Best Merch Items for Bands, Music Festivals, & Concerts
- Soft t-shirts & hoodies
- Demo discs
- Posters & tapestries
- Mobile accessories
- Unique bottle openers
- Air fresheners
- Stickers & pins
- Baseball caps & beanie hats
- Cool drinkware
Hey there, rockstar! Social distancing may still be a thing, but who knows what the future will bring. Concerts, music festivals, and other gigs may be just around the corner. Your fandom is still strong, and it will be even stronger if you make sure to offer plenty of great merch at your shows. After all, merch and music go together like Hall and Oates, Simon and Garfunkel, or Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell!
You want to make sure you’re offering merch that is so darn cool, your fans won’t mind shelling out a few bucks to buy it. Here are the best items for the job!
1. Custom T-shirts & Hoodies
Personalized shirts and hoodies are no-brainers when it comes to band merch. Look for a nice cotton/polyester blend that holds the custom ink well, and make sure the material isn’t too thick. People won’t want anything heavy while they’re jumping up and down. Two words… armpit sweat.
Black is a pretty standard color, but don’t be afraid to mix it up. Tie-dye has been having a moment lately, and some music fans dare to wear white. Pop in a few extra colors here and there.
2. Demo Discs
CDs have gone the way of cavemen, so you’re probably posting your new music on social media or on big platforms like Spotify, iTunes, and Pandora.
Still, that isn’t to say that demo discs are totally dead to the world. Keep a few CDs with 3 to 5 songs on your table, and go the extra mile by packaging them in stylish sleeves. You can charge $5 each, and get your name out there for all the old-schoolers who still have Walkmans (Walkmen?).
3. Custom Posters & Tapestries
Band posters are an awesome way to decorate your home or office. The same can be said for intricate tapestries, which can be used as wall art or as makeshift blankets for outdoor concerts and music festivals.
Try to avoid taking cheesy pictures for your posters or tapestries. You know the type – your band’s looking off into the distance while on a beach, you’re posing with your mouths slightly agape, or everyone’s doing the “devil horns” with photoshopped lightning in the background. The novelty of these posters will eventually wear off, and your fans won’t want to display them for very long.
4. Promotional Phone Accessories
The crowd at your show isn’t going to be holding up lighters during the power ballads. They’re going to grab their smartphones instead and let the flashlight shine on stage! For this reason, you can’t go wrong with mobile accessories on your merch table like custom PopSockets, phone stands, and chargers.
Now’s not the time to choose sides between Android or iPhone. Make sure you have accessories that are compatible with both devices.
5. Unique Bottle Openers
People who go to concerts will do one of two things:
#1: Pre-game in the parking lot before the concert.
#2: Go to a friend’s house to party after the concert.
This is because everyone knows that the drinks can be insanely expensive at a venue. We’re talking between $8 and $10 per can or bottle!
Keep the good vibes and drinks flowing with bottle openers at your merch table. Bonus points if you go with an unexpected shape like a guitar or pair of sunglasses!
6. Personalized Air Fresheners
After a long jam sesh, everyone’s going to be sweaty and stinky. Keep things fresh in both the tour bus and in each of your fan’s cars with custom air fresheners.
Go ahead and be picky about the scent. After all, you don’t want your air fresheners to cause a series of sneezes! A nice cherry or pine is a good way to go.
7. Custom Stickers & Pins
Make sure your band’s name is always visible by selling stickers and pins at your merch table. The stickers will eventually get stuck to laptops, TVs, and light poles, while the pins will get attached to backpacks and jackets.
Die cut stickers and enamel pins are way cooler than the stickers used by your five-year-old cousin for art projects, or the pins your grandmother sticks to her turtlenecks and vests. Go with these styles to make the best impression on the crowd!
8. Custom Hats
You’ve likely already got custom tees and hoodies on your merch table. So go the distance and complete the outfit by offering sweet headwear like baseball caps and beanies.
Hang up a hat or two behind your merch table and keep the rest in boxes underneath. You can then bust out the hats if someone’s interested in buying one.
9. Cool Drinkware
It can get awfully hot at a crowded venue or music festival. Plus, some bars charge an obnoxious amount for bottled drinks. A nice lightweight water bottle or a stylish plastic cup helps solve both problems for your fans.
If you can, look for a water bottle with an attached carabiner. This will hook right onto bags, so the crowd can be hands-free to pump their fists in the air. A plastic cup, meanwhile, is great as you don’t have worry about it breaking like you would with glass.
10. Promotional Earbuds
The show is over, the encore has been sung, and now it’s time to head home. Your fans can keep listening to your tracks at work, the gym, and everywhere in between if you sell custom earbuds at your merch table.
Fans might also want to buy your earbuds before the show starts. You never know if the venue is going to be too loud, or if your opening
In 2017, Forbes published an article about the power of music merchandise, reporting that “for those who hadn’t yet made it to superstar status, selling branded items is very important.” Good merch is still a must for bands to this very day!
You have to look at your music as a business, and promotional items for business are the way you get more interest in the “product” you’re offering. Make sure to bring your swag to every gig you book. Now pump up the volume and rock your next show!
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