Gigging has become increasingly hard for artists, and merchandise income can be the difference between a tour losing money or breaking even.
The work being done by the FAC to highlight this issue is welcomed by the MU and aligns with the aims of the MU’s Fair Play Venue database, which includes details of UK venues that have committed to engage artists in line with the Fair Play Guide.
The MU’s support comes following the extension of the 100% Venues campaign into North America in late 2022, and after the issue of merchandise commission was raised in last month’s US Congressional hearing regarding the USA’s live touring landscape.
We’re delighted to show our support
Kelly Wood, MU National Organiser for Live, Theatre & Music Writers said:
“We’re delighted to show our support for the 100% Venues initiative, which is becoming a vital resource for musicians in the UK. Touring remains a key part of many artists’ careers, and whilst it can help to grow fanbases and support releases, it can also prove very challenging from a financial perspective.
“The UK has an incredible network of music venues, which are loved universally by artists and audiences. However, to protect the viability of future tours and careers, we need consistent and fair terms for performers. Artists rely on a combination of income streams when on tour, and any threats to these - such as unfair or unexpected commissions on merchandise - can have devastating effects.
“The growing number of venues that have signed up to the initiative so far sends a very strong and positive message to artists, and we hope that this leads to more pressure for other venues to improve their terms and get behind the campaign.”
David Martin, CEO of the Featured Artists Coalition said:
“We are hugely grateful to receive support for 100% Venues from our friends at the Musicians’ Union. The MU and FAC’s members deliver the performances that the whole live music industry is built on, yet many are facing an almost impossible task to keep the show on the road. That is why the issue of merchandise commission has become so pronounced and why we will continue to fight for a fairer settlement for artists.”