These days, meet and greet sessions can cost too much. There are also record signings, of course, though standing in line can take too much time. Waiting outside a hotel is another option, but you’d have to be there quite early to find a good enough spot. So where do fans go when they want an extra special picture with their favorite pop stars? They head to the airport.
“Life is too short, so just buy the damn concert tickets,” says Mila Kosonen. On her Instagram account, the 20-year-old documents and shares her encounters with the artists she loves. Finnish pop singer Isac Elliot is one of them.
There’s an app for that
“I've been meeting him at Helsinki Airport since 2013. Sometimes I was there with my friends weekly and sometimes even a couple times a week. He used to travel a lot back then,” she says. While Mila hasn't been at the airport this year as much as before, she always makes it a point to go when she has time.
How does she know what day and time he’ll be there? “My friends and I have had the opportunity to learn his timetables – which planes he usually takes when he flies to Norway, for example, and which times he flies back to Finland so we don't usually have to wait for him the whole day. We also have the Finavia app in our phones, so we can check departures and arrivals from there,” Mila continues.
It’s all about the lighting
She admits that she doesn't have a favorite spot at Helsinki Airport; as long there’s good lighting, it’s perfect for a snapshot. “There are usually so many fans waiting for him so there
isn't really much time to choose where to take a picture and what kind of picture you'd like to get,” she shares.
While dozens of admirers can show up at any one time – and turn a routine arrival into a party right in the heart of the terminal – Mila says that the atmosphere is always really warm. “Isac loves to spend time with his fans and always tries to meet everyone who has waited for him at the airport. My experiences have mostly been good – sometimes things might get a bit hectic and we can't get to Isac because my friends and I don't want to push ourselves through the crowd. He is always nice to us so he usually walks towards us by himself and asks how we're doing,” says Mila.
Meeting 2016’s most Googled person in Finland
Anni Fast confesses that she doesn’t wait for pop stars at Helsinki Airport often. After last year’s X Factor, however, she says that she was there twice hoping to catch a glimpse of Saara Aalto.
“My daughter is a big fan of Saara so I wanted her to meet her idol,” shares the elementary school teacher and mother of two.
“We knew when the plane was about to land so we didn’t go there too early. I knew that my daughter didn’t want to wait too long. It was a big media event the first time, so there were a lot of people,” Anni says.
She then tried to find a spot that wasn’t too crowded since her daughter Ella couldn’t see past all the adults. There were fewer people during their second visit so they waited right at the arrivals lobby.
“The experience was really good on both occasions. No one pushed us, people were really friendly and a lot of people came to talk to us since my daughter was holding a big card for Saara,” she says. “There weren’t many small children waiting for Saara at the airport so I guess people tried to be nice to the little fan.”
Photos courtesy of Mila Kosonen and Anni Fast.