Have you suddenly found yourself famous? After years of playing in your friend’s garage, or a lifetime of early morning baseball practice, or a series of parts in a cereal advertisement, you are finally starting to hit it big. Congratulations! Unfortunately, this fame can come with some undesirable side effects.
Unruly fans can range from drunk and violent spectators to people who are obsessed with following you around in an attempt to share in your fame. Don’t let unruly fans ruin your newfound fame! You can follow several simple steps to get rid of your unruly fans while avoiding any possible negative publicity or stories in the news at the same time. Keep reading to find out how.
1. Establish the ground rules.
No matter what kind of fans you have, you should always try and establish some ground rules with them. It is usually swell to have some fans and supporters, but you need to let them know what kinds of behaviours are acceptable.
You can circulate your rules or expectations on your social media page, or you can post some general rules on tickets or posters that venues that you will be performing at or playing in.
Here are some solid general rules: people with weapons will not be admitted. Also, you should make it known that any fan that is clearly drunk or under the influence of drugs will not be granted access to the venue. Only ticket holders should be allowed to attend the event, and if anyone becomes unruly or tries to disrupt the concert, you will be well within your rights to have them removed.
2. Hire some protection.
Nothing gets rid of unruly fans faster than a professional security service. Do some research to find a reliable service in your area. These guards are well trained to handle just about any kind of situation. If they think that your personal safety is in danger because of unruly fans, they will do what it takes to keep you safe and stop the problem before it gets out of hand.
Keep in mind that some fans will not appreciate seeing armed security guards all over the place. You can try finding security guards in plainclothes, or you can have them be as discrete as possible so that it doesn’t look like you are in need of constant protection.
You should note that some security services can be very expensive. Do you have the budget to afford the services they provide? If you do not, you can consider hiring some bouncers instead.
Anyone you hire should be cool and calm in any kind of scenario. You do not want some meathead bashing in skulls for no reason. They should be fairly big, but they should know when to use force and when they should use basic reasoning. If they do need to use force, they should be trained in the best ways to do so.
3. Make a security plan.
If you have hired some professional help, you will need to make a plan with them to cover all of the important entrances, exits, aisles, and any other openings where unruly fans can cause problems.
It is possible to simply scatter security guards around for smaller venues, but bigger ones will certainly need a well considered plan to work effectively. Take the time make a solid plan; you will be happy you did once the event begins.
Remember that your fans are there to see you perform or play, and they likely paid a lot of money for this privilege. You should cut them some slack to let them have fun and enjoy themselves, but there are limits, of course. Let your security know what kind of limits you consider acceptable.
4. Establish physical boundaries.
Your fans should have a basic sense of what you expect to see from them. Some fans think they have a right to storm the stage or the field to try and enjoy the show up close and personal, or even become a part of the show.
You should always have a “no trespassing zone” on the stage or field that you are playing on. Whenever you are in this zone, you should always be in control. If it is a stage, have your security guards stand around it, or at least try and keep this area as separate as you can.
If anyone crosses this line, have them tossed out. Rules are there for a reason: to be followed!
5. Don’t fire up the crowd.
There is nothing wrong with making sure that your fans are having a good time. But you should always remember that there are limits to this behaviour. The wilder you are on stage, the rowdier your fans will likely become.
Music and sporting events in particular usually lead to some high flowing emotions. If you can try and control your own reactions, you should have an easier time with your fans as well. If things do get a little heated, your security should be around to come to the rescue.
6. Gauge your audience.
You might be getting too carried away during your show, and you are not noticing the type of reactions that your performance is causing in your fans. Remember that getting rid of unruly fans starts with keeping them in control in the first place.
Always be mindful of fans who might be acting out, or who are on their way in that direction. Sometimes you simply have to stop playing a song during your set, or a sporting match might need to be temporarily put on hold.
These are your fans, after all, and chances are they have a lot of respect and appreciation for you. If you can make it known to them that you do not appreciate their behaviour, they should quickly get back in line.
7. Be firm but remain polite.
Some fans can get a little greedy or demanding at times, especially if they manage to get in close contact with you (during autograph signings, for instance).
Always thank your fans for their support, but of course, you won’t have time for a one-on-one meeting with each and every one of them, even if you wanted to. Some fans might get unruly if they think you are taking them for granted, but most fans should respect your busy schedule and the amount of people you have to see.
If your fans continue to be unruly, call in your security to handle the issue.
People who experience any level of fame can expect to come across some disorderly fans at some point in time. Getting rid of these unruly fans takes some planning and patience, but it is not impossible to do so, of course. Hopefully you have attracted the right kind of fans who are naturally reasonable, but if not, follow the above suggestions and your next performance should go off without a hitch.