20,000 signatures reached
To: Live Nation, AEG and venues and promoters everywhere
End Merch Cuts Nationwide for Artists and Fans
Music venues and promoters typically take a cut of the revenue artists make from fans buying merchandise at a show. These “merch cuts” can range from 15% to upward of 30% and in some cases even more on sales of various items from artists’ and bands’ merch tables. What began as a way for venues to offset the lack of alcohol sales due to underage crowds at all ages shows, eventually mutated into a nationwide industry standard that impacts all touring acts.
With the digitization of the music industry, the shift to streaming and decline of album sales have forced artists to consistently tour to make a living. In most cases, merchandise sales are how musicians make a living.
We are calling on companies like Live Nation and AEG and venues and promoters nationwide to end merch cuts at ALL venues.
Why is this important?
This week, Live Nation announced it would stop taking merch cuts at some of its venues. While it’s a start, there are nearly 100 Live Nation venues this does not apply to and many, many more venues nationwide owned and operated by other companies. Every venue and promoter must follow suit.
Venues and promoters—often one and the same, given Live Nation’s effective monopoly on the live music industry—do not design, manufacture, ship, transport, load, or unload, and in most cases sell an artist’s or band’s merchandise.
Fans are already price-gouged by junk fees on ticket sales. Taking a cut of merchandise sales from artists not only drives up the cost of merchandise for fans, it also creates a situation for musicians where making ends meet is even more difficult in an already predatory industry.
These cuts have such a negative impact on some artists, they are forced to consider leaving the industry altogether because they cannot afford to continue with their careers. The fans come to the venues for the artists, not for the venue owner or promoter. They buy merchandise to support the musicians they love, not because they’re fans of a corporation. Their money should go directly, and entirely, to the artists.