Venues taking a cut of a band’s merch sales is standard industry practice, but it can be a real financial burden on smaller touring acts.
Rising Australian metalcore act Alpha Wolf are one such band. They’re currently on tour supporting ERRA in North America — halfway across the world from their home country — and frontman Lochie Keogh had choice words for venues that take a percentage of merch sales.
Toward the end of a recent gig, Keogh paused the show for an onstage rant, encouraging fans to buy merch despite the fact that the venues were taking 20 percent of sales.
“Before we go, I want to mention every band on this tour is selling merch over there,” he said. “We’re all trying to get the same shit done. It doesn’t matter whose merch you buy.”
He continued: “Any bit of money you spend helps. Especially when these dirty fucking venues are taking 20 percent of it from the bands playing tonight. It’s like we’re not making any fucking money anyway. You’d think venues doing that could afford some good fucking air conditioning, but apparently not.”
He concluded, “So if you have any money to spend, fuck the bar, spend it on a shirt.”
Video of the rant has gone viral, so Keogh might have lit a fuse if other artists (and their fans) begin to take umbrage at venue merch cuts.
Watch Alpha Wolf’s Lochie Keogh blast venue merch cuts below.
lochie from alpha wolf calling out the venue for taking merch cuts ON STAGE, absolutely fucking colossal W love u alpha wolf pic.twitter.com/u5jNT1IYxW
— knocked lucille (@slntlucy) August 2, 2022