MerchFriends, a is new 501 (c) organization led by Hello Merch co-founder, The Format’s Sam Means, brings together some of the top names in the merch industry to produce content, events, and educational material aimed at influencing and supporting a healthy independent music merch ecosystem. Their mission is to unite independent merch makers to support and sustain both the industry and artists that they serve.
Interestingly, MerchFriends have teamed up with the folks at Spotify, the world’s most used streaming service for the inaugural Band Shirt Day today. Band Shirt Day is a celebration of merch and giving. It’s a global fundraising event that combines the love and nostalgia of the iconic band shirt with an opportunity for artists to raise money for worthy, charitable causes.
The artists participating in Band Shirt Day include Portugal. The Man, Sonic Youth, Best Coast, Matt Nathanson, Black Pumas, Parquet Courts, Indigo De Souza, Bush Tetras, Roar, SPELLING, Equal Vision Records, and Rude Records. The GoFundMe account for Band Shirt Day will collect donations on behalf of the participating artists. The funds’ recipients will include the ACLU, The Ally Coalition, Voices of Children, MusiCares, Planned Parenthood and more.
Similar to Record Store Day or the Australia Music T-Shirt Day, Band Shirt Day invites artists to create and sell unique limited edition merch items while encouraging them to use their platform to create change. Artists can participate by listing their specially designed merchandise on HelloMerch.com, or existing sales channels with proceeds going directly to their selected charity. They can also use their Spotify profile to offer a special tee or merch deal and leverage Spotify’s Fan Support tool to encourage their listeners and fans to donate to Band Shirt Day’s official GoFundMe or to raise money for another cause directly from their artist profile.
“We at Rude Records believe that everyone has the opportunity and responsibility to make the world a better place,” the folks at Rude Records say in a statement. “That is why, through our charity branch Rude Cares, we support several projects to end inequality, social injustice and to make the world more sustainable for future generations. We are honored to take part in Band Shirt Day and thankful for having the chance to be part of this great initiative with our artists!”
“Glad to see Band Shirt Day raising the profile for the good work that bands do. It means a lot to us to get the extra exposure for our Foundation” Portugal. The Man say of the decision to participate in Band Shirt Day.
For my fellow New Yorkers, Band Shirt Day will be Band Shirt Weekend. MerchFriends is patterning with Rough Trade to curate the Indieplaza’s Artist Merch Market at the inaugural Indieplaza at Rockefeller Center — and to establish a Band Shirt Day presence at the festival that takes place this weekend.
The Artist Merch Market will feature limited-edition merchandise from Hello Merch, Low Level, Favorite Vegetable, plus Rough Trade vinyl bins, live screen printing from Upstate Merch, live art demonstrations from the legendary Steve Keene, Jose Berrio, artist signings and festival merch, DIY family fun, interactive games and more!
A full list of participating Band Shirt Day artists, merch, and causes
can be found here: https://bandshirtday.com/directory
Artists can register to participate in Band Shirt Day here: https://bandshirtday.com
Info on Indieplaza can be found here: https://www.rockefellercenter.com/events/indieplaza-at-rockefeller-center/
Band Shirt Day’s GoFundMe can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/bandshirtday