This is interesting, I pulled these marketing facts down from a SXSW fans/merchandise seminar.
Here's the breakdown:
1) Super Fan - will pay 100$ -200$ in merchendise and concert tickets to see you.
I've totally done this for a select few. The most I've ever paid to see a music group was 750$ for an Eagles concert in Kansas City, MO. We got those tickets threw All Access. For that event, they set us up with a nice dinner before the show, we got to meet some of the roadies, and got Eagles merchandise. Was it worth it? For my mom it was. I only went with her as a chaperone and plus it gave me time to visit with my friends in nearby Lawrence, Kansas.
The second most money I've ever paid to see a performer was Madonna - Sticky and Sweet tour. Those tickets were 350$ a pop. That was my first Madonna concert and I'm so happy I got to see her perform live. Cher, Celion Dion, and Bette Midler cost that much too, will I ever pay that kind've money again to those artists, hell to the mutha fuckin no, there is only one Madonna.
2) Active Fan - will pay 50$ - 150$ randomly
This one has been me lately. When Margaret Cho is in town, I've been known to shell out atleast 50$ - 60$ depending on what kind've show she's doing. She's been known to offer 150$ for a VIP meet and greet and since I've met her on more than one occasion, I usually pass, that and because she's a bitch.
3) Personal Fan - will wait for a free show - 50$
Recently I waited in line for 3 hours to see Adam Levine play a free concert at the Fillmore in San Francisco. Adam was totally worth it, even though he plays estrogen heavy music, his show made me feel feminine and demure, loved it.
Also, recently I got see the Doobie Brothers play at a free concent in the Apple Store downtown SF. That one was totally unexpected. I was seriously checking my email and saw a long line in store and when I heard who was playing, I was like sure why not.
4) Potential Fan - Example: I'm gay, therefore I should be a Lady Gaga fan.
I'm really picky about who I follow and why. The last really great concert I saw in SF was Estelle. I liked her whole album - Shine. Usually it takes an artist 7 - 10 albums before I'll watch their whole show. Seriously, there are too many one hit wonders out there, so unless they can fill a whole set list with great music, then I'm not going to fuck with them.
Sucker Fan - Wrong place wrong time.
This catagory wasn't in the original list but I'm sure everyone can atest to this one. I've never been duped into seeing somebody I didn't want to see but there many times where I was like, "where the fuck am I, who the fuck on stage is that" ??
All in all I'd have to say I'm a pretty devoted fan. If I didn't like my artists then I certainly wouldn't pay to see them.
The way I look at the whole idol/fan worship thing, we as fans invest a lot of money into our artist, hoping they continue to inspire us and make us feel good about ourselves.
The only difference between the fan and the artist is that the artist decided to pick up the microphone, paint brush, pen, instrumament, ballet shoes, and make their feelings known to the universe. They're not doing anything that anyone couldn't do for themselves, make a difference people, this is your life too!