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The History and Importance of Fan Clubs 💜

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

Written by: Mackenna Swann

Fan clubs are so important for the community of people who support an artist. We all have our favorite artists, right? Think of Taylor Swift, an artist with an enormous fanbase. “Swifties” are extremely dedicated fans who have one thing in common: their favorite artist and the music that she creates. Usually fans who are a part of a fan club have similar values to the artist that they can’t get enough of. In this way, fans are able to express their appreciation for the art that their favorite artist creates alongside many other people who share similar ideas and values. 🤗

So where do fan clubs come from and what was the first fan base? Fan clubs originated in the 1800s when music became a commercial venture. When musicians in America gave their first concerts, many people attended the concerts frequently and actively listened to their music. Fans wrote in diaries about an artist’s skill and were very interested in their personal lives. They also showed this interest through buying merchandise that was created by an artist’s personal manager. One of the first artists to have a fan base was Jenny Lind, an Opera singer in the 1800s. Her manager made soaps and hats that the fans then bought with great enthusiasm. 👏🏻

The word “fan” was first used in 1899 with regards to the Kansas City baseball team, where the term was then used to root for your own team. By the 1920s, musical artists and movie stars started to show their own personalities that audiences could relate to. This started the celebrity influence on popular culture and fashion. ✨

Throughout the times, fans joined together with the creation of fan clubs. Shirley Temple’s fan club for example, in the 1930s, had about four million members. Some artists with notable fandoms throughout the times were Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles. The purpose of an official fan club was to gain exclusive information or merchandise about an artist, in order to feel more connected to their lives. 💥

As time progressed, many fans had access to their own personal technology that allowed them to connect with their favorite artists in a new way. Fan clubs were able to boom because of the internet; an invention that had not existed before 1980. Before the internet, fan clubs met in person at a concert. With the internet, fans are able to share information quickly and create community more effectively. 🙌🏻

This takes us to today and to the powerful fan clubs that can change the direction of an artist’s career due to streaming, social media, and record and merchandise sales. Fandoms can now allow millions of people to connect and communicate on online platforms and share a common interest. With social media sites, the newest invention in the fandom world, fans are able to have a more direct connection with the artists that they admire. 🤩

At With The Band, we know the importance of fandoms and the community they can bring to fans. We also know the importance that a strong fan base has on an artist’s career. This is why we created Fan Crews - our modern day version of a fan club. The artist “Maggie Rose,” for example, has a Fan Crew at With The Band. With the highest membership, named “For Your Consideration” after one of Maggie’s songs, fans are able to see a sneak peak of her unreleased songs!

They will also receive a signed photo, watch Maggie’s livestream concert, receive a handwritten lyric sheet, have a meet & greet with her, and can even receive free merch! 🎉

A fan’s appreciation is more than screaming at a concert; it involves being deeply inspired by the music that the artist creates. With new technologies, fans are able to connect with others who have shared interests and values. 🤍

If you want to get more involved in fan communities,

join a Fan Crew or our awesome weekly newsletter!


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