Stray From the Path Drummer Calls Out Venue For Insane Merch Cut Percentage

Craig Reynolds: Stefan Bollmann, Wikimedia Commons
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Recently, there has been a lot of talk regarding the impact that venue merch cuts are having on bands. These cuts pertain to the percentage of profits that a venue takes from what a band/artist makes from their merch sales.

In response to these cuts, some artists have actually decided to not sell merch at shows (like Igorrr and Monuments). What is an important source of income for bands, and a means for fans to support the artists they care for, is becoming a financial detriment for bands.

On Twitter, Stray From The Path‘s Craig Reynolds posted a thread in regard to the 02 Forum Kentish Town in London, specifically speaking to how the venue’s merch cut (and handling of selling merch) negatively impacts bands. In this thread, he speaks to the merch cut percentage the venue takes, and also provides an example of how that cut financially hurts a band’s profits.

Reynolds starts the thread by sharing the following:

“didn’t wanna say anything because we literally NEED you guys to buy merch but this o2 venue stuff is insane: they FORCE you to use their merch seller (who is not invested in selling your merch, or doing a good job) and then they take 25% of the GROSS amount that person makes.”

He adds:

“let’s say you do 100 long sleeves at £40 a shirt (for ease) but they cost £20 to make. that’s £4000 gross. They take £1000 for their cut then you have a £2000 merch bill. band makes £1000 – same as the fuckin venue.”

The Stray From The Path drummer then concludes the thread with:

“in fact after paying the merch guy you have on tour for their day off – band would make LESS than the venue”

Per another tweet he posted after this thread (which you can find below), the Stray From The Path drummer stresses how income from merch sales is incredibly important to bands.

Considering how financially stressful touring already is, and all the more recent issues to come from the pandemic, what possible changes may need to take place in order for bands to make a living while touring?

Igorrr Is the Latest Band to Not Sell Merch at Shows Due to Venue Cuts

Architects Calls For Bands to Strike Against Venues For Taking Money From Merch Sales

Monuments Share Receipt Showing How Venue Merch Cuts Hurt Bands