The latest artist to criticise the cuts of merch sales taken by venues is Jeff Rosenstock.
The American musician published some data in an Instagram post showing the cuts being taken by venues for his upcoming tour. While a few venues are taking no cut at all, others are taking 10%, 15%, 20% or even 25% of the sales.
“The argument for the cut is ‘well, fucko, we give you a place to sell your merchandise.’ By that logic, we should also be getting a cut of the bar for bringing hundreds to thousands of people and their cash to the venue that night,” wrote Rosenstock in the accompanying caption.
“For the record, we’re 100% down to give a merch cut any night we get a cut of the bar. But the thing that makes the most sense is that we don’t take each other’s money! We like each other and we’re working together and helping each other!”
“It makes no sense that at the end of these killer shows where we’re all having a nice time, someone who was our friend all night low key robs us and goes “have a safe trip to the next gig buddies!!” That’s fucking weird!!!”
Rosenstock also noted that it is difficult to only play venues who don’t take a cut, given the recent consolidation of ownership of venues in the US.
Last November, the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) launched a campaign to encourage venues to stop taking cuts of merch sales, following a successful similar campaign in the UK.