Bad concert or artist merchandise
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
If you’re anything like me, you appreciate a good piece of artist merchandise. When I go to any concert, show, or event, I like to buy the tour shirts to support the artist and to add to my extensive collection of graphic T-shirts. Artist or tour merchandise means a great deal to me. It’s almost as important as seeing them perform live. It serves as a memento of a fun experience or a way to show my love for certain bands or artists. So, when I see an artist that I like selling badly made products or merchandise, it is extremely disheartening.
I think artists need to realize that their merchandise is important to their fan base and plenty of people would pay good money for well-made or well-designed apparel specific to the artist. If people shell out a lot of money to see someone perform, the merchandise should meet the fans’ expectations. Odds are they’re going to buy it no matter how bad it is because they want to preserve that memory or show that they were at that concert. However, that doesn’t mean artists should sell cheap or crappy tour merch just because they know their fans will buy it anyway.
As a huge fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, I am always looking for drag queen merchandise that is designed well and worth my money. So far, I have yet to find any. Most of the stuff I find is boring, badly designed, or way too expensive.
Finding good merch isn’t a problem only within the Drag Race fanbase either. Many major artists and bands sell mundane or lame tour apparel. For instance, I have tour shirts from bands like The Pixies, Beach House, The Black Keys, and Kendrick Lamar that I unfortunately bought and never wear because I think they’re poorly designed.
One recent case of bad tour merchandise is Ariana Grande with her Sweetener World Tour apparel. Buzzfeed even wrote an article to show the hilariously bad products that were being sold at her tour merch stand. Some range from “kind of lame” to “what the hell is that?” One shirt in particular has a blue stain on it that supposedly looks like a dick stain, which I’ve decided I need. It might be funny to look at it from an objective view, but if I was a young fan of hers at the concert with those sad excuses for tour shirts, I would be bitterly disappointed.
Most of these artists are popular enough to have some of their creative fanbase make apparel designs for them, so why do they stick to such boring clothing? Merchandise is extremely important to fans, so some artists need to step up their design game.