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I mentioned in my post on Friday that I was on my way to see the Backstreet Boys and I wasn't lying. I am wholeheartedly (still) a Backstreet Boys fan and their show in Camden, NJ on Friday, Aug. 16, marked my 10th Backstreet Boys concert. I had pit tickets, as well as their Gold VIP Package. So how'd it go? Was it worth it? Am I full of regret for how much money I spent on just one evening? Am I just really embarrassed that I'm an adult and this is my life?

Backstreet Boys VIP Experience

At each show, the Backstreet Boys offer VIP experiences to around 200 or so fans. There are four tiers to choose from, each one offering progressively more than the last. There's bronze, which includes a pre-show soundcheck and Q&A with the group; silver, which offers a group photo and a group meet and greet; gold VIP, which substitutes the group photo and meet and greet for a one-on-one experience; and platinum, which gives fans access to a pre-show hospitality room and a chance to go on stage during the concert.

As I mentioned, I went for gold. Overall, I felt it was worth it and I would do it again. This was my first VIP experience ever and it went pretty much as expected, although there was much more waiting and standing than I thought. (Seriously, steel yourself for lots and lots of standing around.) Though I got there at 1:30 p.m., I wasn't actually inside of the venue until 4, and even then I had another hour to go before the VIP experience began.

By 5 p.m., the Backstreet Boys moseyed out onto the stage. First they chatted with the crowd a bit — hellos and introductions — and then they launched into a couple of songs (mostly a cappella). They performed about 5 songs or so, then went into the Q&A. Our Q&A was four questions long and then it was time for the meet and greet/photos.

Those with pit tickets were called up first (meeee!) so that they could get their picture and then be allowed to stake their claim in the pit area. The photos went quick — like, blink and you might miss it quick — but each person was given a chance to shake hands with the group and pose for a picture (no hugging or autographs), which would later be uploaded to the official BSB site.

My advice? Aside from don't freak out, have patience, wear comfortable shoes, and if you're selected to ask the group a question, make it great.

Opening Acts: DJ Pauly D and Jesse McCartney

Baylee Littrell: Although he isn't listed on the tickets or anything, Baylee Littrell — 11-year-old son of Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell — performs two songs. It's pretty adorable.

DJ Pauly D: You probably know DJ Pauly D from "Jersey Shore" and you may even remember that on the show he was an aspiring DJ. Surprise! Here he is, your first opening act, complete with his DJing laptop bedazzled with the Italian flag. Pauly mixes around 12 songs or so, and interacts with the crowd just enough to get everyone to fist pump.

Jesse McCartney: Jesse McCartney was previously in the boy band DreamStreet, had his own solo stuff (you probably heard "Beautiful Soul" even if you don't remember it), and now he's older, got a new EP, and has dancers that are delightful. He performs around 10, fully choreographed songs (with two back-up dancers) and even leaves the stage a few times, making it feel a bit of a mini-concert.

Main Performance: Backstreet Boys

The stage: The first thing you should probably know is how the actual stage is set up. Most maps are incorrect, in that this stage utilizes a cat walk. I drew you a picture (obviously a superb use of my time).

Fan pit tickets, closest to the stage, were exclusive seats that were pretty difficult to come by. I was GA pit. If you end up with tickets like mine, ignore the row/number on them because you will be standing for the entire show (as if you'd sit during the concert anyway). Here's a view of that it looks like when the Backstreet Boys are performing on the rectangular stage:

And this is what it looks like when they're on the catwalk:

For the slower songs, the band performs on the actual stage, which makes fan pit tickets prime (if being close to the stage is what you're after); for more upbeat songs, they tend to spread out on the catwalk (making GA pit seats the best). Their time pretty evenly split between both stages, and if your seats are a bit further back in the venue than you'd like, there are plenty of big screens to help you see the group, too.

The set list: The show itself is an excellent mix of new and old songs. Off of their latest album, they perform five songs, as well as an assortment of their biggest singles. For the U.S. leg of the tour, there is also an acoustic set for a handful of songs (indicated below with an asterisk). The group members play musical instruments, with Brian and Nick on guitar, Howie on bass guitar, Kevin on keyboard, and A.J. on percussion. This is also when the platinum VIPs will join the group on stage.

  1. The Call
  2. Don’t Want You Back
  3. Incomplete
  4. Permanent Stain
  5. All I Have to Give
  6. As Long As You Love Me
  7. Show Em What You’re Made Of
  8. Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely
  9. Breathe
  10. I’ll Never Break Your Heart
  11. We’ve Got It Goin’ On
  12. 10,000 Promises*
  13. Madeleine*
  14. Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)*
  15. The One
  16. Love Somebody
  17. More Than That
  18. In A World Like This
  19. I Want It That Way
  20. Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)
  21. Larger Than Life

The transitions: It's not a pop show without costume changes. Sometimes you're waiting awkwardly as the band drags out the song you just heard for two minutes while the artists change. Not so with this concert — the audience gets to see a mixture of clips from the Backstreet Boys' upcoming documentary, which is pretty fun.

The dances: Hey, remember when you were 10 years old and you taught yourself all the dance moves to all of the Backstreet Boys songs? No, just me? Okay, well, the boys teamed up with their original choreographer Fatima Robinson to bring back all of their old dance numbers — including the "All I Have to Give" hat dance and even the praying hands from the "We've Got It Going On" music video.

Overall: If you're already a Backstreet Boys fan, or even if all you know is their biggest hit singles, you really can't go wrong with this tour. All five of them are together again; they've got fun, new music; they're back performing in large, outdoor stadiums (so affordable lawn seats are an option); and their new stage setup makes it so that when they're out on the catwalk, your seats are that much better. Plus, they perform all of their hit singles — from "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" to "I Want It That Way." In a surprising conclusion to literally no one, I loved it and I'd go again in a heartbeat.

Comments (56) -

Michelle said...

I got my ticket for the Irvine show and I can't wait!!!  How do you know if you have a GA pit ticket or a Fan Pit ticket?  I keep hearing about this "fan pit" thing and I am so confused by it!  

September 1, 2013 at 10:18 PM

crystal said...

Awesome, I hope you have a fantastic time!

As for the GA vs. Fan Pit, it has been pretty confusing. As far as I know, if you got your pit tickets during their original pre-sales or onsales, then you likely have a GA pit seat. Fan pit tickets went on sale much later (for example, my show was 8/16, but the fan pit tickets went on sale 7/27 -- pretty late in the game, and I'd already had my tickets). Since the stage is so big, you will probably have a great view no matter where you are sitting, more-so if you have seats in either pit Smile

Have fun at the show!

September 3, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Michelle said...

Thanks for the info! I've asked around quite a bit about this fan pit thing and you're the only person to respond! I just got my pit ticket about 2 weeks ago so hopefully it's fan pit!  

September 3, 2013 at 12:41 PM

crystal said...

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! Fan pit tickets are awesome, and you have extra room to move around since the pit is big but the tickets were so limited in number (which is pretty awesome if you ask me). Have fun!

September 4, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Michelle said...

So, they didn't have a fan pit in Irvine but the pit was super tiny!  They must have only let around 150-200 people in!   I was standing on the outside of the catwalk and there was only room for one person to stand behind me. It was nice because I didn't get squished every time one of the Boys came up to the stage in front of me!  The area that was the fan pit for your concert was pretty empty too with people lining the stage and then just a few people in the middle.  What a great show it was!!!  I still can't believe I was that close to the Backstreet Boys!

September 7, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Michelle said...

Oh and by the way, I not only taught myself all the dances but I also made up my own as well.  =)  We even had fully "choreographed" dances just for the car! LOL  Yup, I was a huge nerd when I was a kid!  

September 1, 2013 at 10:21 PM

crystal said...

Hahah! Glad I wasn't the only one who watched their videos over and over to learn the dances. Tong

September 3, 2013 at 8:30 AM

trace said...

I was wondering if you could help me please.
Do you know which song the VIPs go on stage for? I am so nervous about it and thought maybe someone could give me a heads up so I am ready x
Thank you for your help

February 23, 2014 at 8:23 AM

crystal said...

Hi Trace! For the U.S. tour, fans went on stage during the acoustic set for "10,000 Promises"; "Madeleine"; and "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)". Hope that helps! Smile

February 24, 2014 at 9:02 AM

kelli said...


i live in California. Hoping to be able to get one of the meet and greet packages Smile *fingers crossed*……….. this is prob a stupid question lol, but Im pretty unfamiliar with the whole BSB site and membership deal… but are you able to still get and buy one of the VIP meet and greet packages if you haven't already bought and signed up on their site for the bsb membership??? cuz i notice on their site explaining the packages and what comes with each, that they include a bsb membership……

March 16, 2014 at 3:02 AM

crystal said...

Not a stupid question at all! As far as I know, you have to sign up for their site in order to purchase VIP. The membership time that comes with your VIP purchase is then added on to your current membership. So if your current membership goes from Jan. 1, 2014-Jan. 1, 2015 and then you purchase VIP that has 6 extra months, it will expire June 1, 2015 instead. Hope that helps!

March 17, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Kay said...

Thanks for this review. Do you think the fans on stage behind them were worth it? Do they get up and dance with them or just stay behind them sitting? Cause I would hate to see them from the back. Also I wonder what happens after they get off stage will they have to find a back put spot?

March 14, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Marie said...

Hey Crystal, I'm thinking about completely splurging and going for the platinum! Do you remember how many fans they had up there onstage for the songs? I'd hate to be one of 20 something awkwardly standing there but would looooove a I'll Never Break Your Heart moment;) Thanks!

March 15, 2014 at 5:02 AM

crystal said...

Hey Marie! It's hard to say but I would estimate they had about 100 fans on stage with them, probably 50 on the left risers and 50 on the right. (Maybe less, but it's hard to tell from the pit!) You definitely wouldn't be the only 20-something -- there are people of ALL ages on stage with the boys. Smile

Rumor has it that you want to try to be one of the last fans in line before they allow you on stage. Apparently these fans are the ones who sit on the bottom riser, closest to the band. I can't confirm, but it's something to keep in mind.

Best of luck!!

March 17, 2014 at 12:21 PM

fan since 98
fan since 98 said...

I kinda want to be in the fan pit. How do you go about in doing that ? For the Q & A, how long does that last ? Has anyone here ever gone to an After Party ? How does that work ? In '09 I heard that you didn't get to choose who you got your pic taken w... Frown How likely is it that you get to talk to them ? I wrote a story back in '98 'bout my Backstreet Experience. I'd kinda like to give them a copy. It was basically 2 stories in 1 (my Eng teacher suggested that I write 'bout pre-concert & during the concert) It's in the country so I don't know if I'll be able to get it in time. However, I wrote 'bout my '09 concert & would like to give them that also. It's on FB so I could just rewrite it out. Do you get a better view fr being in the fan pit or other pit ? What are the advan & disadvan of each ? I want to be as close as possible but prefer their upbeat songs. Can someone help me out please ? Smile

March 16, 2014 at 4:49 AM

crystal said...

Fan pit for this tour (2014 summer) hasn't been announced yet (that I know of). Those tickets are available to fanclub members only. Whether fan pit or regular pit is better is honestly a matter of preference. In fan pit, you are technically closer to the stage. However, they are frequently performing out on the "catwalk" so pit gives you a great view, too! I was in regular pit and that's where I took the pics above.  

Q&A lasted about 15-20 minutes. Smile

March 17, 2014 at 12:12 PM

fan since 98
fan since 98 said...

Tix for me go on sale on the 21st @ 10. The exact same time as my app't !!! I'm not sure if I should pay more for a better seat or sit w/ my cuz & whoever she can get like we did last time Frown I also don't want to be disappointed in any decisions that I make. Do any of you know if the VIP experience is getting more expensive or worse as the yrs go by ? How do you become a fan of their club to become a VIP ?

March 16, 2014 at 4:58 AM

crystal said...

I hear you! My first VIP experience was last year and I had a great time. I would recommend it, if meeting them is your goal. I just checked pricing and the price for VIP is the same as last year ($599 platinum; $349 gold; $249 silver; $99 bronze). I can't say whether the VIP is getting worse, since I've only done it once, but it looks like the list of activities is the same. You can register for their fan club at for $30, which is valid for a one-year subscription.

As for tickets, it's completely up to you. Everyone is different, so what matters is where you want to sit! Of course, if you are unable to get tickets when they go on sale, there are secondary sites you can look at to purchase (our site, for example!).

Hope this helps a little!

March 17, 2014 at 12:08 PM

fan since 98
fan since 98 said...

Do they accept gifts & are you allowed to take pics of them if you become a VIP. For VIP w/ Katy Perry they're $500 each. Someone on another site said that the Boys charge more than other artists (they included her) 2 of my sis's & my 2 nieces are getting the VIP Experience w/ Katy Perry. My sis bought her girl a black & pink wig to wear @ the concert but it's already messy after not even a day. Hopefully her sis doesn't  get her wig 'til the day b/f & doesn't wear it 'til she's @/going to the concert.

March 16, 2014 at 5:08 AM

crystal said...

Yes, they accept gifts, but they don't typically autograph items during VIP. If you purchase platinum VIP, you do get a pre-autographed photo, though. The VIP for BSB is considered pricey by some, but if you want to meet them, I think it can be worth it. If you don't care about getting on stage, but you want an individual photo, then gold is the way to go. Hope your nieces have a great time at the Katy Perry show!

March 17, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Adriana said...

Did you buy your VIP tickets first or concert tickets first?

I want to do the VIP experience but don't know what to buy first. It'll my first too.

March 16, 2014 at 2:42 PM

crystal said...

I bought my tickets first, then I purchased VIP. However, you can buy it in any order you like. All that really matters is you have some type of ticket (whether general admission or otherwise) -- VIP is only valid when you have a ticket to the show. Smile

March 17, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Sherrie Whitton
Sherrie Whitton said...

I just bought row 2 "floor" tickets. What are these like?! Here I was thinking I was getting a fantastic seat but now? Row 2 doesn't seem so great. The map on my ticketmaster did not show any pit areas when I was purchasing.

March 17, 2014 at 1:34 PM

crystal said...

As far as I know, floor seats are technically behind "pit" seats. Which show will you be attending? Some sets don't have pit seats because the venue doesn't accommodate them. Perhaps your show is one of them?

Even with pit, second row floor seats are still great! You'll have a VERY good view -- plus you'll have a place to sit down when your feet get tired. Smile

March 20, 2014 at 12:12 PM

crystal said...

I just looked it up and it seems like the Detroit show won't have pit seating:

March 20, 2014 at 12:27 PM

beth said...

Do you happen to know how many people get added to a group photo and do you get to choice who is in it or is it whoever is next in line after you?

March 19, 2014 at 12:28 AM

crystal said...

I believe you have somewhat of a choice who gets added into your photo depending on who you go with. If you and, say, 4 friends attend and you all purchase silver VIP, then you can request to have the pic with all of you plus the boys. But if it's just you and 1 friend, they will add in a few other fans who have silver VIP to the pic (even though you don't necessarily know them). It does go by how you line up, so make sure you and your friend(s) are near each other. Smile

Typically, 5-6 fans are in each photo, including you. So each pic would be you, plus 5-6 fans, plus the 5 Backstreet Boys. Hope that helps!

March 20, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Hieu said...

Hey crystal, I have a question about the VIIP package. I'm about to buy the silver package & I notice we get a group photo. For the group photo, will I be able to get a photo with the whole group member with only myself in the picture? Also I have a question for gold VIP as we'll, for individual photo, do we get to have a picture with each member of the group?  Because I right now, I'm unsure which VIP package to getFrown

March 19, 2014 at 3:18 AM

crystal said...

Hi there! For the silver package, you and 4-5 other individuals will share a photo, so it's 5-6 fans plus the 5 boys in each pic. (You can view examples of past photos on under "media" and "photo galleries.") In order to get a photo of just you and the band, you would need to purchase gold VIP. Hope that helps! Smile

March 20, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Krissi M,
Krissi M, said...

1st I wanna say even though your post is months old, thank you for it! Its the only one ive found that gives details and not just fan girl moments. 2nd I was wondering did you buy your vip early or waited a while? I really wanna do some kind of package but sadly real life bills come first. I have a feeling they sell fast. Ugh!

March 19, 2014 at 11:32 AM

crystal said...

I purchased my VIP right away because I knew I wanted it. There are people who wait, too, and of course real-life bills come first! How quickly they sell out really depends. The platinum versions tend to sell out since there's only a limited number available, but the bronze VIPs are often available right until the day of the show. Best of luck!!

March 20, 2014 at 12:02 PM

sneha bhakta
sneha bhakta said...

I was wondering... do u remember around wht time the show ended

March 20, 2014 at 6:14 PM

crystal said...

It's been a while, but I believe our show ended around 11 p.m. Smile

March 27, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Kara said...

Hi!!!! Im going to watch them at the forum on the 29th of May. I'm getting a gold VIP ticket tonight. Smile Are fans allowed to bring cameras? I hope so..  Smile

March 21, 2014 at 7:31 PM

crystal said...

Yes! You are allowed to bring a camera to the VIP, but it can't be a camera with a professional lens on it. All other cameras (point-and-shoots, phones, etc) are totally fine.

Hope you have a great time!! Smile

March 27, 2014 at 9:19 AM

MO&PeanutMOMMY said...

quick question for you.....I purchase 3 tickets to a show and would love to get gold VIP, however my children are 10 and 6, do I have to purchase a VIP for each of us, or just one for me? I am assuming 3 but I would be so mad if I bought 3 and found out I only needed 1. Also do you know anything about after party? I am trying to decide to do VIP or After party, if i did purchase tickets to after party is there and age limit? Obviously I would have both kids with me. Website doesn't clarify any of this....if you know the answers that would be awesome!

March 30, 2014 at 8:21 PM

crystal said...

While there's no age limit for the VIP, I'm not sure about the official after parties, as I've never attended one. According to the Backstreet Boys official website, "[Individuals] under 15 must be accompanied by an adult 18+." For confirmation, and also for your question about purchasing VIP for all 3 of you, I would reach out to ground(ctrl), the group that runs the VIP service for BSB. Their official site is: Or you can give them at call if you're in the U.S. at 1 (877) GND CTRL.

Hope that helps! Smile

March 31, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Gina Woods Carda
Gina Woods Carda said...

I bought pit 4 GA tickets last Friday do I need to buy VIP just to get into venue early enough to get right at the stage? What time do the doors open for regular admission? How much are fan pits vs ga pits?

March 31, 2014 at 6:59 AM

crystal said...

Fan pits were a thing from the last leg of the tour, but thus far, I haven't seen any mention of them for this leg of the tour. Fan pit vs. GA pit were about the same price if I recall correctly.

You can purchase VIP to get early admission into the venue, since this is a perk of VIP. I'm not sure what time you can get in for regular admission, since each show is different. You can reach out to either the individual venue, or ground(ctrl), the group that runs BSB's site/tour/VIP. Their official site is:

Best of luck!

March 31, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Gina said...

Hi. Question- I have a GA pit ticket(pit 4), exactly how many people would you say are in the pit? Am I going to have to elbow my way to the stage? Lol. I am considering buying just the q&a ticket to ensure that I am early to get to line the stage... Necessary?

March 31, 2014 at 9:29 PM

krissie said...

Hi Crystal! How early did the VIP start? I will by flying in for the concert so I need to plan accordingly. And can we use our own camera during VIP at all? THANKS!

April 10, 2014 at 12:33 PM

crystal said...

Hi Krissie! For the last tour, my show started at 7 p.m. and VIP check-in was by 3:15 p.m. (We actually ended up waiting in line for quite some time after prior to check-in, but it's still a good idea to get there early if possible!) If this tour is the same, check-in time should be about there. You'll receive an email two days prior to your VIP with a confirmation time, which will tell you that you should have a photo ID at the time of pick-up, so be sure you have that on you. Smile

As for cameras, yes, you can bring your own and take your own pics. You can't take your own photo with the boys (so no selfies, sadly!) but everything else is fair game, as long as your camera doesn't have a lens. Point-and-shoots are fine, for example, as well as cell phones.

Happy travels, my dear!

April 10, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Jennifer said...

Random question... I got fan pit tickets for the chicago concert. My friend is obsessed with Avril and has the chance to meet her but I want to meet BSB. Did the the other artists do any of that stuff and if so, how did it work with the BSB VIP?

April 23, 2014 at 10:38 AM

crystal said...

At my show during the last tour, Jesse McCartney did offer VIP, which happened at the same time BSB was doing VIP. So you and your friend likely couldn't attend both VIPs (since they will likely occur at the same time), but you could certainly attend BSB VIP while your friend attends the Avril VIP -- then you can meet up for the show right after you're both done. Smile

April 24, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Jodi said...

I purchased the Bronze package and have a pit ticket. Do you know if they allowed the people who only had bronze to stay in the building and claim their spot as well? Thanks Smile

April 28, 2014 at 10:48 AM

crystal said...

Hi Jodi! Yep, bronze VIP guests will also get early entry into the venue, so you can claim your spot in the pit. Have fun!

April 29, 2014 at 7:57 AM

Karen said...

I purchased the Bronze VIP as well for this purpose so I'm glad to hear we can stake our claim lol.

Crystal...I'm going to the 6/21 show in Camden. My fan pit ticket shows GA Pit 3, seat 30. Does this matter? Are 1-2 towards the front and 3-4 in the back? Thanks!

May 15, 2014 at 11:47 AM

crystal said...

If the venue is set up like it was when I went to the Camden show last tour, then no, the numbers don't matter. My original ticket also gave me a seat number, but there were no seats in the pit -- it was standing room only and you could stand wherever you wanted in the pit.

If the number does turn out to matter, my best guess is that this GA Pit 1 and 2 would be "fan pit" sections, while GA Pit 3 and 4 would be the general pit area. Either way, you should have an excellent view. Sorry I couldn't give you a more definitive answer, but I haven't been to this leg of the tour just yet so I can't say for certain. Smile Enjoy the show!

May 15, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Karen said...

I paid the 176 (?) dollar ticket so I hope this is fan pit!! Are you going to this show as well?? Thanks for the info Smile

May 16, 2014 at 10:09 AM

crystal said...

Ahh, fingers crossed for you! You will have an awesome time! I won't be at the Camden show this time around, but I will be at the show near Boston. Smile Thank you for asking!

May 16, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Al said...

Hi Crystal,

Great read. Thanks for the information. I'm going to the Vegas show in May. I had a couple questions I hope you could answer: The ticket says it starts at 8 but Avril Lavigne is doing the opening. About how long does it take from the opening to when the BSBs do their thing? I ask because we're going to have a few friends arrive later via a flight.

Also - how long is BSBs performance? Just want to know because we may hit a nightclub after and have to meet a promoter at a certain time.

Thank you so much again.

May 12, 2014 at 3:25 PM

crystal said...

Hi Al,

As I haven't been to this leg of the tour, I can't say for certain the times of anything. If I had to guess, I would assume BSB comes on at least one hour after the show starts, so perhaps by 9 p.m. This depends on how long Avril's set is, and how long the intermission is between the sets as well, so it could be closer to 9:30. In my experience, most shows are over by 11 p.m.

Sorry I can't speak with more certainty, but I hope this helps a bit! Best of luck.

May 13, 2014 at 9:10 AM

Kara Arias
Kara Arias said...

It's me again! Tong I have the GOLD VIP, you think it's possible to take a selfie with the boys?

May 15, 2014 at 7:03 PM

crystal said...

Welcome back! ;) They're really quick about making sure everyone gets a photo and then gets out... but honestly, you might as well try/ask! When it's your turn, I'd just mention to them you want to take a selfie and see what they say. The worst they can say is no! They're usually pretty accommodating - for example, last time I went I asked for a silly rather than serious photo and they were all over it.

Good luck!! That would be an epic selfie.

May 16, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Kara Arias
Kara Arias said...

I actually just want a video of them saying Hi with me in it. I'll just probably start recording before they call my name. OMG. Are coming to the show? I hope you are! Smile My bf is coming with me on the show but not on the VIP Experience so i'm kind of flying solo. :/

May 16, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Simmy said...

What time would you recommend we get to the venue? I got the Silver VIP. They say group pix is that with other people as well with bsb? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

May 23, 2014 at 12:01 PM