*Beware, this is long, I just wanted to get everything out...just skim through if you want*
Okay so. The 8am rule is being pretty strictly enforced--and it's not just a venue specific thing or something that will differ with each place. My friend who also came from Canada and I were planning to camp out a day in advance, but when we went to the venue the day before, we were told to remove ourselves from the premises or risk being disqualified from the Monster Pit. The security, at least in Bulgaria, were pretty nice about it and they just explained that this is the word they were given from Gaga's team and that they were just following it. So I assume the local security for each BTWBall will be advised the same. We expressed some of our concern to one of the guards--that at 8am it will just be a giant **** show and rush to the start of the Monster Pit line, and we told him that people were BOUND to show up in the middle of the night and be off property etc…he told us that there were cameras watching anyone who went on the property, and that we should just try and form a line ourselves on the sidewalk off the property until 6AM, when he told us it would be okay to form a line on the property, and he showed us specifically where to stand at 6 where it would be okay (not actually IN the MP line, but right beside it). So, after being sent home, my friend and I returned again at 2:30am with the plan to just wait off property until 6am and then migrate to the place the guard told us. Low and behold when we showed up though, there was already a boy there waiting. He had been there since 11:30pm and had somehow managed to evade security. We were a little disappointed at first as we were pretty determined to get the Monster Key and go backstage, but the disappointment didn't last for long as he told us that he was there alone and he had planned to take the next people in line with him backstage…that meant us! So we were pretty ecstatic. But we still had to worry about actually MAINTAINING our positions in line, as until 8am it's pretty much a free for all. So we decided we would implement a number system. I had a sharpie, so we drew a number on everyone's hand as they arrived. The Key holder was #1, my friend was #2, I was #3, and so on. My two other friends who had ALSO been kicked out when they tried to camp the day before arrived shortly after us, and so the 5 of us waited until about 4am when some more people came…and then from then on it was a pretty steady flow of people, with the most traffic coming between 7-8am. We kept up our numbering system and the fans who were coming respected it. Every person that showed up, we approached and explained what we were doing, and numbered them. Everybody seemed to think it was fair and a good idea, and most people liked it as it also allowed them to leave their spot in line and come back freely. Everybody respected the system, perhaps a little bit TOO much as at certain points in the day, the MP line was a COMPLETE mess…people were just leaving their spots and wandering all over the place cause of their numbers, it was a giant party. But thanks to the numbers we could get organized again.
Anyway, getting ahead of myself a bit…so at 8am, we were all calmly escorted from where we were waiting just slightly on the property, and into the Monster Pit line. We were still numbering people as they arrived, and the security even noticed what we were doing and were referring fans over to us to get numbered. The security kept asking me throughout the day which number we were at lol. This particular Monster Pit could hold 500 people. If it weren't for the number system we implemented, I think things would have been a mess. I really think it's something that Gaga's team should adopt due to the "competitive" (hate to say, but it is) nature of the Monster Pit. It allowed people some security and peace of mind that they weren't going to lose their spot. Anyway, in terms of security, there will be guys from Gaga's team who travel with her who are very well informed, helpful and nice about Monster Pit happenings and rules…then there is local security, who I found to be a bit clueless for the most part, which is partly why we fans kind of took over organizing our own line, because they were doing practically nothing.
At around 12ish I'd say, someone came and got the key holder and brought him back to have his photo taken with the big key and have him sign it. They asked him who he was bringing backstage and gave him instructions on what to do to go backstage (the key holder doesn't get a backstage wristband or anything): he was told that he and the 3 chosen people were to exit the Monster Pit stage right during TEOG. Around 4:30/5 we got the line organized again, and they let us into the venue in small chunks. We went inside, got out bags checked, got wrist bands, lined us up right outside the door to the floor…then they walked us into the pit. Or at least tried, because of course some jerks decided to run and push and cause a mini stampede trying to get front row, despite security yelling to WALK. I still managed to get front row centre. But man, it was SQUISHY! I've been to 3 Monster Balls and several other Gaga events (GMA, Jingle Ball, MMVA) and never have I ever been this squished or pushed. Maybe it was just Bulgaria and there overwhelming enthusiasm for Gaga (she'd never been there before!). But regardless, pretty uncomfortable.
Lady Starlight came on at approximately 6pm. She was interesting to say the least. I definitely enjoyed her a lot more at the Monster Ball. Her set was about 30 mins and she wore freaky contact lenses and weird things on her teeth, and her set basically just involved her doing creepy poses and taking off masks to music, idk. "Performance art", I suppose, though I didn't really get it or enjoy it that much. The Darkness came on at around 7pm and played for about 45 minutes, and they were quite entertaining, though I could tell a lot of the audience was a bit bored by them. Like someone else mentioned, not sure if they're entirely appropriate as an opening act for a pop show, but meh, I enjoyed them and they're quite talented. Soooo Gaga was supposed to be on at 8:30 I think, but of course she was Latey Gaga. Not overly Latey Gaga though, just a bit. To be expected . I was so excited when I heard that HU beat kick in, the horse neighs and lights go out though. Spectacular opening. The castle is sooo much smaller in real life, but it's really breath taking and elaborate. Really the whole show was fantastic, it exceeded my expectations, but I won't really get into show details as we all know how that goes, and if you don't you then you're probably trying to not spoil it for yourself before you see it! so I won't ruin it There were some minor changes as this was the first show of the European leg, which have already been discussed. Particularly for me it was amazing to see Princess Die. And it astounded me how the audience knew all the words and sang along so loudly and enthusiactially. I think it made Gaga happy. When she was doing her spiel before Princess Die, she was like…"and it's spelled D-I-E"…and the audience spelled it out at the said time as her, and she was like "wow you guys already know the spelling!". Well duh Gaga. Do you not realize how dedicated your fans are?! She's so cute. She didn't perform Hair, which was kind of sad for me, but I actually hardly noticed. The pace and energy of the show is just amazing, never a dull moment. During Bad Kids when she sat down, she was basically RIGHT in front of me and she was being bombarded with things getting thrown at her. It was actually quite insane the amount of **** flying at her, and the floor and stage beneath her feet was thick with gifts. Must be so overwhelming for her. Anyway, she picked up a few things and looked at them, a book, and a t shirt, and she was trying to identify who threw the shirt so that they could go backstage…but in the end she couldn't so she was just like, "well how about you 4 in the front? do you want to go backstage?" and low and behold it was my friends who had been waiting with us since like 3am. I was so happy. She picked one other person to backstage from farther back in the MP later in the show as well. How it works when she picks you from the stage is a security guard will come and put a wristband on you and give you instructions when/how to leave.
Anyway so during TEOG those of us who were going backstage made our way through the Monster Pit and exited the stage to the right. I and the 2 other people the Key holder chose to go back with didn't have wristbands, but we were recognized by the guard who had taken the key holder to get his picture taken with the big key…I think he basically serves as an escort for the key holder and his 3 friends. Everybody else had to present their wristband. We were able to watch the two encores--TEOG and MTN, from side stage, which was nice as I didn't really want to miss them (but was more than willing to if it meant meeting Gaga!). Then after MTN ended, security formed us into a line and ordered us to follow him. We went through a corrider-- I saw some signs posted on the wall as we were walking for the artists/Gaga etc which were cool, I took a quick picture even though I wasn't supposed to. Tara passed us as we were walking…which of course made everyone excited and everyone wanted to stop and say hi (we did kind of), but the guard urged us to not stop and keep walking. So we got to this conference area type room, where we were told to sit, we were given a bottle of water (thank GOD!), and a small form to fill out with our name, what we were wearing, and email address (this is so they can identify you and email you your photo with Gaga). We all frantically tried to make ourselves look decent and smell okay as we were all sweaty and tired from dancing and waiting for so long! The guard then lined us up--the key holder first, then his three chosen people, and then the other 5 who Gaga picked. He told us we could get one thing signed, that they would take a photo of us with Gaga, that we could give her a gift/letter/whatever (just to run it past him first), and to enjoy ourselves and ask questions because "she's really nice". He also said not to ask for any crazy pictures.
So he took us in two groups to the room where Gaga was…first it was the key holder and his 3 people, so me and my friend and then another boy the key holder chose. Gaga was sitting on her bed, and Fozzi was running around the room…he was dyed pink for some random reason. Tara was there sitting in a chair, and there was a security guard, and Gaga's assistant Lane, who was taking the pictures. We all waited outside the doorway, but could still see in, and we each had our turn going into the room and being with Gaga. The key holder went first…he already wrote about his experience with her on here, but it was so cute….she put the key around his neck and said she would always remember him, and that there were only 110 of those necklaces. We each had about 5 minutes-ish with Gaga…the next boy went, and then omg, it was my turn. Gaga had kept kind of turning around and looking at who was waiting and that alone was enough to make me want to die, cause she kept looking at us. I slowly walked up to her…and she was like "hello gorgeous girl!" and opened her arms. I sat down beside her and gave her a hug. Most surreal thing ever. To have her sitting right beside you, her full attention on you, ahhh. I pulled back from the hug and looked into her eyes. AGAIN, SO SURREAL. I told her that the show was amazing and that I loved her rainbow hair. She was like "oh you noticed?" (me thinking: of course Gaga, I notice every tiny thing you do ) and said something about using special chalk to colour her hair that way or something… I was wearing my penthouse Monster Ball boots that she wears, and I can't remember who but Tara or Lane pointed them out to her and that made her excited. She was like "OHH where did you get them and how much?!" (lol)…I told her that I found them online and that they weren't that expensive, $75ish. And she was like, "oh awh that's still kind of expensive!" or something. Fozzi was running around and he was pink so I asked if they'd dyed him pink…she said something about some corn oil thing I didn't really get it lol. She asked if I wanted her to sign anything, and I asked if she would sign me like on my rib cage for a tattoo, she of course agreed. I asked if she would write "ARTPOP", and then "Lady Gaga". And she was like, "aw you want ARTPOP? that almost makes me want to cry!" so as I was getting up for her to sign I also showed her the back of my vest that I had made for the show, which said "ARTPOP" also…and she was like "aw!" and all emotional about it for some reason, and opened her arms for another hug, at which point I kind of fell into her giving her one as I was standing in my Monster Ball boots which I can't walk in, and she was still sitting -_-…and I was just like, "ah sorry I kind of fell into you". Right before she started to write it on me she was like "WAIT how old are you?!" And I replied 21 lol. She's so funny. So anyway she signed ARTPOP on my side…I was like shaking the whole time she wrote it. She asked if I wanted it downwards like her tattoo, but I was like no just write it horizontally! She said she'd print it and then write her name in cursive underneath. She was really worried about making it look okay, tbh I didn't even see what she was writing cause it was on my side but I really didn't even care, and when I sat back down and we took our photo she put her right arm around me and then held out her left arm to show her ARTPOP tattoo to the camera and said…"here, just show the tattoo artist this picture if you don't like how I wrote it, he can make it like mine ok?" …and I was like "okay gaga but I'm gonna get this one tattooed because YOU wrote it!" …she said something but I forget. I asked if I could give her my letter, and she said of course, and took it. I then told her that I'd come from Canada to see her…and she was surprised and was like "Oh wow really? Just for me? Did you come all alone?" At which point I explained that I had come with a friend who I had met through her on Twitter, and that we were both from Canada but it was our first time meeting in real life in Bulgaria…and just like how she brought us together. Said friend was next in line to meet her and standing in the door way, and when I pointed to her, Gaga was like "come here!". So my friend came. I let her sit beside Gaga, and they hugged. I got up so they could have their moment but like I was still involved in the conversation sort of, I wasn't made to leave like the people before me. My friend and her talked a bit, and my friend mentioned how Gaga helps her with her insecurities, which prompted Gaga to talk about how she herself often gets very insecure about her weight and appearance…to which my friend replied "wow but we all spend so much time talking about how beautiful you are!" and Gaga looked at me and I just like nodded my head really fast, like signifying…"yeah we do! you're beautiful!!". And she said something along the lines of like "see, you can have so many people think you're beautiful but sometimes you just can't see it yourself". I won't get into my friends talk with her cause it was kinda personal but Gaga was saying some really sweet stuff. She talked about her sister randomly, and twitter and her 28 million followers and how she can't possibly see all her mentions, and she asked if we were on LM.com. I showed her my nails that had broken off while dancing in the pit, and she laughed. And as we were leaving I said "I love you" and she said "I love you too".
Gaga is seriously the EASIEST and most SWEET person in the world to talk to, like you can't even imagine. I was so so nervous going into meet her, but she just made things so easy. I could have talked to her forever, like seriously. In hindsight there was sooo much I would have loved to have asked her (if I could smell FAME, new music, if she comes on Gagadaily, if she'll sing Hair again…ugh -_-), but I just got so starstruck I guess at seeing the woman I've been obsessing over the past 3 years right in front of me that none of what I had planned to ask or say really came to me. I also wish I could have told her how much she means to me. But at least I got to give her my letter. In all I spent about 10 minutes in the room with her…about 5 talking to her myself and then 5 with my friend there. She was wearing the red Versace robe, and no shoes…she had on black ankle socks. But I seriously can't even describe how much that moment with her meant to me. She is the most amazing woman, and she truly cares about her fans. She was so sweet and genuine to each of us, and I didn't know it was even possible, but I'm in love with her so much more now.
After we were done the meeting, Tara followed us out (the next group of fans went in then I assume) because Tara was getting my friends email as Gaga offered to buy her a ticket to the Ball when it's in Canada. So we hung out with Tara in the hall for like 5 mins too, she's SOOO gorgeous in person and she smells AMAZING (I'm such a flop btw, I can't remember what Gaga smelled like…or she might not have smelled like anything really cause she just came off stage, idk). But Tara smelled like heaven and I really noticed, after she gave me a hug (which she volunteered on her own btw, I always feel awkward about asking for hugs myself!), I asked her if she was wearing FAME and she said no. Anyway I can't really remember what was said but we asked for a picture, so we tried to take a triple selfie with her but it failed…so we got the guard to help. Anyway, then we went back and got our bags and got escorted out of backstage…at which point I couldn't help it and just broke down into tears about what had just happened. Best day of my life, I'll never forget it ever, even though I already have a hard time remembering all what she said (I even immediately wrote things down in a note on my iPhone, but still I know I'm missing lots :sad:). I can't believe how amazing Gaga is. I really wish all fans could have a moment with her. Anyway, I had to compose my self a bit enough to buy merch…luckily the stands were still open after the show, so yeah don't worry if you're going in the pit and you don't want to buy merch before hand…they should be open afterwards.
It took about a day for us to receive our photos, but I think that's unusual because I tweeted Lane about it and she said the internet crashed or something.
AHH Sorry I typed such a novel. I half expect no one to read all that lol. I just wanted to share my full experience. Feel free to ask any questions or anything .
How the Monster Pit line was at many points during the day (SEE WHAT I MEAN ABOUT DISORGANIZED!)
Somewhat more organized (I stole this and the last photo from my friend Fiem on here to illustrate my point heh btw)
My friend and I backstage with Tara:
What Gaga wrote on me:
Annnndd….me and Gaga :