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Everyone has been affected by COVID-19, the world has seen such a drastic change and some industries are at a complete standstill as they can not function without some form of direct contact, this includes tattoo artists, restaurants, barbers, and so many more. The music industry is no exception to this and is definitely among those who have been hit the hardest. Since the music industry has shifted away from selling physical records onto streaming platforms bands have also had to shift their business models. 

Touring has always been one of the main sources of income for the bigger bands, but not a lot of people fully realize just how expensive it is, and the bigger the band/tour, the bigger the costs as well. There are also a number of bands that lose money on almost every tour they do, and the fact that they still do them despite that is a testament to the amount of passion and love that exists in these bands. It’s that passion and love that we want to keep alive, from both the fans and the bands. This is exactly why the Merch Matters movement means so much to us.

So what exactly is it? It started as a t-shirt design put out by our friends at While She Sleeps with the following statement on it: 

“This t-shirt is the equivalent to 5000 streams on Spotify. 76% of all music in 2019 is streamed and not bought physically or digitally. Band merchandise is the best way of supporting an artist”

While She Sleeps made this design freely available for everyone to use in order to spread awareness of this fact, and since then it’s been picked up by so many different bands and people, including ourselves! The print file is available for free here, so you can add this shirt to your own merch range and help spread awareness even further. 

The crazy thing is that this movement was started well before COVID-19 was even a thing, and yet it resonates so much with the current situation most bands and artists find themselves in. Being unable to tour, play shows, and sell merch on tour or at shows has basically taken away the main source of revenue for working bands. Most people like buying a shirt as part of the experience of being at a show. It’s not just about supporting the band, it’s also about the memory of the show or event you were at. Right now, unfortunately, this is impossible, and we don’t know for how long that will be the case. 

If you’re reading this, there’s no doubt in my mind that you already have a deep love for music, and whatever your tastes may be there are bands that you have an emotional connection to. This connection is one we know so well, and it’s strong, real, and we think necessary. If things keep going like they are now there’s a good chance that a lot of these bands that are extremely important to so many people won’t be able to realistically go on doing what they’re doing. 

That’s something that truly scares us, especially when it comes to the more underground/niche artists that don’t have a large enough following to make a significant amount through streaming services. 

All this might sound like doomsday, but there is a way out! So the world has changed, and we’ve all had to adapt to it. So we also need to adapt the way we support the artists that we love. It might not be something you’ve ever done before, but going online and ordering a shirt or two from a local band that means something to you is hands down the best way to support right now. If just one shirt is equivalent to 5000 streams on Spotify, then you would need to stream one band’s music 24/7 for 10 days straight to get to the price of one shirt. So go spend some of the money you would’ve used on going to live shows and going out and go buy a shirt from a local band. Merch matters, especially right now.


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