December 7, 2023

Music Plugng Melodic Hub

Beats Of Music

College Street Music Hall, Space Ballroom announce no merch cuts

2 min read

Photo of Andrew DaRosa

College Street Music Hall in New Haven photographed on December 3, 2021.

College Street Music Hall in New Haven photographed on December 3, 2021.

Arnold Gold/Hearst Connecticut Media

At Hamden’s Space Ballroom and now New Haven’s College Street Music Hall, all performing artists retain 100 percent of their merchandise revenue. The venues are run by Premier Concerts/Manic Presents, which is the state’s largest independent concert promoter.

Though Space Ballroom has never taken cuts from artists’ merchandise sales, an announcement on behalf of both venues was made on Tuesday, following an Instagram post from punk rocker Jeff Rosenstock, who performed at College Street Music Hall Saturday. In the post, Rosenstock took a picture of a spreadsheet listing all of the cities that he would be performing in during his fall tour and what percentage of cuts each venue would take on merchandise. Values ranged from 10 to 25 percent plus added taxes on top of some of the cuts. 

The New Haven venue was one of three venues where merchandise cuts were not being collected. Mark Nussbaum, Talent Buyer for Premier Concerts/Manic Presents, said College Street used to waive the cut if asked by an artist or their management, but has now adopted no cuts across the board.

“We’re hoping others follow,” Nussbaum said.

A painted fence next to Hamden's Space Ballroom.

A painted fence next to Hamden’s Space Ballroom.

Meghan Friedmann / Hearst Connecticut Media

“This is going to cause us to sell our merch for higher prices than we’d like to at certain venues. We think that sucks,” Rosenstock wrote in the post. “It makes no sense that at the end of these killer shows where we’re all having a nice time, someone who was our friend all night low key robs us and goes ‘have a safe trip to the next gig buddies!!'”


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