MonumentsMartyna Wisniewska

Monuments Decry Merch Cuts After Revealing Their Recent Show Payout


British progressive metal band Monuments are the latest to add their voice to the growing wave of artists upset with the continued rise in merch cuts being enforced by venues, if not the practice of merch cuts altogether. If you’re not familiar with the practice, a merch cut is relatively commonplace within the live industry. It entitles a venue hosting an event to an agreed upon percentage of all merchandise sold within the venue during the artist’s concert.

The usual average merch cut is 20%, however, in the wake of inflation and an attempt to recover from the pandemic-related losses, some venues have been seen to be increasing that number. Monuments threw their hat in the ring after performing live recently at the Fabrique in Milan, Italy. The group shared the below shot of their after show profit:

The 47% claim isn’t entirely accurate however. The 25% concession itself is understood to be the venue merch cut, while the 22% VAT fee is the regional value-added tax on goods sold. While the band’s post stirred up much conversation, it’s also generated some responses from touring artists themselves. Here’s some of the highlights:

Tai Wright (Rain City Drive, etc.):

Garrett Russell (Silent Planet):

Twelve Foot Ninja:

“Never encountered giving merch cuts to a venue until being outside of Australia. Bands should absolutely get a cut of the bar. In the future; bands will either be righteous monks rejecting all materialism or…the only people playing are the mediocre cunts that would pay to do it to live out some “rock star” experience. [oldmanvoicewithawhistle]it’s starting to seem like a game for young fools[/oldmanvoicewithawhistle] I’m thinking of upscaling to the dog food business. Twelve Foot Natural Dog Treats.”

The sale of merch is generally seen to be the lifeblood and chief source of income for many touring artists in the modern world, often making or breaking a tour. However, with the current challenges presented by the economy, including higher fuel costs and more, breaking even on the road is sadly becoming less of a reality.

Some controversy recently erupted online in regards to these seemingly high merch prices from Gojira amid their European/UK tour, in which it looked as though the band were being greedy. However as it was pointed out, that may not be the case, as the outfit could be adjusting for inflation or more ethically sourced products.

Meanwhile, Architects drummer Dan Searle suggested artists go on strike to collectively reach some more favorable terms to touring artists. Elsewhere, Bad Omens posited that artists should be entitled to a cut of the bar sales during the shows they play.

Monuments are currently out on the road alongside Leprous and Kalandra:

02/28 Ljubljana, SLO – Kino Siska
03/02 Athens, GRE – Gagarin
03/03 Sofia, BUL – Joy Station
03/04 Bucharest, ROM – Arenele Romane
03/05 Budapest, HUN – Barba Negra
03/06 Munich, GER – Backstage
03/07 Bratislava, SLO – Majestic
03/08 Prague, CZE – Palac Akropolis
03/09 Reutlingen, GER – Franz K
03/10 Berlin, GER – Astra
03/11 Wroclaw, POL – A2
03/13 Helsinki, FIN – Vanha Ylioppilastalo
03/14 Joensuu, FIN – Kerubi
03/17 Stockholm, SWE – Fryshuset Klubben
03/18 Oslo, NOR – Sentrum Scene

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