FAC launches database of venues charging zero commission on merch

Backed by Peter Hook, the new '100% Venues' directory aims "to ensure the current system is made fairer for touring artists"

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

Supported by Peter Hook, the ‘100% Venues’ database aims to address the “outdated and unfair” practice of performance spaces taking a cut of acts’ merch proceeds at gigs.

“When fans buy merchandise from artists that they love, they want and expect that their money will go to supporting that artist,” the FAC explained, adding that the relationship between acts and venues is “essential and inseparable”.

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It states that the sale of official merch is “one of the key revenue sources” for musicians, and has launched the new directory “to ensure the current system is made fairer for touring artists”.

Venue bosses can sign up by completing a one-minute form, with the FAC also encouraging acts to share the spreadsheet with their fanbase and the wider music community. You can find more information here.

“Using a collective voice will be the way to promote change which will subsequently support live artists in the future,” the FAC wrote. “With a large database, other venues will more likely reconsider their fees and reassess how much they want to be charging their booked artists.”

CREDIT: Press

Expressing his backing of the initiative, Peter Hook said: “You’re treated like gods in the dressing room and then robbed blind on the merchandise stall. I fully support this campaign and have been very vocal about this injustice to artists and fans for years. I fail to understand why these charges are so high?”

David Martin, FAC CEO, added: “The relationship between artists and venues represents one of the most important partnerships in the music ecosystem. These 100% Venues are leading the way, enabling artists to take home 100% of merchandise revenue.

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“This makes selling merchandise at gigs worthwhile for artists, creating a fairer and more sustainable touring circuit, particularly for grassroots and emerging talent.”

Roxanne de Bastion, Board Director and Chair of the FAC BEAT board, agreed that venues taking a cut of merch sales at gigs “seems to penalise independent and new artists in particular”.

“The FAC’s Kitemark for independent promoters addresses this issue and has certainly made a start in making the environment fairer for artists,” she added.

At the time of writing, the FAC’s new database features The Jazz Cafe in London and the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds – check it out here.

The launch of ‘100% Venues’ comes after Peter Hook and Tim Burgess criticised establishments that take an unfair cut of merchandise sales last month, with the latter saying that “​​the whole system needs addressing”.

Hook wrote: “I have been battling this for many years now and fully support a change to this practise [sic].”

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