A Look At Merch Sales in 2021

A Look At Merch Sales in 2021

With the industry finally coming back, we wanted to share a look into the last three months for concert merchandise, and help answer some of your most asked questions. The most popular question asked of us is:

“How has $/head changed from 2019? Why?”

So we are here to break that down and help shed some light into 2021 merch sales and what that might mean for $/head overall and for some of the top genres from 2019.

We really saw the spike of concerts returning starting in June, so all data in this post is from June through August. To be transparent on where we are getting these values from, below is our resumé:

Gross Merchandise Sales

Now... to the data! Overall, we have seen $/head in 2021 increase by 19% compared to 2019:


Taking a look at the top 5 genres by $/head in 2019, we compared them to see how they relate in 2021. These top five genres are based on looking at similar size venues to this year, to make them as comparable as possible.

Across all five genres we see $/head increases ranging from 7% (Hip Hop/Rap) to 58% (Rock). The most popular follow-up question we get after sharing how $/head has grown over the last 2 years is:

“Is $/head in 2021 up because artists are raising the price of their merch?”

And although that is a contributing factor, the average band tee price has gone up 9% compared to 2019, whereas the overall $/head increase is 19%. So even though we are seeing the average price of a tour tee increase from $32 to $35, that isn’t the only reason that we’re seeing these large jumps in genre averages year over year.

When looking into what else is contributing to the average dollar per head in 2021 being higher than 2019, we started to look at:

“Are more people buying merchandise at concerts?”

By taking a look at the number of unique transactions per show and attendance, we are able to estimate the percentage of people that purchased merchandise for that concert.

When comparing the average % of attendance who purchased merchandise from 2019 to this year, we do see a noticeable increase in purchase behavior.


The jump from 2019 to 2021 is the equivalent of saying that in 2019, 1 in 10 people purchased merchandise, in 2021 it is 1 in 5.

We then broke it down by genre to see if this is across the board or if different genres are showing more fan interest in merchandise than others, we see a similar story.

Our learnings are always dynamic as we continue to get more data from the ongoing shows, festivals, and tours...so as we see changes we will continue to post updates. Stay tuned for more insights!

The atVenu team

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