Once upon a time, fan clubs were run via postal services, paying a certain amount of money for various gifts and letters from bands. Then the internet happened, and forums began with pages and pages of like-minded people sharing their opinions, recent acquisitions and meeting-the-band stories.
Now, we’re at a point where we can find out pretty much anything we want to know about our new favorite band with just a couple of clicks, and the need for fan pages is even greater. We need places to go where we can find those who, like us, have fallen for a new band and need a way to express that. We need to be able to find out exactly what a certain lyric means, who’s going to a show and who’s got the inside scoop on some live footage.
The need for these sites is so great, in fact, that Good Charlotte have even started their own official fanclub site just yesterday: GC Fam, where you can start off with a free membership and explore the burgeoning forums, or you can upgrade to a $10 or $50 membership to watch archived video content, get your hands on some sick looking exclusive merch, including reissue MADE shirts, and more.
Here are some of the best fansites.
Read more: Fandoms you do NOT want to mess with
Fansites are the place to go, and this is the place to go for My Chemical Romance. We’re all still nursing the hurt since they parted ways, so we lose many, many hours to this glorious place. Filled to the brim with song meanings, wallpapers and fan art, the cherry on this emo cake comes in the form of its fan forum. Still active, even four years since the announcement, the devotion from MCR fans is unmatched—though some are coming close.
Fan-run sites are always hidden gems, but occasionally bands have their very own official fan page—most of which come at a premium and sometimes leave you wondering if they’re actually worth it. All Time Low’s Hustlers club, however, costs $25 annually, giving you access to their massive fan forums, a special Hustlers club merch package and meet-and-greet opps on tour.
Perhaps one of the most cohesive, official fan communities, Inside The 9 is an utterly immersive place to binge on your favorite nine-piece, mask-wearing metallers. Go forth and see Inside The 9.
Another fan-run paradise in which you could easily lose hours of your life, Green Day Authority really live up to their name. You can even help out by purchasing some of their site merch, which goes toward the cost of running the website. And once again, don’t forget to check out the forum, which currently boasts over 58,000 members.
Linkin Park Underground is quite simply one of the greatest online communities ever officially released by a band. Just one of the many reasons we love LP is the way they cater to the fans. Bootlegs readily available, immersive forums, meet-and-greets: They were quite literally always about the fans—not to mention the exclusive discography with remixes and demos all for just $10 annually. Oh, there’s also the smartphone app. More bands need smartphone apps.
Of course, one of the greatest punk bands of all time deserves a just as great fansite. While they have blink-182.co.uk, a perfectly constructed fansite with links to everything you could ever need, the real gem in the Blink-182 fandom comes in the form of their Reddit page: Pages and pages of posts from fans sharing their thoughts, questions, unseen footage/performances and just about anything else you could want from Blink-182. The comment sections often lead to (over)heated discussions, but isn’t that what being a die-hard fan is all about?
One of the best-looking fan sites we’ve seen, paramorefans.com has been around for more than 12 years and is Paramore’s longest-running fansite. The staying power comes in the massive forum, but be sure to check out The Fans page, which highlights fans and their artwork, along with bands fans of Paramore might dig.
A band that have pushed boundaries for the last couple of years has encouraged fans to get together and create an incredible creatively-focused community. Not only does the site feature an extensive resources list, including a whole host of interviews, extras, videos and tracks, but also a number of opportunities to submit/create fan fiction and art, along with a page where other fans can leave words of encouragement for others.
Sometimes a band needs a fansite to help you understand and comprehend what they’re doing. A band like Nine Inch Nails, who have as many layers as they do dimensions, always require further reading. To break this fansite down would be doing it an injustice. Its Nine Inch Nails catalogue is so deep, and every release has every variation, including photographs. There’s also a sheet music page which, you guessed it, contains the sheet music for a selection of NIN songs, transcribed and arranged by fans.
Another site run by the band themselves, the Avenged Sevenfold fan club aka Deathbat Nation, comes with a pretty cool tagline: “It’s your fucking fanclub.” It’s completely free to sign up, too, and will get you access to exclusive fan merch designs, potential for meet-and-greets as well as access to pre-sales for tickets. It may not come with shiny exclusives at a charge, but the fact AX7 took matters into their own hands when it came to giving their fans a place to go is pretty neat.