The Croxton Bandroom Calls Out Venues Taking Merch Cuts: 'We Don't Take Commissions On Artists' Merch Sales'

28 February 2023 | 11:29 am | Mary Varvaris
Originally Appeared In

"Most large music venues take 10-20% commission on an artist’s gross merch sales. We don’t."

Dead Kennedys @ The Croxton Bandroom

Dead Kennedys @ The Croxton Bandroom (Pic by Stephen Hunter)

The Croxton Bandroom, a Melbourne landmark institution that brings in 850-900 punters (per the Herald Sun) to enjoy punk, rock, metal, and alternative music, has blasted venues that take cuts from bands’ merchandise sales.

Not mentioning anyone, but following last week’s controversy, where Architects took to Twitter to insist that bands "protest" against venues with a policy of gaining merch cuts from artists' sales

Drummer Dan Searle wrote, "Hey @bands when are we gonna go on strike and get rid of these insane venue merch cuts? Or maybe we don’t play until we get a cut of the bar? Can we just get this done asap please?"

The band's vocalist, Sam Carter, shared the post and claimed, "Venue in Melbourne [Festival Hall] took 15% and it took four hours for them to get our merch girl a light," accompanied by a thumbs-up emoji.

The Music reached out to Festival Hall for comment.

Yesterday, The Croxton Bandroom posted a simple photo on Facebook and Instagram: on a black background and yellow writing, the post said, “We don’t take commissions on artists’ merch sales.”

Elaborating further in the caption, The Croxton’s social media manager wrote, “Most large music venues take 10-20% commission on an artist’s gross merch sales. We don’t.

“When music streaming took over, most artists stopped making a living wage from record sales. Live performance income and merch sales are, for most artists, the only real, sustainable income streams that exist - and those income streams are under pressure from rapidly escalating touring costs and increasingly predatory practices in the live music space, like venue merch cuts.”

The venue added, “The artist is not getting a cut of the bar sales. They are paying venue hire fees to use the venue. We think that’s enough. We don’t pay for the t-shirts to get printed. We don’t pay for the merch sellers, or the point of sale system. We supply a table, a light and some coat hangers, so that an artist’s fans can show their support and the artist can make enough money to get by.”

“We’re proud of this and we wanted you to know.”

Everyone, from Peter Hook & The Light, You Am IDead Kennedys (pictured above), Soccer Mommy, Aldous Harding, The Bronx, and Eagles Of Death Metal, have played at The Croxton. Sounds like Saosin and Alt. won’t have any issues performing there on Thursday, 9 March.

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Most large music venues take 10-20% commission on an artist’s gross merch sales. We don’t. When music streaming took...

Posted by The Croxton Bandroom on Sunday, February 26, 2023