Fan-Tastic: Future Beat Offers VIP Concert Experiences

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Prime seats likes these – and more VIP amenities – are offered by Future Beat

You’re looking to treat your spouse, a client or even yourself to a once-in-a-lifetime experience: to attend a favorite classic rock band’s soundcheck, meet them backstage and then watch them perform from your front row seat. Cheap Trick? Yes? Peter Frampton? You bet! Since 2012, one of the most successful purveyors of exclusive VIP packages by rock stars is Future Beat.

The Southern California-based company offers these experiences at various price points. Their satisfied customers–concertgoers–are helping their business grow substantially: They did 80 tours in 2014, which increased to 125 in 2016. They expect to do “180 to 200 in 2017,” says Future Beat co-founder Andrew Tenenbaum. His formula? “Keep it small, make it truly exclusive and price it below the market,” he says.

Still, the cost of these experiences isn’t for the faint of heart. But it sure beats paying scalpers’ prices (as well as oft-heard stories of fans being ripped off when purchasing counterfeit tickets). The ineffectiveness with the supply-and-demand of the concert business allows ticket scalpers to take advantage of access and mark up the best seats to the hottest shows, giving them enormous profits that promoters, venues and artists don’t see.

[Check out this summer’s Yestival packages. Just click here, pick your date and choose VIP packages.]

What convinced Tenenbaum that there was a big opportunity to turn the concept into a business? He cites the example of his former college roommate, Scott, a lifelong Who fan, whose wife bought a VIP package. “I got a text on my phone with a picture of him backstage with Roger Daltrey. This from a guy who never sent me a pic when his two kids were born!”

It’s a relationship business and Tenenbaum has years of talent experience, including working with the entertainers Billy Crystal and Robin Williams. His partner, David Berger, operated the (pre-Internet) ticket kiosk at a New England-based record retail chain. He left to join Ticketmaster and moved to San Francisco for concert promoter Bill Graham Productions. This led to a senior position with merchandise company Sony Signatures, where he created their VIP program. The company was acquired by Live Nation, and Berger oversaw the giant’s VIP ticketing division.

Tenenbaum and Berger met and recognized a shared passion, which led to their starting Future Beat.

Future Beat works directly with the artists’ management to ensure that fans, willing to pay a premium price, get a truly memorable experience. “They get an amazing seat and meet the artist at a price that’s often the equivalent of what they’d pay a scalper… for just the ticket.”

For meet-and-greets, they typically limit those to 50 fans. “We keep things small. We don’t want the artists to be overburdened,” but want attendees to feel like they’re getting an exclusive experience. Other categories such as a “VIP Tour Package,” which often includes a premium ticket, exclusive merchandise, a laminate and more, are usually offered to up to 300 customers per show.

I went to the Future Beat site, clicked on the Cheap Trick link and looked for a show on their summer tour with Foreigner and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience. For their July 22 concert at the PNC Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., a “Silver VIP Lounge Package,” with a seat in rows 4-10, an individual photo op, a pre-show reception (with beer and wine included), a laminate and much more, is $375. A well-known (and legit) secondary ticket site listed the cost of a single re-sale ticket at $325. For just $50 more, a Cheap Trick fan gets a remarkable experience.

Prices do vary for a number of factors. I checked other acts on the site and saw that a June 16 Hank Williams, Jr. concert has a Side Stage + Meet & Greet package for $650 a pop.

“We always price our packages below the market,” says Tenenbaum. “We want fans to feel tremendous satisfaction and never want them to feel gouged. We make a little less money and we’re fine with that.”

Future Beat’s current classic rock offerings include tours by REO SpeedwagonSlayerStyxDon FelderThe Zombies and more.

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Greg Brodsky
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  1. Guy Smiley
    #1 Guy Smiley 13 March, 2017, 23:33

    It’s stuff like this that has ruined concerts, making it difficult for the average person to be able to afford to see many shows anymore, let alone get decent seats.

    Amazing how, in college, I didn’t have much money but I could see a ton of concerts every summer (and even follow the Dead around to a few different states) but now I go to one, maybe two, shows tops.

    Bands I could see for $20-30 (sometimes under $20) in their prime now cost at least $100, probably more, and the good seats go to the wealthy people with connections and not necessarily the real fans. All this “VIP package” crap just boosts the prices even more, and fewer good seats for the rest of us.

    This “article” is just a shill for this company. No doubt they comped you some sweet tix to some show in exchange for the free ad.

    On the plus side, none of bands/artists mentioned here are ones I care about. Not even The Who. Not anymore, at least.

    Reply this comment
    • Greg Brodsky
      Greg Brodsky Author 13 March, 2017, 23:45

      We always appreciate your comments, Guy. I can assure you there was no “pay for play” or quid quo pro arrangement. VIP ticketing has been part of the landscape for a while and I thought the topic would be of interest to our readers.

      As for the acts featured in the piece… those are among the artists that have current packages available via Future Beat. I intentionally handpicked a bunch of the classic rock bands for the story.

      Reply this comment

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