Lately I have been around a lot of aspiring and current concert photographers. I am hearing one complaint over and over, "Why Can't I get Access." Access isn't easy to get you do need to be in with someone and even then you aren't guaranteed access. Concert photography is something we do simply for the love of it. The pay is low, a lot of times it is last minute notice, you carry tons of heavy gear around and stand waiting to be ushered in and out of the photo pit and that doesn't even cover the various items that get thrown on you up there. Is it worth it? Absolutely if you have the passion for it.
Me I will shoot anything I can including bands I have never heard of or bands I am not a fan of. Sometimes this allows me to be introduced to a great band and others I don't have this experience, but I was able to shoot and that is what matters.
I shoot small venues and big and each have their own challenges. The small places without the photo pits you need to fight through the crowd to try to get a shot. The big places the stages can be very high up which you have to watch your angles so you don't end up with all up nose shots. I prefer having access to the photo pit for the space at least but aside from the height there are other issues. Every pit I am in lately has one person with an iPhone. That is frustrating, not that you can't get photos, but they really aren't going to be the same. Another show a friend of the band with an all access pass wanted to stand in the pit. They have the right, it would just be easier if they waited until the photographers three songs were up.
To me all the benefits outweigh any challenges. I find it a privilege to be able to shoot these shows and therefore I will jump through any hoops that are put in front of me. I won't complain about a venue or the access. Until my next shoot.