The Evolution Of Tour Merch

by MR Magazine Staff

The band T-shirt has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Its origins are difficult to trace, but it’s thought that the teenage ‘bobby-soxers’ of the 1940s sparked its creation by scrawling the names of their favorite musicians across their clothes and wearing them proudly. Plenty of the first designs were unofficial – the earliest concert tee was reportedly made by an Elvis fan club in the late 1950s – but bands and promoters quickly noticed the trend and decided to capitalize on it by making official merch. Everyone was happy; die-hard fans got their tees and promoters got their cash. Fast-forward some 60 years and merch drops are now ubiquitous. Not content with releasing just one design, artists like Travis Scott and Lil Wayne team up with style icons to create extensive, limited edition ranges which usually come bundled with album downloads. When fans redeem these – essentially free – downloads, they add to the artist’s sales, a fact which was highlighted and lambasted by Nicki Minaj earlier this year. Read more at Highsnobiety.