Please read this article. It’s awesome! This band is amazing and I’m very bummed that they are splitting up! For those of you who think being in the industry is fun and easy, it’s not. There are many ups and downs. This band has gone through it all. I will be answering questions soon!!!
I’ve been reading through many of the questions I’ve been getting about merch jobs and just touring jobs in general. A lot of people make it seem like it’s something easy that can be handed to you. It’s not an easy task. “To make this happen” you have to work hard and show that you’re in it for the right reasons. Not because you want to meet bands and just travel. Those are a few perks being on the road but not a lot of you know how much work you have to put into it.
Selling merch isn’t just grabbing a few boxes, setting up, and just plotting your ass down and collect money. You have to remember while the band is doing their job on stage you have to do your job off stage. That means you have to attract people to your stand and sell sell sell. If you’re not selling merch, hate to break it to you…you’re not going to get paid.Some tours you’ll be doing A LOT of heavy lifting and carry all those boxes so so far from where your van/bus is parked. You’ll also end up dealing with a few rude people as well as some drunks.
For the ladies who want to be merch girls, I can’t stress enough how hard it is to break into this position…like I said you, you might deal with a few rude people as well as drunks and with that being said sometimes you might have people disrespect you because you’re a girl. I haven’t had this problem happen to me a lot. Maybe once or twice. Thankfully I had my tourmates with me to help shoo them away. Most of the time you’re left alone though. So you got to remember that.
I remember one tour, we had just gotten back from warm weather and the next place we went to BOOM SNOW STORM. You know how fun it is loading the trailer up in snow? Slipping off and using all your strength to put this 50 lb road case in? It’s a lot of work. A lot. A lot. A lot. Blood, sweat, and tears. Literally.
This not only goes for merchies but also TMs. You are the TOUR MANAGER. That can mean many things. You also have to help your crew out when they need it. You guys are all in the same team. You’re on the road for so long that eventually these people become your family. Just because you’re a TM doesn’t mean you can’t help the one guy struggling to set things up in time before doors.
I want you guys to remember WHY you want to be in the business and WHY you want to tour. They have to be great reasons. Not because you get to travel, meet girls/guys, party every night, maybe rub elbows with certain artists, etc. I’ve said it in the past and I’ll say it again, everyone in this business went into it for the love of music. Touring is a great experience…the people I’ve worked with in the past are all so great. It’s a different environment you’re in and it’s amazing. But you have to remember even though you see how awesome it is on the outside, it’s still a job and the job requires for you to do A LOT of work.
Good luck to all of you!
Anonymous said: I just saw on another question that you said you went to MI. I've been considering going there for the same thing, but my parents and I are worried about me finding a job after i finish. Was it difficult for you?
Not really. MI is good at giving you an internship while you’re in school and it’s honestly really up to you to get the job you want. It’s really not the school’s position to get you the job….they’re there to help you go in the right direction once you’re in it’s up to you. It’s your job to start networking and making contacts. It’s also your job to show that you’re fit for the music business. If you do it right whoever you end up interning will either offer you the job or recommend you to other people. The music business isn’t easy to get into…it takes a lot of work.
Anonymous said: Hi! I was wondering if you knew the job title for the people that organize the fan meet&greets/ vip stuff. Or is that even an actual job? Love your blog!
Hi! Yes there is an actual job for that. I actually did it haha. It’s a lot of fun. The job title is usually like Meet and Greet Coordinator.
warpedmindset said: Hi! I really want to become a merch girl, like my DREAM job haha, and I was wondering how could I accomplish that? I'm only 16 but that's what I wanna do when I get out of high school.
Start volunteering. That’s how I started at your age. I helped out bands locally and then when there was an opportunity to help a band out at Warped tour or Bamboozle I would offer to help and made a few contacts that way.
closetheedge said: How old are you and did you go to college for anything? I'm interested in going into the music-business field and I love traveling. I'm just curious how you got started and if you do this though a company or independently?
I’m 25 years old and I went to Musician’s Institute and went for Music Business. I started by helping my brother’s band out. I work independently.
Anonymous said: How old do you have to be to be a merch girl at major events like Warped?
Few starts at about 18. Many are in their 20’s
brickinthesea said: Hey! I'm almost 100% sure I will be on a tour doing merch at the end of May. From what I know, we will be on an actual bus (always a good thing!) but I've only done weekend tours or very short tours in a can before. This tour will last until the first week of July (about 25 cities) what would you recommend bringing?! That is the tricky part for me! Getting all the things that I need packed and crossing off things that I don't need!
Bring flip flops for those truck stop showers. As well as wipes for those days you might NOT shower. Anything comfortable also. Not sure if you’ll be working outside but anything that’s comfortable to wear indoors and out as well as comfortable shoes! I used to have a small bag with all my toiletries in my bunk. That small bag is always good too for us girls especially. Sometimes we’d stop late at night at a truck stop in case anyone wanted to shower. I would just grab that and go. Sunscreen (always good to have).Few personal items in case you miss home! Make sure you also bring a hoodie for those cold nights! There are so many things that I can think of but it would be too long. hahah. But these are pretty much the basic stuff I usually have in my bag when going on the road.
Anonymous said: Hello! I have been wanting to be a merch girl for a particular artist for awhile now. Me and a friend have recently become very close to the artist && his band. We also made friends with the guy who currently does merch. I have been waiting to ask about the position until I felt like the time was right. What is the best way to ask him? Other than being serious? thanks!
Offer to help the merch guy out at shows first that way he can see that you’re eager to learn. After a while if he hasn’t noticed that you’re serious about the job, just mention that if there is a time he can’t sell merch that you’re always available to take the spot.
oreoswithpeanutbutter said: Hi! I just found your blog. I'm 21 and in college. I'm wondering. How did you get started being a merch girl? I'd love to do that at some point but have no idea how to get there
Hi! I started helping out my brothers band then branched out from there. As well as volunteering for warped and did some networking there. I always tell everyone to start small (locally) and work your way up.