Falling in Reverse Call Out Venues For 'Stealing' Merch Profits
Between ticket-selling agencies trying to gouge fans into paying extra fees, registering to be a "verified fan" only to get waitlisted and never get the opportunity to buy a ticket, or being subjected to ridiculous prices for tickets by resellers, music lovers are facing many different obstacles when it comes to just attending a concert by their favourite artists.
Another area in which fans are being exploited is in buying artist merch. Prices for items such as shirts, hoodies, hats and records at concerts are being inflated by artists because they're being forced to give venues a cut of their merch take. For some of the bigger touring acts out there, it means nothing, however, for smaller and independent acts, losing this money has become a fight to earn a living.
While some venues have agreed not to take a cut of the artist's merch take (recently Live Nation announced it will stop charging artists), a lot of venues - both domestically and internationally - have forced a fee ranging between 10% to 40% of the gross sales. And artists like Falling in Reverse are taking a stand.
Friday night (December 8) the Las Vegas hard rockers were performing at the The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as part of the 93X Nutcracker radio festival, when frontman Ronnie Radke stopped the show to address why there was no Falling in Reverse merch for sale.
“If you haven’t noticed, there’s none of our merch in the back,” he explained. “It has nothing to do with the radio station, it has to do with this venue. This venue is trying to charge us 25% of our fees. … What that would mean is that we’d have to charge you guys way more to make any money. So what I did was [holds middle finger up], ‘F**k them!’ We’re not paying [this venue] f**kin’ s**t! That’s f**ked up. If you guys want our T-shirts, go online and pick them up. We’ll probably lose a little money … but I’m not selling my merch to lose 25% to this f**kin’ venue.”
The next day, Radke elaborated on the band's stance towards selling merch on X, adding, "Last night I told @armorymn to go f**k themselves on stage and if any of you bands play this venue I’d advise you do the same, the only way this bulls**t is gonna change is if we as bands all stand together and f**k their bottom line up. Streaming takes our money, the venue takes our money the artist gets DESTROYED and disrespected by these greedy f**ks."
He followed it up with a few more tweets before closing with, "I will start my own festival where the bands get 100% of their merch mark my words."
You can read Radke's tweets below.
.@93XRadio nut cracker was an amazing show with daughtry I’ll do it again next year if they want, amazing radio station and I’m grateful for the support— Ronnie (@RonnieRadke) December 9, 2023
Last night I refused to sell falling in reverse merch in the venue we were playing in because @ArmoryMn demanded I paid 25%… pic.twitter.com/4vvCiGXGDM
there is no way in hell these venues can keep getting away with taking 20-25% gross merch sales to these bands. imagine if every band just stopped touring for a year and caused these venues to hemorrhage cash.. why do you have a venue if nobody plays in it? The music industries…— Ronnie (@RonnieRadke) December 10, 2023
Lastly, people thinking the venue deserves even a small % of merchandise they do not. the band pays for the art prints the merch, ships the merch hauls the merch, the merch is copyrighted by the band it is owned by the band. the venue is not owed a % of it. the venue makes its…— Ronnie (@RonnieRadke) December 10, 2023
I will start my own festival where the bands get 100% of their merch mark my words— Ronnie (@RonnieRadke) December 10, 2023