Igorrr refused to sell their merchandise during a show at the O2 Forum Kentish Town in London on March 11 thanks to insane merch cuts. According to a post, the O2 Forum Kentish Town wanted a 25% cut of Igorrr's merch, which they weren't willing to give up. And they shouldn't – one-fourth of your income gone for the night before any other expenses is insanity.
"We'd like to inform you that we won't be selling merch at our London show tonight: The venue O2 Forum Kentish Town is asking for a 25% cut on our merch sales," wrote Igorrr in an Instagram post.
"We could have raise-up the prices of our t-shirts and hoodies, but it doesn't seem fair to us to have our UK fans paying more than they should, especially because the venue is asking for a spectacular percentage for no particular reason. We tried to negotiate with them, but they are not interested in helping us at all. For those of you who would like to purchase some merchandise online, our webshop will be updated with new designs after the tour.
"You can check our website www.igorrr.com for more infos. Thanks for your support."
Cult Of Luna also shared their support for Igorrr, explaining why the revenue from merchandise at shows is so vital to their extensive and their show.
"THIS MUST STOP. Touring post-COVID in a completely different world is a struggle and for some bands an economic nightmare. Merch sales are a huge part of our touring budgets, and the reason some bands (including us) are able to continue to provide the show we want, to invest in good production, pay our team, etc.
"We refuse to raise merch prices because some venues are asking for merch cuts, and this is becoming a norm. We stand with Igorrr."
Damnation Festival chimed in as well, saying they're happy for bands to play their festival and will take no cut of the merch. Converge drummer Ben Koller voiced his support for Igorrr and the aforementioned statements, calling merch cuts a "shakedown."
"I'm glad this topic is picking up steam. I agree with Damnation Festival and Igorrr here. Merch cuts are a total shakedown and make it even harder for bands to survive. 25% is absolutely ludicrous. I see fans getting confused about merch prices being so high, well here's the fine print folks. As the corporate takeover of music venues continues I can only see this problem getting worse."
Merch cuts have become a hot topic lately, mostly due to the overall rise in cost of touring. Merch cuts are exactly what they sound like – a cut of the band's revenue made from merchandise that goes to the venue or promoter. Monuments recently refused to sell merchandise in Greece due to insane cuts, while our own Frank Godla penned an editorial about why Gojira is a good example of a band trying to keep their business going in a difficult touring world.
Architects drummer Dan Searle recently posited that maybe bands should get a cut of the venue's nightly alcohol sales to balance things out, while Dark Funeral guitarist Lord Ahriman has outright said that venues are killing the live music industry. So it's safe to say that bands aren't exactly thrilled with the business practice at the moment.