One of my favorite stories is the following: In 1997, I went together with my friend George to see Skunk Anansie in Stuttgart. Outside the venue there were the typical Dutch sellers of merchandise, screaming: "Skorfs, deeshörts". George went to buy one of these shirts for 15 German Marks - 10 Marks cheaper than the shirts, who were sold inside the venue - and put it on. We left the venue, after the concert, because George wanted to have his shirt signed by Skin, Skunk Anansie´s fronter. George met Skin and asked for an autograph. Skin commented instantly: "This is not one of ours!!" (She signed it anyway).
I was hassled by the merch guy from Motörhead during their "No sleep ´till Christmas"-Tour in 1981, because I bought a Motörhead scarf from the Dutch sellers outside the venue.
So it´s not a new nuisance that bands were cheated; no matter if it´s the fee, transport, cuts and merch. I mentioned it that this kind of business is a half-slavery-job, The other half consists of annoying band members, producers, ARs, etc.
Igorrr is right to complain and he´s also naive to complain because every section of the music business wants to recoup their losses during the covid hiatus. Of course there´s a war between Ukraine and Russia and the quite stupid sanctions of the EU which led to a huge rise of the gas prices, although Russia is selling its gas to other countries.
The price for diesel in 2019 was around 1,27€, now in 2023, you have to check the time of the day to fill your fuel tank: At 8am, 1 liter of diesel cost 1,95€, at 9am 1,85€, at 11am 1,74€ and at 1pm 1,69€. Anyway it´s a difference of 0,5€/liter.
This is the track of the Truckfighters tour in March 2023. 10 days, around 3200 km. That means: the van/bus consumes around 14l/100km, so that´s around 450 liters, 1 liter is aroud 1,75€ so the costs for the fuel are around 800€. Same tour in 2019: 450l x 1,30 = 600€.
Luckily you don´t have to pay toll on Germany´s highways.
The cut for the venues was and is always around 25%. Why? Because it´s actually forbidden to sell stuff without a licence to sell. So the venue charge the bands like the small criminals for protection money, if the don´t have a kind of book to notice their gains and taxes. The venues request their turnover tax to allow the bands selling their merch. And the country also requires their taxes for working in this country. And the design and the shipping costs for the merch also costs at least 10% of the price.
And if you want to be a kind of Gutmensch with the intention to print your logo on organic, biologic cotton like Gojira, you have to sell the shirts for 40£. Or you create a personal gift like used drumsticks or heads for 200£. They "suffer" the same relation between producing their merch and their profit.
And how is it going with football shirts, made of polyester, which costs around 90 or 100€?
The price for the original German shirt of 2018 championship was 90€.
Adidas paid 5€/shirt for ze German Football Association (DFB);
Production- and shipping costs: 8,60€
Profit for the trader: 39€/shirt
VAT (value-added-tax): 14,36€
The trader are making the biggest profit and the venues are the trader for the band´s merch.
Maybe Mustasch legendary concert in Gothenburg during the covid hiatus could be a solution for the musicians, to perform on their own truck. No, it´s not a solution because you need a permission to perform.