The Tip Jar Effect

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Remember the Seinfeld episode where George goes to give the guy a tip at the pizza place, but the guy doesn’t see him put it in the jar and he tries to reach in and take his money back?

It’s funny because most of us can relate to it (well, hopefully not the part about reaching back into the jar!). If we’re being totally honest, when most of us give someone a tip we want them to see us doing it. We want them to feel like they’re getting hooked up and a part of us wants to be acknowledged for making a contribution.

So what does this have to do with music? Well, do you think this might relate to selling CDs and merch at your shows? Is it possible that fans who support you would like for you to see them supporting you? I think so.

So how would we facilitate this? Well, for one, if you’re playing a bar or small venue and you can position the merch table wherever you like, why not put it as close to the stage as you can? And wherever the merch table is, make sure that that’s where you are after the show.

An artist I worked with decided to put the names of all of her fans who bought her pre-sale CD packages on her website. She also had a contest for whomever purchased the most tickets to an event and serenaded the winner at the show. A little creativity goes a long way. What other ideas can you come up with to acknowledge your fans for their support?

76 thoughts on “The Tip Jar Effect

  1. Great article – and these comments are extremely insightful, as well! I’m just starting out, and I’ve got my first gig coming up on the weekend at this swanky restaurant. You all gave me some great tips (sorry) regarding how to work the tip jar. I’ll definitely be using some of these. Thanks!

  2. My CD’s are Eco- wallets and look classy and after the 1st pressing was sold they now cost me .99 cents each , So giving them away is no great Loss, I Go with Giving to the Tip Jar and letting people just take a CD with any Donation they would like to Leave ., If they give me a dollar that CD is Paid For.
    But like the other writer said Most people will give between 2 , 3 or 5.00 average tip and 1/3 will give you 10 or 20.00 dollars its a win win .! One time a Kid came up and took 5.00 dollars from the Jar., I thought fast and I said over the Microphone
    ” Hey kid if you’re gonna take 5.00 at least take a CD too, where’s you Mom and DAD , Give this CD to them And you Keep the Money ., The Audience Hollered With Laughter and the Parents Gave the tip Jar 20.00 . Your TIP is in Direct relation to How GOOD YOU ARE.Don’t whine , Play Better  !!

  3. I ask the venue for a small bar table or bar stool to put a tip jar on. I seed the jar with Two $1 bills and one $5 dollar bill. Taped to the clear jar are two messages.One side says “If you’re feelin’ Tipsy…” When you turn the jar around the other side says”Tipping isn’t just for cows”.I turn it to the side that most fits the crowd that night.
    Most people chuckle and drop some cash.The other night a guy sent his very young son to the tip jar. The kid walked over and took money Out!We all had a good laugh.

    1. I would never laugh at that, to be honest… because many times, that is NOT an accident, sad as that may seem.  But people know that a kid will make people laugh, and if anything IS done, they’re not gonna punish him, just say “hey, that’s not for taking”.  I don’t care if they’re 1 or 100, taking from your tip jar is STEALING, period.

  4. I give away CD’s FOR FREE to special customers, those who have been applauding a lot, smiling at me or dancing, also those who have been requesting songs (but not yet leaving a tip). Also when kids come up to the stage and show interest in my music, give THEM a free CD…. they are SOOO excited, run aback and show their parents.. Ma’n’Pa end up dropping serious green in the jar. The CD’s only cost me about $1.50, but the customers are always THRILLED I gave them something for FREE to show my appreciation that they came to my gig and stayed… You’d be amazed how many five$, ten$ and twenty$ end up in your jar….. Jimmy Limo, 1-man-band in Weed, CA

  5. The jury is still very much out on how to get a little compensation for doing this at the local level in Denver. One of the last posts here expressed surprise at the idea that a venue would expect a band to bring their own crowd. That is how/why you get booked in Denver, in the part of the scene we’re in, coffee shops, house concerts, and temporary venues of different kinds (we’re too quiet/old/ugly to play bars, and most of them are booking DJs and karaoke now anyway). The band pounds the pavement for real and electronically to get the bodies in, that’s why you get paid, if you get paid. Very rarely is a cover charged, in the best places you get a guarantee once you’ve proved you have a following. It’s a Catch-22, they won’t book you if you don’t have a following, and you can’t build a following unless they book you. There are literally thousands of people in Denver who can pick up an instrument and reliably entertain a crowd, the difference is who can get people to turn out. The key is having lots of friends.

    But hey, we’re not alone in struggling with this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFle2YoQwWg&feature=related 

  6. A mason jar? With pennies in it… I WANT that gig. Just enough for a half of a latte.
       Place a nice large reachable glass and in it leave a fiver. “Big bait-big fish.” Then let it go.
    Play well. Make it about the music and the money should flow.
    Don’t let the scene become a Seattle republican jazz society gig.
    That’s like, nowhere man, dig? So when they ask,
    “How much for a CD?” You can say,
    “$15” or,
    “How much do you got?” or,
    “Just take one. I hope you enjoy it.”

    Peace.

  7. We’ve employed our patented “Tip Vacuum,” a 5 gallon plastic bucket with a length of plastic flexhose attached through a hole in the side. Bucket is painted up, harmonica player walks through audience while talking through hose (megaphone styler) as I caution patrons as to how the Tip Vacuum will “suck money right out of your purses and wallets!” Usually people swing into it and start throwing cash into the bucket as if it WERE SUCKING it right out their pockets!  

  8. I go w a y back.  I was playing a gig in the ‘basement’ of the Empire State Building.  Of course I had a good deal of equipment.  (Remember!  This is back in the 60s)  A gentleman came over and put a  $20 bill in my tip jar and said, “I know you’re gonna be good!” 

    I smelled a rat!!!  After I had calmly finished setting up I went over to his table where he was seated with a number of guests.  I said to him as I held up the $20 bill, “Is this you license to break my balls all night?”  Well the laughter at that table was uproarious.  One of the women at the table said, “Sol, he knows you!”  As a result I kept the $20 and  did not have my balls broken all night.

  9. The most luck I’ve had with tipping has been due to the tip jar itself. Like so many have mentioned in this, it’s about creativity and connection.

    When I first started doing solo gigs, I was just heading into college. To add to the starving artist cliche, I also could play to the poor college kid stereotype. Once I graduated from using my case as a tip jar, I found a mason jar and decided to make it fun by making a cardboard figure of myself playing guitar with a big open mouth as the opening to the jar.

    Throughout my sets, I would mention that I had CDs for sale as well as a tip jar where you could “feed the poor college kid/starving artist.” People loved that. There were nights when I’d make $80 in tips at a coffee shop (which is a ton for a kid in college).

    In the past year, however, I have had to retire my tip jar man. He had seen too many shows and was starting to fall apart. Consequently, my tips have gone WAY down. I’ve wanted to replace the old tip jar with something better, but just haven’t been able to come up with ideas to top that…

    I’ve also found that at shows where it’s inappropriate to have tip jars, but okay to sell CDs, using a jar for CD sales works as a tip jar in disguise. I don’t get much beyond the cost of the CDs, but decreases the number of people asking for change if they don’t have time to hang out and talk after the show.

  10. A guy in Spearfish, S.D. (who entertained the crowd during the band’s breaks), had a trained parrot that did a little trick. When handed a coin or folded up bill, the bird would place it in this little toy catapult and then “shoot” it into the coffee can. So cute that soon everybody in the place just had to be the one handing the bird the $$$. A great, funny gimmick.

  11. Is it ok to put a tip jar up at a wedding gig or if i’m djing a fundraiser/benifit, or would some think its a bit taky or rude? I get some gigs where sometimes I question myself if it’s right to pull out the tip jar.

      1. Absolutely no tip jar at private parties of any kind.  Fund-raisers and charity events, ask when you book it.  Club dates, only if the custom of the venue is to do so.  Busking, absolutely.  Privately organized house parties for profit of the host/act split variety that’s becoming popular these days, absolutely put out the jar but let the host know ahead of time so they can voice any objections.

        When I used to do weddings, there would always be any number of people that wanted to buy the band a drink.  My “drink” consisted of orange juice or ginger ale so in a few venues, it was set up ahead of time they would charge a top shelf mixed drink and the servers and I split the difference at the end of the night, but only with management’s prior consent and knowledge.  It saved me the explanation every time a drink was offered that I don’t imbibe and made everyone a couple extra bucks.

    1. Absolutely not. A wedding is a private event where the bride budgets for everything. If she or others want to tip you, they will quietly hand you extra money or include that tip in a check. All gigs that are private events (weddings, corporate receptions, birthday parties, etc.) are where you should charge your top dollar and have the client pay you directly. Putting a tip jar out says to the guests that your client didn’t pay you enough money and that they have to shell out for it. Not good at all.

      More about wedding etiquette in my book, “The Musician’s Guide to Brides: How to Make Money Playing Weddings”, published by Hal Leonard Books and available on amazon at http://amzn.to/tly6TD and my website at http://www.celticharpmusic.com. Also check out episode 030 of the CD Baby DIY Podcast for the full interview about wedding etiquette.

    2. I played a Private party for the family of a restaurant owner who hires me every friday as a Public gig. I did not put out the tip jar for their Private party. A relative of the family passed around a tip jar to defray the cost of the restaurant owners. They kindly refused the money and instead gave the tips to Me!
      They all gave me a Big applause. Iwas surprised and humbles by this generous wonderl gesture.

    3. Don’t pull out a tip jar at a wedding. The most commercial you should be at a wedding is business cards. Even selling CDs would be taboo in nearly all cases. You reach a really broad audience this way, but they’re not there for you and trying to sell yourself to them will remove the focus from the married couple.

      Benefits and fundraisers are more of a case-by-case for tips. If there’s any question, chances are you should keep the tip jar away.

  12. Facebook and other social networking sites are great for fan visibility- when someone posts that they were at your show, and you respond with a thank you, others see it.  I make a point to thank those who check in at my shows.

  13. There’s nothing more attractive than a healthy woman with a pitcher full of money. As for the merch table. Don’t put it by the stage. Put it near the door where people have to walk past it to leave and get yer lazy ass out there immediately after the set

  14. I feel like a yutz: I get paid to play solo at a place and I don’t put out a tip jar because I feel like it’s unseemly. Dumb, I know. People do tip me by leaving it on a table next to where I play, putting it on my music stand or putting it on the stage (when I was in the back). I can’t seem to get over the begging aspect of the tip jar, but I have lost out on money for it. 

    1. Hey Hank, I think a lot of people struggle with this.  I wrote a post that addresses some of the issues that make it tough for musicians to put themselves out there to make money:  http://www.independentrockstar.com/1207/money/  I think a good place for you to start would be to just give people a place to put their tips if they choose to do it on their own.  See how that goes and how you feel about it after a few gigs.  

      1. I play folk music solo, and don’t have enough people to make much of a judgment on tipping yet. On time I stoped in a local bar and played fiddle for about an hour. It wasen’t a planed gig. I left my fiddlecase open by chance, and I found $35 bucks in it. I didn’t see any of this going in and because I didn’t know it, I didn’t thank anyone. Before I left I thanked everyone I could, but still feel guilty about the 10 some one put in. Maybe I should work fiddle into my act…

    2. Begging is asking for a handout without giving anything in return. You ARE giving something.  You are giving talent, you are giving entertainment.  Look at it this way.  Anyone who goes out to a show at a theater is gonna shell out $10-$50 or more right?  And that’s just to get in, they don’t even know if it’s going to be any good.  The show might suck.  As an artist working for tips, you’re giving them the show first, and letting them pay you what they think it was worth.  You’re not forcing or coercing them, you’re giving them the opportunity to show their appreciation.  And though “hey, you’re good” is nice to hear, that doesn’t keep you going.  I used to have a sign that said “If the electric company took “Thank You’s” I wouldn’t need this jar”

  15. This is a very good article with many appropriate response and a couple head scratchers. FYI I have been attending Y&T shows for 3 decades and my first and foremost draw is the energy and effort given each and every time. My 24 year old son who is an apsiring musician said of a recent show “I really get it now….Y&T plays every song as if it were their last. This band is beyond the tip-jar yet the example of fan interaction is bar none. They have meet and greet 99% of the time and their website/forum makes you feel as a family member. Merch sales are way up I woulg guess and I always want to see them again.

    1. Good call.  I saw Y&T a few years back.  They’re definitely all-in.  Anyone who cares that much and gives that much to the people who are already in front of them can grow their audience and be successful.  

  16. I hate to see fans at a concert waiting for the performers to show up at the merchandize table just to find out they do not come out to meet their fans. I hope we never get that far up the scale that we don’t have time for the fans.
    Great articles, keep up the good work.

  17. I was at a show in NYC last Sunday where a friendly female waitress came around with the tip jar. It was a refined stainless steel jar, not a cheap plastic jar. The person and jar seemed to be a “soft touch” that worked. I bet she gave feedback to the artists about the “profile” of a tipper. In a positive way of course. I liked it. I happily dropped in my cash 😉  Some did some turned away. It’s all good.

  18. I was running sound for a band once that had a 7 night a week house band gig. A bit much I know and you could imagine how hard it would be to get tips from the same “regulars” nightly. We put a 30 gallon garbage can of to the side of the stage, over this we mounted a “Nerf” basket-ball goal. This sparked a little response then my wife got a great idea… She bought a few packs of “toy” money from wallyworld and each night her and I would ocassionally ball up some bills and comence to “play ball”. After that we actually had regulars who would come in and with their first beer, get change for a 20 to have for the game that night. Soon we started a scoreboard on the backboard with erasable markers. Everyone wanted to be on the board. They averaged $100-$300 a night from the game and holiday season was even better.

  19. Our band has been together for ten years now.  We always have a tip jar but never mention it.  Whatever we get goes right back to the fans in the form of beads and other fun giveaways.

    1. That’s a great idea! Especially if you announce it. If you don’t say anything about it, might as well blow it on beer.

      1. I’ve had good and bad experiences with tip jars, but I must confess that reading this article stirs up mixed emotions. I’ve seen cheap crowds who will drink water all night, just to avoid paying for their share of thirst-slaking substances (and that includes pop, as well as booze). In that type of situation, you probably won’t get a fair shake, let alone cover your costs. The other thing I’ve noticed is an upswing in ads from venues that a) don’t have any customer base of their own, and b) don’t want to pay the talent, but c) are quite happy to let you put out a tip jar as part of giving you “exposure.” Sometimes, I wonder if we’re just continuing to salt the road of our own ongoing demise with this stuff.

        1. I’ve seen a lot of venues offer a tip jar for “exposure.” In most cases, that is a load of crap. If you are expected to supply the crowd so that the venue is making money, then it’s probably not worth the “exposure.” However, if you’re still a small act, playing for tips at a venue with a built in audience is usually a great way to build up your fan base and make a few bucks on the side.

        2. Amen!  I’ve seen the concept work well in the second scenario that you describe. I have no problem with tip jars, as long as the setting makes sense, which disqualifies the first scenario. that you mention. I’ve seen some pretty silly stuff lately, too: my favorite recent example is a C/L ad posted by a coffeeshop owner trolling for talent, then went to say that their venue was located in a not-so-happening spot…but they still expected you to bring 15 people! I didn’t know whether to laugh, or to cry, after reading that one.

        3. Negotiate pay with the venue FIRST.  Never mention a tip jar until after everything is already established.  It’s THEIR venue, customers mean money for them, so exposure for you is a cop out.  They want people as much, if not MORE than you do.  That’s just an excuse for them being cheap.  Never make the mistake of thinking the venue is there to HELP you.  They’re there to make money, period.  They’re allowing you in because they think you can help with that.  Just like anyone in business, they’re going to try to get the best deal for themselves as possible.  Don’t peddle yourself out for peanuts.

  20. Heck, you really don’t have to be that good of an artist either to make the tips get significant…the mere fact that you interact with people sometimes “in the moment,” or even a little later on, is enough for them to want to give you the boots off their feet. Reciprocal kindness is Americana.

  21. We once played in a place where the tip jar was placed just outside of the doorway. When we spoke to folks giving us tips between songs they said that they didn’t want to leave the money there because they were afraid someone else would take the money. Yes, it is a very good idea to have the tip jar in a place where you can see and where your audience knows their money will be safe.

  22. Reminds me of when I played in a CW band and a biker group came in and collected tips for us _ we never made so much money as that night!  They did this without asking or “skimming” and
    thank you guys!

    1. Good one.  That’s a great idea having someone going around with a tip jar.  Aside from the obvious advantage reaching out to people individually it also exaggerates the ‘tip jar effect’.

      1. Of course the type of venue matters. Playing in a restaurant, you have to be sensitive to  how the management responds to you asking for tips from their patrons. 

    2. I played a bar in the midwest in the mid-80’s where everyone rode Harleys and wore the same jacket for a “pass the hat” deal.  The bartender went around with the hat to every person in the place.  The few people that put anything smaller than a $20 in, he threw it on the floor and said, “dig deeper, you can do better than that” and they did.  Great audience, lots of fun and the best bar gig payday we ever saw.  Went back every time they wanted us for the next year until I moved east.   That was my first band and, frankly, we weren’t very good – but we worked hard and treated everyone with respect.

  23. I did a solo gig at a museum charity show with the tip jar on the floor next to me. A young couple sent their one and a half year old daughter up to the stage with a dollar bill which they had instructed her to place in the jar. I guess she didn’t understand the concept as she reached in and took out all the money in the jar and ran back to he parents with a big smile on her face. Brought the house down!

  24. Thanks for this Scott. I have mixed thoughts: One one hand, keeping the tip jar & merch on stage (or near it) is a great way for people to “show their love” in a visible way to the band–and keep a good eye on your goods–but there are some audiences that are a little shy and would rather not be too close to the spotlight. Maybe it’s a Midwestern thing, but I think it depends on the venue and what kind of crowd you draw; some people just feel awkward being that close to the action. You know your audience best, so I’d say try different things until you find the sweet spot.

    I agree with people below about salting the jar a bit. I’m in a band that has a regular monthly gig at a coffee/wine bar that is tips-only, so we bill it as “Never a cover, always a tip jar” and remind people that their donations are what allow us to continue coming back. The venue usually throws in a 20 and the band will throw in 5-10 to start. We’re also lucky in that staff also walk around with the jar. Word of wisdom to others who have gigs like this: If it’s an all-ages show and you have a friend with a toddler, enlist their help in getting people to tip! We have a 4-year-old “fan” who LOVES to walk around with the jar, soliciting tips (she started doing it on her own for fun, then her mom and the band encouraged it after that). People love to make a toddler smile. I also agree with Jason Fifield below, in that personally chatting people up makes a difference in people’s engagement and tip quotient. Plus, when you work a room, you’re also more likely to get a repeat customer because they’ll remember how friendly and *human* you were.

    To Mdhastings’ question: I don’t know a good answer about how often to suggest tipping during a show, but I’ve seen several bands announce it 1-2 times per set, and it seems to work for them. Some even suggest a certain amount and pass the jar around each time they make the suggestion.

    1. I’ll have to hire a toddler at the next sidewalk show.  I wonder if a 4 year old will work for a percentage? 

  25. Yes and no. I have had much better success “working the room” at small venues – getting out of the comfort zone and talking to people that you don’t know can really build sales and the fan base. If you don’t ask for the sale you might be waiting a long time…

  26. I’ve always wondered how well “salting” the tip jar with some of your own money works. Is it better not to do it? Is it better to do it, and if so how much? How often during a gig should you remind people that you appreciate some tipping?

    1. In my experience (3 weekly gigs & more in New Orleans) salting the jar DOES work. A 5 and a few 1’s will do. Better than that though, having a girlfriend or close friend walk up and put money in, or buy a CD does even better! Even if you give their money back to them / take CD back later. People are copycats, and often, after your ‘planted’ person tips, others will follow suit. Also, at clubs where the guarantee sucks, we shamelessly walk the tip bucket around and collect, like it’s church! Gotta make a living somehow…

      1. Spending 10 years playing in the French Quarter hotel lounges and restaurants served as a good testing ground for this idea.  There was a guy, Johnny Gordon, who played 40 years in the Quarter … he said always start with a $5 and three $1s.  Something about the number 8 … the infinite circular path … infinite amount of money flow…. there was something to it … on nights I didn’t have a $5, I borrowed one because if all that the tippers saw was were $1s, then that is what they tipped.

        1. Good stuff guys.  Most people are unconsciously looking for other people to set the frame for them in social situations and will follow along with whatever the other person or people have established as what’s expected and acceptable.  There’s a really interesting study referenced in this post that illustrates that point pretty well:  http://www.scienceofpeople.org/2011/01/the-science-of-peer-pressure/

      2. Great suggestions all. Many thanks for the responses. I think the key is to find a way to reassure the audience that they are not chumps for tipping. Demonstrating desired behavior by salting or using a plant to tip and buy CDs seem like useful ideas. 
        I played one gig to a packed house that (mostly friends of the other performer) and got $3. This was a crowd unused to paying for their music. (They also stiffed the waitresses.) At another gig in the same venue with a similar crowd, I got the most tips ever. The difference was in connecting with the audience, letting them know we were human and we needed their support. 

        If only audience members could get an idea of the amount of practice, work, and expense in equipment that goes into a performance. Maybe then they would either tip better, or simply call the guys in the white coats… ;-}

    2. I usually say (in my best AM DJ voice)… “The request lines are open… Write your requests down… On a 5 or 10 or 20… This next song is a long-distance love dedication… goin’ out to (insert name here)…” . Customers will chuckle, and HOPEFULLY get the message… ROCK ON !

    3. Just played two fundraiser benefits. “Salted” the tip jar with two fives and a ten. From then on, that’s mostly what folks contributed. At another event, did not “salt” and got mostly singles. I think sometimes people are looking for visual clues as to what is appropriate and will follow the lead of whoever was there last.

      1. This is what I find at solo gigs: People don’t know what to tip a musician, even when they want to. If I salt the jar with ones I will usually get ones. If I use 5’s I get 5’s. I use a clear jar just for this reason. 10’s are good too! I also find when selling my cd’s for 15$ people will often tell me to put the $5 change from a 20 in the jar if it is nearby. I’m honestly not trying to manipulate, just help them express whatever generosity and appreciation they feel. I like my tip jar and mercht near me but not too close, as someone else said here, some people don’t want to step into your space while your playing.

    4. Salt it with ones and thats what you’ll get- salt it with a 5 or a 10 and THAT”S what you’ll get. We also thank our tippers- even in the middle of a song- as soon as we see it go in. FUNNY STUFF- I’ve seen a guy hold up a ten, and drop in a one- fun-ny!

    5. YES!  If you want to make tips, you HAVE to.  It’s like seed (that’s the term I’ve always used anyway, “seeding” the jar, not salting, but same meaning so it’s all good).  Whatever you plant is what’s gonna grow.  Put in 5s and 10s, and you’ll see them.  Put in ones, you’ll see them.  Put in nothing, you’ll get a lot of it.  It’s not the jar that gets attention, it’s the fact that it has money in it.  People notice money.  I’m in a band, but I’m also a street entertainer, and I get a LOT more tips using a clear container than a solid one.  I had this great collapsible box with a lid that was great for travel, it folded flat, but would open up into a nice sized box.  Looked GREAT.  Fancy gold leaf writing, TIPS in big, shiny letters.  I do better with an empty cheese ball barrel with a slit in the lid, because people see the money, and that’s what seems to make it click to them.

  27. i have found the sentiment of this article to be absolutely true. i have two examples.
    the first speaks to the idea that fans want to support and want it to be known they are supporting. on my last tour, i gave away a digital copy of my e.p. in exchange for signing up for our email list…or a physical copy if you signed up AND paid $5. not one person took the free route. if they cared and wanted the music, they also wanted to support monetarily.
    the second example has to do with tip jar, and the visibility of merch sales. my friend mason reed from tuscon, arizona puts a tip jar in front of the stage with a stack if c.d.’s next to it and tells the crowd they can tip if they want and take a cd whether they tip or not. he makes more money off cd sales that way than he does when he sells the album for a set price at the merch table.
    so, long story short…you’re dead on, here.

    1. A wow and 2 bits for Mason Reed. What a great way to make the audience feel guilt and pay for absolution. If I were in the audience I would pay a tip if I didn’t hate the music and buy a CD if I enjoyed it. Then I would probably try to avoid returning to that venue.

      1. Your last sentence is right on the money there.

        I know it may get a sale in the short run   — but what gets the money for us is repeat customers and word-of-mouth. We can get second, third, fourth concerts in an area — but if we burned the audience like this, then those would stop.

        I don’t want to feel guilt. I want to feel pleasure.

  28. Have you seen the (always attending the venue ) person who FAKES  TIPPING THE JAR  to impress the personj next to him. Cheap…cheap….cheap

  29. Really interesting article, Scott. I guess its not so much building the bigger mousetrap as the better one. As an artist myself, I know that one of my traps is sometimes getting caught up in the hype and energy you need when putting up a production- maybe the same is true with musicians and the merch table sometimes becomes secondary to the performance- but I love the point you make: doesn’t matter how big an act you are, a show is about the relationship being built between audience and band. I never really considered that that shared experience should extend all the way to the CD sales… Nice post.

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