play in the area, why she won.
She was picked up in a limo, brought to the venue & given instructions, saw Shania for about a minute, and then ended up singing with her onstage where Shania was quite the actress encouraging her to sing.
Then after the show they drove her home. So like a minute with Shania.
30. 20 years ago I won a contest to meet a famous (at the time) pop-punk band (MxPx) and go to the studio with them to see them record their new album.
It was actually amazing. They flew me and my girlfriend into LA and put us up in the same hotel as the band was staying. The guys in the band were surprisingly down to earth. They were funny, not stuck up at all, and really easy to talk too. The singer was a bit of a sex symbol but didn’t give off that vibe. He was a regular guy.
We hung out at the hotel the night we got in. We went to one of their rooms, listened to music, had some drinks (nothing exessive) a couple of the guys played PlayStation. I had a long talk with the drummer (who always seemed quiet) about a musical artist in another genre we were both obsessed with (Morrissey if you’re curious) and it was great.
The next morning we did a bit of tourist stuff in LA then they drove us to the studio. It was like in this garage in an industrial area, not at all what I expected. This was a really well known studio too.
So we go in there and we just hang out in couches, chat with the producer for a while (who did a lot of well known albums) and then the singer spends like 4 hours recording background vocals for a single song. It was very educational. The whole album was basically recorded on a computer and they had this computer ninja doing all kinds of edits on the fly.
Then we all went to Thai food and they took us to an awesome record store in Hollywood they liked.
We said goodbye, spent the next day doing more tourist stuff and flew home. It was an incredible experience.
When the album came out nine months or so later it was incredible to hear the song we witnessed recording. I still love hearing it.
The band and genre aren’t so popular these days but I still listen to them because of what nice, regular human beings they were.
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