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Hundreds of venues sign up to not take cut of artists’ merchandise sales – but campaigners want more

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the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) announced a new directory highlighting music venues that charge zero commission on the sale of merchandise.

The ‘100% Venues’ database aimed to address the “outdated and unfair” practice of performance spaces taking a cut of acts’ merch proceeds at gigs.Now, the FAC have told NME that over 400 venues have now signed up, but a number of the UK’s large arenas and venue groups are still not part of the database.Along with former Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook, The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess has been one of the more vocal supporters of the campaign.

The frontman made headlines when his band played Nottingham’s Rock City to find that the venue had waived their traditional cut of merch sales earlier in the Spring.An amazing thing happened last night.

Rock City usually take a percentage of band merch income, just something they’ve always done. But they’ve listened to what artists are saying and as we left they returned the cash to our merch guy, saying they felt it was only fair❤️— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) May 15, 2022Speaking to NME about the practice of venues taking money from sales of t-shirts and albums made on-site, Burgess said: “It’s something that’s been around for years – but when we spoke up to our manager and label, they’d just say ‘That’s the way it is’.“Back in 1990 you could sell 100,000 copies of a single on vinyl, so merch was important but not half as much as it is now.

Read more on nme.com
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