Monday, 13 April 2015

Band Merch, Crackheads and George the Soldier.

I am the worst, I know, truly the worst.
I promised I'd post sooner than this, but I am just so busy!

But, now for the long awaited rant.
Band merchandise. For anyone who doesn't know what that is, it's the printed tees, hoodies, beanies blah blah... some get weird, so we will leave it at that.
At any gig you go to you will see a stall of clothes with their album cover, name or logo scrawled over it, they aren't that expensive, they tend to be cheaper than the average top you'd buy at Topshop and some of them, if done well, are actually pretty sweet, not the emo band tees you have in your mind. They tend to go down pretty well, but you will without fail, at any decent sized band's gig, get people selling fake ones outside. This annoys me. This will annoy any musician.

Point one. This is stealing, living off other people's success. Bands work their asses off to get to where they are and to built the brand they are, the march goes with this. They will usually have spent hours designing it themselves and it's not okay for someone to stand next to you with exactly what you've made, with cheaper materials and a few mistakes, and sell it cheaper. It's just as wrong as someone stealing your song, maybe not as annoying, but technically still just as wrong.

Point two. THESE PEOPLE HAVE NO IDEA. They genuinely think the bands on stage are minted. Let me just make one thing very clear, they are NOT minted. Unless you're going to see someone like Rihanna, Coldplay blah blah... Smaller bands like Architects, Letlive., Of Mice and Men...blah blah... will not be rich. All that equipment you see? Most of that is rented or endorsed.

Point three. Merchandise is where bands make most of their money when they're on tour. Yeah. Let that one sink in. Those tickets you're buying? That pays off everyone involved, the transport from venue to venue, the venue hire, food. It barely gives them any profit at all when they're at the stage of the bands I mentioned above. Obviously when you reach global chart topping level for a few years, that's when you rake in the money from gigs. So for these people to be stood outside, taking money from fans who love and support these bands, when it should be going to the band so they can afford to carry on touring for these fans. Well, you can see how wrong that is.

The reason I am making this point and rant is because at the Of Mice and Men gig I went to a couple of weeks ago. I went with one of my favourite humans, George. Little fact about George, he speaks his mind, very bluntly. 
So this woman selling Of Mice & Men merch was wandering up and down the queue telling everyone her stuff was £5 cheaper than what they were selling inside. Naturally George asked how much of the profit went to the band, to which she made up a random figure. Of course George told her she was lying and her response was 'You think you're doing the right thing supporting your band, how much have you paid for your ticket? You're stuck out here whilst they live like kings. How do you live? Do you live well?'

Firstly, that's an odd thing to say to someone you don't know, especially when they are obviously doing better than you as you are dependant on drugs (I know that is an unnecessary dig, but she annoyed me)

Secondly, one again, I really wish people wouldn't assume that because you are a band playing a sold out gig that you are instantly loaded and robbing people of their money. Okay, Of Mice and Men are probably one of the more successful. But bands from the UK that haven't broken into America yet, or the support bands still get these people lurking outside their gigs, and trust me those bands are NOT well off. The majority of them are probably still working a day job in Burger king just to pay for the tour.
The tickets you buy pay for everyone else pay check who is involved, the lighting, the venues, the sound... the profit is usually the merchandise. Yeah, now you see the problem. These people are taking away the bands only true profit.

I just think that this is definitely something to think about next time you go to a gig. DON'T buy the cheap FAKE merch from the crackheads outside to support their drug addiction, spend a fiver more and support the band you love so they can go on tour again!

Sorry, that really was a full on rant with no pretty pictures. But I hope you learnt something anyways! 

George was not harmed in the research for this blog post, but I suggest you don't try arguing with these people. They seem to get quite into the argument.

Much Love,

Chloë Rona

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