Emo band Hawthorne Heights deny charging photographers to take gig photos

Band says that $150 (£98) photography packages were intended for diehard fans

Hawthorne Heights have denied attempting to charge photographers for the right to take pictures of them at gigs on this summer’s Vans Warped Tour.

The US emo band recently offered up a $150 (£98) photography package on their Facebook page and official website, but the offer has since been removed.

Before it was taken down, the blurb read: “Are you an aspiring photographer? Come take pictures of us all day at Warped Tour! We will provide you with the access, and experience you need. We will also take your pictures and put them on our Instagram page, and give you full credit for it. This is a great package for anyone who loves taking pictures, whether its [sic] for a hobby or professionally.”

However, the band has now insisted the offer was simply a special kind of meet-and-greet experience for fans. “This package was not intended for professional photographers,” band member Eron Bucciarelli told NME.COM. “It is much more than selling the right to take our picture as it’s been portrayed. It was a chance for a fan to spend the ENTIRE day with us at Warped Tour, take pictures of us and keep for their own personal use. We thought it would be a really cool and memorable experience for a diehard fan.”

Explaining the band’s motivations for offering up the package, Bucciarelli added: “If we could’ve bought a VIP ticket to spend a day hanging out with our favourite band growing up, we would have. We were absolutely not attempting to charge pro photographers for the right to shoot us. We were absolutely NOT selling photo passes. The whole thing has been completely misconstrued and misunderstood and blown way out of proportion. We’re sorry to any pro photographer that was offended. We’ve never charged, nor will we, for the right to take pictures of us.”

On their official website, Hawthorne Heights are now offering fans a $250 (£163) package called “TOUR HANG – BE THE 6TH MEMBER”. The blurb reads: “Spend the day with the band from sun up to sun down on the 2013 Tour dates, no ticket required. Be the official sixth member for the day, backstage access, hang with the band on the bus, down some grub and get to see the inner workings on tour.”

Hawthorne Heights formed in Dayton, Ohio in 2001 and scored their biggest hit with their 2006 LP ‘If Only You Were Lonely’ LP, which reached Number Three on the US albums chart. They release their fifth album ‘Zero’ on June 25 and are currently preparing for this summer’s Vans Warped Tour, a massive punk roadshow which starts criss-crossing North America on June 14.