As an independent venue, we are really proud that we have never charged artists playing at our
venue any merch fees. It has always been, and continues to be, a battle for those in the music and arts industry to make ends meet and we appreciate with all the costs involved with touring, it’s difficult for artists to make enough to cover it all.
The Guardian recently cited several venues that continue to take a cut of artist merch sales, up to
25%. NME found the more extreme reports revealed some venues were taking a cut of merch
commissions of up to 45 per cent. We feel strongly that artists should be rewarded for their
performances and not penalised with hidden charges that not only affect them but affect those who
attend live music shows.
This current trend is driving artists to take drastic measures. Post-punk band, Dry Cleaning, played a
well-known venue in London in March and made the decision that they would not be held to ransom
by the venue’s 25% cut in merch sales and decided to sell their merch in a pop-up shop around the
corner. This is a sad reflection of the lack of support from venues for artists and our wider economic
ecosystem. Less bands, equals less gigs, equals less venues in the long run.
Consequently, the featured artist coalition (FAC) recently created a list of ‘100% venues’ – venues
that waive commission. We’re proud to be on this list alongside over 400 other fiercely independent
places including Brudenell Social Club, The 100 Club and Jazz Cafe. However looking at the list
there’s a serious lack of larger London venues on the list and this needs to change.
As a 3000 capacity venue with a huge building under constant renovation, we are also under
pressure to make ends meet, but not at the price of the livelihoods of the artists playing at Troxy. So
when you’re coming to a gig here, rest assured that every T-shirt and poster you buy is going to
support your favourite artists.
We’d encourage you to take a look at the list and when choosing your next gig, support the 100%
venues across the UK. We applaud their stance to support music and nurture new artists and hope
more will join us by waiving these extra fees.