Live Nation alternative Ineffable to waive all venue merch fees for artists in a continued push for a more equitable music business.
All venues owned or operated by Ineffable Live, Ineffable Music Group’s live division and an alternative to Live Nation, will no longer collect venue merchandise cuts from artist merch sales. This new policy goes into effect immediately at all venues and shows owned or operated by Ineffable, including The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, Ventura Music Hall, Golden State Theatre in Monterey, and many more.
“When bands go on tour, their revenue streams are almost exclusively a share of ticket sale revenue and band merchandise sales. Historically the standard business practice in the US for music venues has been to collect a percentage of revenue generated from merch sales,” explains Ineffable’s official statement regarding the updated policy.
“The myriad of expenses bands have, such as their travel, production, and health insurance, have increased significantly in recent times. The same can be said about the costs associated with printing and shipping t-shirts and other merchandise,” the statement continues. “Independent touring bands that have loyal fan bases rely on support from their fans via merchandise sales to make ends meet. The margins in merchandise are incredibly vital to the economic feasibility of touring.”
Ineffable Music Group CEO Thomas Cussins notes, “We are on the ground and hearing from artists every day. We are seeing how much the costs of everything have gone up — from buses to hotels to flights. So even though the club business is a marginal business, any action we can take to help to (ensure) a healthy, vibrant concert ecosystem is important.”
“This industry only works if artists of all levels are able to afford to tour,” Cussins continues. “When artists are able to tour sustainably, and fans can afford to buy a t-shirt because the all-in ticket price is reasonable, everybody wins.”
Ineffable head talent buyer Casey Smith adds, “We’ve been able to make our live business work even with increased expenses by having a number of venues and being able to create routes for artists, offering them a number of shows in secondary and college markets between their big city plays.”
“Since we’ve made it work for ourselves, we want it to work for the artists as well,” Smith concludes. “This move is fully aligned with Ineffable’s independent spirit, and in hearing the needs of independent artists, we believe it’s important to put them first.”