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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mythology Tour & Bus Bans: Is Celtic Thunder getting too big?

My first thought after reading Sharon Browne's new blog post (click here to read it if you haven't yet) on the Celtic Thunder website- "oh boy, here we go again!" It is a gamble pushing fans away regardless of how big and famous you are, and while Celtic Thunder sells lots of music and merchandise worldwide, and has #1 albums on the world music charts every year, the world music charts are not the pop charts, or radio airplay measures. Most people in most cities in the US, Canada and Australia still do not know who the heck Celtic Thunder is, and their particular brand of family folk music and pop covers seems still to appeal mostly to young and middle-aged women, not exactly a broad demographic. Their marketing plans seem to rely very heavily on the expectation that they will have hundreds of active fans in each area helping to drum up interest in Celtic Thunder (thus their experiment with Social Toaster), and so far it seems to work fairly well.

However, in a world where most music on the radio is performed by celebrities who are cut off from their fans by walls of security, part of the appeal of Celtic Thunder has been that these performers are real people who have real human interactions with their fans. And, from what I have seen over the past year I've spent hanging out with local musicians, I think interacting with fans has helped the performers of Celtic Thunder maintain a better, healthier outlook. They aren't singing to the faceless masses, with a few wealthy or sacrificing fans in the front row who paid the equivalent of a month's rent for a night up close to their beloved singers. As Celtic Thunder gains still more fans (we hope) having the ability to meet fans in a slightly more casual setting like the autograph lines allows the performers in this group to meet a few people each night who did not have to pay ~$100 each just to say hello and shake hands.

Sure, the Celtic Thunder lads don't know all their fans- that would be a nearly impossible task, for sure- but they do remember many of their fans, and they know that they have hundreds of friends of some sort or another throughout each night's audience. Some of those friends may not have the money to buy a 'Meet & Greet" ticket or Soundcheck Pass, but they are all loyal fans who do their best to introduce their friends to Celtic Thunder, not as a marketing ploy, but because these fans feel a connection with Celtic Thunder that makes this group uniquely special and worth sharing.

As a music blogger, I spend most nights of every week out among the musicians. I know how exhausted they are after the show, and how rough it can be performing with a sore throat from being out in the cold, or from smoking or drinking too much. Still, I also see how much meeting fans and hearing from them how much they loved the show really matters. They may not be able to see beyond the front row if the lights are in their eyes, so not only do they enjoy hearing how great they are, but they also enjoy meeting some of the faces they couldn't see during the show. Out of the thousands of people who attended the two Celtic Thunder shows I saw last year, the Celtic Thunder lads only saw maybe 60 fans total because it was cold, and because staying up late is even tougher for most fans than it is for the performers (who stay up past 11pm most nights and are used to that schedule). Many of the fans who stayed behind were people the lads had met before, at a previous show in the tour, or at a show in an earlier tour. So, while they had a few new faces to learn, they also got to see a few of the folks they recognized and knew as friends and loyal supporters. Granted, we are in Colorado, and some of the bigger, crazier venues might be tougher for the lads after the shows.

I suspect that there is a huge overlap between the fans who stay after the shows by the buses and the fans who actually participate in the Social Toaster promotion. The fact that despite not being particularly active this summer, I still rank in the 20's on that promotion's ranking page suggests that there are not very many very active loyal fans, and I wonder how much Sharon's attempts at protecting her artists from bad weather and rude fans might distance those few fans whose efforts make such a big difference in the success of the band as a whole. I know that I can make far better use of the $100 I spent on Celtic Thunder tickets this year if I had used that money to support local artists instead. $100 is equivalent to 20 albums or cover charges, and if I had bought 20 albums and wrote reviews of those albums, it would make a much bigger impact towards promoting live music than paying for myself and my sister to warm two seats of a sports arena for 2 hours.

Considering the expense of touring such a big show as Celtic Thunder, $50/ ticket for the cheap seats at a Celtic Thunder show seems reasonable enough, but for me part of what I would have been looking forward to is meeting the singers again. I enjoyed chatting with Colm and Emmet, in particular, and appreciated meeting Ryan in person after worrying about him for so long last summer. And it bugs me that while I have Keith's autograph, I never actually met him (because a rude fan darted in and started talking to him just as he got to me, and while he still signed my ticket, he and I never even exchanged greetings). I met Trace Bundy when he was in Fort Collins this year, not long after he opened a show for Keith, and we chatted a bit about his show with Keith, but I still want to actually meet Keith. Thankfully Keith has a solo career now and maybe he'll eventually play a show near here, but I had hoped that in the cost of buying tickets to see Celtic Thunder again I could also at least meet Keith long enough to exchange greetings.

I suppose I will always still be a fan of Celtic Thunder, but I don't like fawning over celebrities, and I really do enjoy knowing the people who make the music I listen to and write about. I'm reserving judgement till after I've seen how things actually go in Loveland, still over 2 months away, but this may be the last year I bother buying tickets to Celtic Thunder shows. CDs and DVD's are cheaper and can be enjoyed multiple times, and DVDs, while they don't show the whole show, ever, still have the advantage of a pause button. DVDs are filmed from a lot closer than the back section seats I can afford, too, so I can see the performers' faces and I can sing along without the people next to me scowling at me. And, if I feel the need to meet the singers, I can either write them a letter or find performers closer to home who are available after their shows to chat and sign autographs. Here's hoping, for Celtic Thunder's sake, that I am in the minority, or that I find good reason to change my mind by the end of the tour.

I know for sure that I am not the only Thunderhead to feel this way, nor is my reaction by any means the most extreme. I do understand, I think, where Sharon's coming from in reinstating the bus ban from the early years of Celtic Thunder, and I appreciate how challenging her job is. Sometimes there are no right answers where her job is concerned, and I'm sure she thinks she is choosing the best option, given what she knows. Perhaps the Celtic Thunder lads say a lot more about not wanting to meet us after the shows, once we are not around to hear it. But perhaps, too, Celtic Thunder has gotten too big to have personal connections with its fans, without lots of security, rules and dollar tags attached to everything. Maybe those of us who liked Celtic Thunder when it was small enough to not need those things will simply have to move on. What do you think?

42 comments:

  1. Loved your blog. I can't afford any ticket. I will figure a way to see Ryan and Neil's ABC shows but as for CT they lost me. I was lucky to have met them all in 2011 but day after Christmas I lost my job and now I'm lucky if I can maybe afford to see a movie. I like supporting up and coming talent. I recently wrote a blog about Levi Riggs. He was playing at the venue I've been working at. He is a Twitter follower of mine. He's even sent me tweets as well. I post tweets to him and he actually responds. He's a sweetheart and one day I hope to meet him in person. I have great respect for those artist who want to keep a connection to their fans.

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    1. There is certainly something particularly nice about being a fan of people you can interact with like ordinary people. I have made lots of friends with musicians in my area as a music blogger, and going to their shows is great. They are as happy to see me as I am to see them, and I don't feel at all like the nervous fan I turn into when 'meeting celebrities'. We exchange hugs whenever we run into each other, and as friends (I do always wonder about how celebrities feel about hugging random strangers). But my friends also mostly play to rooms of 20-200 people most of the time, not 2000. I get that the CT lads can't be like that with everyone, and the lads do their best to keep good connections with their fans (they do still just play the 20-200 person rooms when they tour solo or play shows in Ireland). Most 'big' stars don't hang out with fans after shows, actually, but that was one of the things that made Celtic Thunder different in the past.

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    2. Until such time as Celtic Thunder can fill medium size venues for each show, they are not so big that they can do without personal interaction with the fans. They had to downsize the theater in Boston because they weren't selling enough seats.
      Yes, there have been a few occasions when the one of the guys has been groped or kissed but I think they have been blown out of proportions because most of us seem to be hearing about the same incidents. I remember seeing a fan try to kiss George and he casually put his hand up to block her.
      Keith has already rebelled against this ruling and so has Ryan in a far more quiet fashion. Sharon is in the process of cutting off her nose to spite her face with the fans and the lads aren't backing her. The only person who seems to want to limit the fans access to the guys is Sharon herself. And I don't think she is going to succeed.

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  2. You just wrote what I have been thinking. Yes, Celtic Thunder is made up of fantastic music by both the group and by the individuals. I will always buy the music. But if I am such a pain in the a**, then I'll watch my DVD's at home, too. Access to them has always been the #2 drawing card for them, right after the music, and if we don't have that,I'm not about to spend $150 to meet a random duo for a handshake and autograph. And now I'm wondering how much input the singers did have on this decision. Maybe they're just too good for us now?

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  3. I am saddened by the entire situation. I only went to the busses once, after Ryan's accident. It was very dark, and I was alone and a bit scared. I wanted to really see his face, and, feel he was ok. You may be right about them getting too big for little old us.

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  4. No way will I let this mess keep me from following CT. The shows are well worth whatever money I spend. As they grow it will be even harder to be close to them but that is the price they (and we) will have to pay.

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    1. For their sake I hope there are lots of Thunderheads who can afford to keep up with them as they get bigger. They are certainly still worth following, and their shows, at least for those who can afford closer seats, are well worth attending still. Unfortunately that is not always possible for people within the demographic range they advertise to through PBS (most PBS stations still broadcast mostly to the elderly, housewives and families with young children, poorer people, and university educated folks who like educational programming). For a lot of us Thunderheads money is pretty tight, and has been for a while, and paying to say hello to someone is not always a justifiable expense, however much we love the CT lads. I did buy tickets this year to the show here, and I'm sure I'll enjoy it a lot while I'm at the show. But right now, for me, the money I spent on two tickets to their show is equivalent to my food budget for 6 weeks. It is not right or wrong for Celtic Thunder to shift to policies that keep us poorer Thunderheads from meeting the lads, but it is going to push poorer fans away, and some of the poorer Thunderheads are also among their most active and loyal fans.

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  5. I think you don't understand that some of the members of Celtic Thunder have been grabbed,kissed and groped inappropriately!! There comes a time when security is a must. I beleive nothing beats a live show and in regards to the ticket cost..they put on a show..they don't just sing. All members of the group interact with fans via social media sites and they all share so much of themselves with their fans that to stop going to shows because you can't stand by the buses afterwards is your choice but then one is eitheir a true fan or not..perhaps you are not??

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    1. You don't say what city you're from, but I'm guessing maybe you went to a show where grabbing, kissing and groping were a problem. From what I saw at the two shows where I met them last year, the lads were the ones initiating hugs when they hugged fans, and the fans all stood nicely in a line, surprisingly quiet and patient, as the lads loaded their instruments and bags into the buses, and waited patiently in line for their turn to see each of the lads. At the second show there were only maybe 20 people out waiting anyway, so the line turned into more of a cocktail party without the cocktails. If there had been any inappropriate fan behavior the security guard was right there and watching, but there was nothing inappropriate going on. As I mentioned, there were those rude fans who butted in while I would otherwise have been meeting Keith, but the rudeness was to me, not to Keith. They were still very appropriate with him. I don't believe from what I have seen that the Thunderheads are the kind of crazy fans Sharon seems to be describing, but maybe in other parts of the country things did get out of hand and maybe they needed to hire better security guards who would actually step in when needed.

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  6. Personally, I agree 99%. Rather than it being Celtic Thunder's head getting too big, I believe it is Sharon's alongside her stupidity. If she were in it to make CT better, she would have booked NYC, San Diego, LA, San Fran, Pheonix, any show in the south west for that matter. I believe that Sharon is destroying what was once a much sought after group. Mark my words, this will likely be either the ending of the group, or the end of Sharon's time with the group. The guys need to get together and fire her and work to regain Phil!! It's their only hope if they are to proceed as a group!

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  7. Very good and informative article!! You got it....you are a Thunderhead-through and through. I don't think the boys will like this dividing line between their loyal fans and them. Many fans do drive hours or fly to the nearest city where they play--no, I think this is Sharon going a bit far. They are not a teeny-bopper, all-boy band under age....they are all adults! They can handle themselves. And, what about the November 5 day cruise?? Is she going to pay for security to protect them and have a 25 foot or more perimeter for each member of Celtic Thunder?? This is a swift kick in the backside of ALL THUNDERHEADS!! Thanks for the article! Great writing!

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  8. Last year I had the time of my life getting to meet and talk to all of the lads 3 separate times and also a few days in Atlantic City. I paid to have the luxury, or so I thought of watching rehearsals. Sharon made them sound so great. I got 15 minutes and a handful of decent pictures. I never have been able to personally hand one of the lads a gift due to fans who are beyond obsessed with them shoving me out of the way. I tend to be on the polite side. I do know that after what I consider to be a very rude message from Sharon I will not be paying for anything other than a CD ever again. I personally feel like the guys and Sharon think they are this huge, famous group and they aren't. And if they don't realize that shoving us loyal and dedicated fans away is bad then they will find themselves dropping off the world charts. My plan this year was to take my daughter and 5 of her friends to a show for her birthday. My daughter loves the music but after this there is no way I am giving Sharon Browne one more cent of my hard earned money. I can actually take all 6 kids to Disney World for cheaper. I know people will make rude comments to this and that is fine. First Amendment, gotta love it. But deep down I know there are way more fans feeling the same way I am about this than are speaking up. Best of luck to you Thunderheads.

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  9. I agree that this may drive many early fans away as they move on to more approachable "new" artists.

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  10. I think they have become too big. If I want to get closer, I will save my money and go to one of the performer's accoustic shows. The ABC tour, Keith, George, and now even Emmet and Colm are talking private shows. No more CT shows for me. Not even the M & G's are worth it anymore. Sad but truth.

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  11. Very well said! I agree 100%

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  12. I don't think they've become too big I think their fans are crossing the line , they always thought that they 'owned' the guys nobody owns anyone you are an individual , people don't know the fine line of respect and boundaries and they need to learn them . Sharon has put out more than what any other artist does to accommodate their fans and still people feel the need to cross that line all the time . Good luck to all artists out there . and my name is JULIE BEE IF ANYONE IS WONDERING peace !

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    1. Thanks for your reply, Julie. Certainly for a large internationally touring group, Celtic Thunder maintains a lot of fan interaction, mostly because they don't have a lot of fans for touring such a huge area, and their fans are spread out over most of the planet. They almost have to use social media to keep their fans interested in between tours and they keep their marketing costs down a bit by using us Thunderheads as their marketing team, both great strategies for their model of music marketing. The artists Sharon has hired for Celtic Thunder are adults. Ryan and Neil are in their mid-30's, George is in his 40's, and even Colm is old enough to decide for himself if he has the energy and interest to hang out with fans after the show. I appreciate Sharon's concern for them, but I am not so certain that the cold air and groping fans (not that I have ever seen a Thunderhead grope any member of Celtic Thunder) are the primary reasons for reinstatement of the bus ban.

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  13. They are lucky that people want to get their autographs and meet them at the buses... be careful what you wish for, Sharon.

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  14. Here is my only deal about the entire issue. I don't know if the guys have gotten too big or whatever but what I DO know is even though Sharon has to keep the guys safe she had NO right talking down to us like she did in her blog. I'll always be a fan and buy their music but I don't think we should have to face Sharon's sarcastic and demeaning tone. The guys got themselves where they are today with their talents. Sharon wouldn't be anywhere without them AND without the fans with the money.

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  15. I think that it's up to the lads if they met that fans at the bus after the show. Not everyone can afford all tickets when they are in a town.

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  16. I believe like every other band out there Celtic Thunder needs security to protect them Do you know how many crazy people are in this world? I've heard a lot of stories about some rude fans pushing people out of their way just to see the guys and really not caring who is in their way. The members of Celtic Thunder are people just like us . It's better to be a respectful loyal fan than be a rude pushy fan

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  17. I have gone to a Celtic Thunder show every year since they started touring. A couple of tours I have gone to more than one show. They are good, but not THAT good. And they are bigger than they once were but not really BIG. I don't want to stand outside the tour buses and wait for the guys, but I also don't want to help pay a woman's salary who apparently thinks that loyal fans are somehow a pain in her a**. I will see ABC this year, and I will see Keith performing solo, but Celtic Thunder just came off of my "to do" list for this year. Well done, Sharon!

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  18. There is always a proper way to say what needs to be said, and I don't think Sharon's method was professional. Also, we as Thunderheads have been involved with chats with the guys all this time, and we have been led to believe, and, in my opinion encouraged to wait at the bus. Without us, CelticThunder would not be popular, and successful. Fans or lack thereof, make or break these groups. We have promoted this group, and their solo careers simultaneously, and now we are being thrown aside. If there was a recent situation that occurred to merit this out of the blue decision, maybe it would have been prudent to share this information with Thunderheads. I feel there will be a great shift in the devotion, and promotion of CelticThunder. Sharon has diminished the trust established between the fans and the guys. If they cannot handle the spotlight, or the admiration of the fans then maybe it's time for a 9-5 job. Karen

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  19. Sharon is not attacking people who cannot afford certain tickets, it's just unfortunate that we will all lose out! Maybe we should all be more upset with those inappropriate fans!!
    Quite frankly, whilst M&G tickets are expensive (let's not forget CT is not the most expensive performers we could see and that the cost of actually putting on the production is ENORMOUS!) if I pay for M&G tickets, I want my experience and I don't believe people waiting at the buses after should get a longer experience!
    I have been around these inappropriate fans and their behavior is APPALLING!!!! Grown women acting the goat to get their attention (trying to kiss them, banging on the stage during soundcheck, pulling at the guys and at the buses when the guys tried to move on to talk to other fans, pulling them back!) I'm more upset with these people than Sharon
    I do however agree with this blog - here's hoping they don't get tooooo big!

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  20. I save all year long to buy a ticket to see the lads and No I can not afford a meet and greet or a sound check ticket but from what I hear it is not worth the money any way waiting by the bus gave all us THUNDERHEADS time to meet each other as well getting our CDS signed or a picture taken was and still is a bonus They have always been very cordial and devoted to their fans just as we are to them and there has ALWAYS been security around so 1 or 2 jerks stepped out of line don't take away a good thing because there are 2 idiots in the world...

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    1. That's a great point! Yeah, hanging out near the buses is a chance for us to meet each other, too.

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  21. While I was disappointed with Sharon's blog...but she may know more than we do concerning the guys and it is her job,,I would never blame the guys nor stop being a huge fan will remain one! These guys are already the most giving of themselves via social medium and chats...not getting to "grab at them" will hardly deter me from getting whatever enjoyment they have given me thru out the yrs, it would hurt me more than them!! as far as the comment that the boys should "fire" Sharon????? HUH???? she is the one that made them into who they are and only she has the power to fire. I'm sure that there were times the boys really enjoyed these moments ( especially the newbies as this is so new to them ) I'm also sure that there were times the were exhausted and cold and just wanted to eat and go to bed...cuz they are normal. I do know that Keith had mentioned in a chat..that he wasn't comfortable with fans trying to kiss him.....I GET THAT!

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  22. You said pretty much what I had been thinking. When I saw the lads in Milwaukee, they each took their stuff to the bus, got back off the bus, came across the street to sign autographs and take pictures. They seemed delighted to talk to us. A security guard used my phone to take a picture of Ryan and me, then of Colm and me. I use a wheel chair so I stayed slightly away from them so I would not be in anyone's way. Each of the lads came to me when they noticed me. When Neil came over I did not see the security guard so Neil took the phone and recruited a lady in the crowd to help out.
    I now believe that Sharon doesn't care about the fans, but I want to believe that she really thinks her RULES are what's best for the guys. She's not a stupid woman. She was smart enough to put the original 5 together and to rebuild the group when 2 of the 5 left, with no loss of momentum or of fans.
    Ravenmount got 1 thing wrong, the ages of fans. They are all ages and a lot of them are male. Just in my family there are fans that are: girl 6, boy 7, girl 8, boy 22, girl 41, male 42, girl 63.

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    1. You're right, of course. Thunderheads do come in all ages and genders. I suspect that the 'problem' fans that would justify protecting the lads from groping are female fans, of all ages, but the Celtic Thunder band includes women, too. I've met Thunderheads of all ages in person and through the various social media platforms (though sadly very few men, and so far no cute single heterosexual mid-30's male Thunderheads), and in no way wish to imply by what I said in my post that all Thunderheads are alike in age or anything else. Celtic Thunder audiences do seem overwhelmingly female, but not exclusively so.

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    2. Thank you for the clarification, Ravenmount. I always enjoy your blogs.

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  23. Well after seeing the boys last night, I have to say they were as enjoyable as ever. My 2 kida and I have been Thunderheads since the beggining. It was our 4th concert and we had saved up for 2 years to do the sound check party and the M&G as well as the concert. It cost us $255.00 each. While it was worth it and we enjoyed ourselves very much, not just meeting Emmet and Colm, but the other Thunderheads too, I was not impressed by Sharon Browne one bit. She was rude towards the fans that had paid to see the boys and very abrupt with one lady that happened to get her in a photo. Does she not realise that that kind of treatment will alienate the fans? If you are in the public eye and insist on being in the same room as fans, suck it up princess, you chose this line of work so just smile and say thank you as these people are who pay your wages. I also did not appreciate the fact that at the M&G we could get our merchandize signed, shame only a few people wre actual given the chance to purchase as they were running late. So most of us had to scramble to find something to get signed. And why can we not take our own pictures with the boys? why must we wait to find them on the web site, if we are lucky, and 10 mins having a question time is not what they advertise. It was suposed to be drinks and refreshments with the boys chatting and meeting, not a quick rush through so not everyone got to talk to them, and hardly anyone had time to eat or drink anything. 2 years of hard earned money down the tube with not much to show for it. Not impressed Sharon, NOT IMPRESSED. I think someone has becomr too big for her britches. If not for the boys I would stop buying anything from them on princaple.

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  24. Everyone that is a part of CelticThunder needs to get on the same page. We have chatted with these guys all summer and have been encouraged to wait at the buses, being told they can't wait to meet us. If this was not going to be so, I think this information should have been given during the Summer, and not AFTER the tour had begun. The timing to me seems to be about money. If they had announced this earlier, I am POSITIVE not as many tour tickets would have been sold. Aahh, Sharon, the strategy game. You have left a bad taste in many Thunderheads mouths, with the sub-par meet & greets, and sound checks that have an exorbitant price tag, but lack big time in producing what is promised. Thunderheads sacrifice greatly to pay these fees,
    because in meeting the guys and having personal time and autographs is worth it to us. Not being able to
    take our own photographs at the meet & greets is ludicrous. We ALL agree that measures should be taken
    to protect these guys from the CRAZIES, that is NOT in dispute here. Your method, timing, and ESPECIALLY
    the tonage and wording of your blog stinks. You have opened the door to be spoken to in the same manner.
    The fame and popularity rests with the fans. One day in , the next out. I'm glad such arrogance doesn't seem
    to come from the lads, as it seems to ooze from your pores. What about all the Thunderheads who have
    spent so much for the upcoming cruise? What kind oc restrictions will you have out at sea? Maybe lock the
    guests in their cabins? Enjoy the jingle in your pockets, and bank account, because I'm sure it will decrease
    by leaps and bounds. Your rudeness, unfortunately, will cost the lads as well. In my opinion, which I am
    entitled to, You owe the Thunderhead community a MASSIVE apology! Yes, you created the group, but
    without us you are NOTHING!! We spend hours promoting, and finding NEW fans to keep your empire
    moving forward. How about some thanks, instead of talking down to us like we're morons or imbeciles. I repeat you would be and have nothing without the vast amounts of Thunderheads who have followed,
    promoted, sacrificed hours on end, pledged hard earned money to put in your pocket, while we are thought
    of in disdain. You need a SERIOUS REALITY CHECK, SHARON BROWN! Your head has gotten too big, and
    someone around the corner is sure pop it!

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  25. I so agree with your blog, and most of the comments. If Sharon has "total control" of things, she needs to be replaced. If it's the lads decision, they need a reality check.

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  26. I have spent the last 15 months promoting CT in New Zealand, with the help of Universal Music and CT Merchandising in Ireland. I do this as a devoted fan with no agenda other than to get them to New Zealand to tour, which will now happen in 2014. I was offended by Sharons blog. I thought it was arrogant and in some instances rude i.e. "I am the boss". In most instances, when one of the guys has a live video chat, he will say things like "If you see me in the street, come up and introduce yourself. Come round to the bus after the show because I love meeting you all". I believe the ban on bus rule has been brought in because people are meeting the guys "for free". I heard that some sound checks on this tour have been cancelled because not enough tickets had been sold also some of the venues are not sold out. This could be because people who would have gone to a concert are going on the cruise and cannot afford both. I also heard that the cruise has not sold as well as expected, hence the "sail now pay later" and the cut in prices. I think this whole blog was motivated by $$$ and the fact that Sharon is now going to push CT into Europe so she can afford to offend and upset existing Thunderheads who have got CT to where they are now. Perhaps the guys need to take a leaf out of the actions of Celtic Women but also watch their backs after what happened to Phil Coulter.

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  27. Ravenmount,I was pretty much in agreement with everything you said. I was disappointed with this decision & I'm certainly not as enthusiastic about paying to print flyers & drive around town putting them up. I like feeling a connection to a musician & I'm more than willing to whatever I can to support them. Others seem to appreciate my efforts more than CT does.

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  28. I would love to know what happened to Phil Coulter, Do tell. I am very disappointed and will look elsewhere in the coming year to find entertainment if Ms. Brown continues to treat the fans with such disdain.
    Sincerely,
    KT
    Houston Texas

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  29. I have personally seen three (not C. K. or E.) of these guys partying their behinds off with some of the female fans. Hugs, kisses and so much more was not refused by the lads. And the conversations were pure filth. I am not a prude by any means, but this behavior was down right immoral. Most of this partying ended up in hotel rooms. Perhaps Sharon needs to reel in the lads.

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  30. Sharon has ALWAYS spoken as frankly as she did in her blog. If you were in the CT Pub back when it began in the spring of 2008, you will remember that. She was not insulting and if anyone took it that way, that is your perception.
    What she WAS, is FRANK and HONEST. ENOUGH. Enough of this grabbing the guys, trying to get up close and personal. I have been to a lot of shows, some where I've had meets and some where I didn't, but I always heeded Sharon's request to not go to the buses. At every single show I've been to, after the show as you walk to your car and you happen to walk past where the buses are, there have been crowds of fans of all ages by the buses, many of whom are unruly, grabbing the guys etc. Of course there are fans that don't act that way, but the ones that do have definitely ruined it for everyone else.
    Y'all DO NOT have ANY entitlement to seeing the guys after the show.

    I think that the GUYS NEED that time, they have been working all day, every day for days on end, and even if they are in their street clothes and SEEMINGLY relaxed at the buses, they are still having to be "on" for the fans. What if THEY want that time after the show for themselves?

    Now Sharon is having a couple of them be at the merch table to meet fans and sign stuff.

    You think Sharon ISN'T providing you with enough "access" to the guys? Anyone who thinks that they should be able to go around CT management to have their way with the guys is ridiculous. Grow up. You are all incredibly selfish and all about what YOU want, without any regard for the guys.

    Many people actually save all year to purchase a meet and greet ticket, or a soundcheck ticket, along with their show ticket, and many of those are low income.

    These CT shows are NOT overpriced, you are getting a huge bang for your buck.

    There are TONS of us fans who agree with Sharon and will continue to go to CT shows and purchase meet and greets and soundcheck tickets and merchandise, AND we will do all that and NOT bother the guys when they are at the buses.

    Quit complaining, enjoy this group for the great music and entertainment they bring you.

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    1. This sounds like Jojo,Sharon's moderator on CT blog.

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  31. It's a simple matter of supply v. demand. If the performers are freely accessible (at buses, etc.) why would anyone buy sound checks and M&G's? Sharon is a businesswoman. I've also seen the crazy creeper fans of all ages who are under the illusion that the members of CT are "their good friends" and cross the line of familiarity with them. That's the darker side of being friendly with the fans. Not everyone lives in the real world, unfortunately.

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  32. Unfortunately it only takes a few incidents to change policies. I can understand that the lads may at times want to just retire to the bus to unwind and other times don't mind spending some time with their fans. Then there are times when it's vital to load up and get on the road to the next venue. It's a juggling act to keep fans happy, the boys healthy and happy too, while being in the line of fire for those who don't agree with policies. WHat the end result will be for Celtic Thunder in the future remains to be seen. I can only hope that matters won't affect their popularity as individual artists.

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