The phenomenon of venues taking cuts from merch sales at concerts is nothing new. It’s a regular occurrence that touring bands and crew have fought a losing battle against for years. If the whole thing sounds like the kind of shakedown that the mob are known for, that’s because it is. After all, what touring band in their right minds would just not sell merch? They’ll go broke and their fans will raise hell!
No, merch cuts are not new. What’s new is the way bands are starting to take stands against it. Instead of overcharging fans to compensate for the loss or eating the cut altogether, it’s becoming more commonplace for touring bands to skip selling merch at certain venues altogether while calling the behavior out.
In the most recent case, French metal troubadours Igorrr have opted to skip selling merch at their London show because the venue, O2 Forum, is demanding a 25% cut on all sales.
Although Igorrr discussed raising prices to cover the inflated cut, in the end they decided to take a stand by forgoing merchandise sales altogether.
The band shared the following statement via Facebook:
“We’d like to inform you that we won’t sell merch at our London show tonight:
The venue, O2 Forum Kentish Town is asking for a 25% cut on our merch sales We could have raise-up the prices of our t-shirts and hoodies, but it doesn’t seem fair to us to have our UK fans paying more than they should, especially because the venue is asking for a spectacular percentage for no particular reason.
We tried to negotiate with them, but they are not interested in helping us at all. For those of you who would like to purchase some merchandise online, our webshop will be updated with new designs after the tour. You can check our website www.igorrr.com for more infos. Thanks for your support. IGORRR”
Those who wish to support Igorrr can purchase merchandise directly from them on their website.