Print the e-mail!
Probably the most important suggestion for anyone heading to a gig with a camera bag.
Getting to have a photo pass is a long process. It usually starts with an e-mail written to an obscure contact and ends several days and many e-mail (and phone calls) later. Unless your agency sort them out for you.
This is the first step…you got the right person…but you are not even close
This person will never get back to you, so be ready to start e-mailing and calling again.
When the person in charge, under your pressure says something like this, you are almost there but still not OK, not yet:
It goes without saying that he will not be back to you nearer the time.
So closer to the date write again until you receive something like this.
Now, if you just want to take pictures, you are fine with such a message, but if you want to stay for the show ask if the photopass will be enough. It is not automatic everywhere. Read also my “list of venues” for more information.
If you get confirmed by phone that is ok, that your name is written on the list in front of their eyes, don’t trust them. Insist until on your mailbox lands a message as clear as these:
Now you are in, but you have a last key thing to do: PRINT THE E-MAIL! and bring the hard copy with you!
Whichever guest list you are on: press list, photo pass list, all access area list, after-show party list; whoever put you on it: the venue, the band, the PR, the label; you always stand a good chance that your name has been forgotten.
If it is the case, to say: “I was confirmed by phone” is useless. Even if you remember the name of the PR guy who put you on, it will be too late to talk to him and the gig is just about to start.
It happens much more often than you think, at least here in UK, so don’t leave your place without having in hand something like this, simple, easy and very clear:
PS-Ah…this last one, I wasn’t absolutely fine at all! They didn’t let me in. There are exceptions to confirm the rules. Either bad luck or lack of organization, you get to use your creativity then..or go home.