There’s no better way to display that you’re a loud and proud fan of a band than with an iconic T-shirt. The item may be a brand-new tank from the artist’s latest tour or a vintage crewneck from an obscure album, but it still makes a statement about the music and artist you love.
While merch is certainly suitable as year-round garb, there’s no better time to don your well-worn tee than September 15, Band Shirt Day. Last year, Spotify and MerchFriends, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a sustainable ecosystem for independent music merchandise, launched the first holiday dedicated to celebrating artist tees (and doing some good in the process). And this year, we’re ready to go bigger.
“Independent music has a deep history of sustainability through community focus, fundraising, street teams, and guerilla marketing. MerchFriends, through Band Shirt Day, is bringing together communities to help solve problems we face every day,” said Sam Means, MerchFriends and Hello Merch co-founder, and member of indie rock band The Format.
We’re inviting all artists to join us by offering special tees or merch deals on their Spotify profile, something that’s easy to do with our Spotify for Artists tools powered by the Shopify integration. Fans searching for special items can find them on an artist’s profile listed as an Artist Pick, or in other spots on the platform like release pages and within Spotify’s Now Playing view. Hello Merch will donate a portion of participating artists’ Band Shirt Day sales to the official Band Shirt Day fund, and all artists are encouraged to raise donations for the fund (or another cause they care about) using Spotify’s Fan Support tool.
There’s already a notable slate of artists who are participating in Band Shirt Day: Blondie, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Dustin O’Halloran, The Tragically Hip, Grace Potter, and Dead Kennedys will all have merch available, and more artists will be joining the cause over the next month.
Portugal. The Man is taking part in their second Band Shirt Day campaign, and this year they plan to use their proceeds to help support Indigenous communities.
“Growing up in Alaska, we became connected to the native people and their communities. And as we traveled the world, we noticed that there was a lack of attention and funding for Indigenous causes,” the members of Portugal. The Man explained. “We felt that we were in a good position to help raise the profile for their causes and decided to start PTM Foundation. We cover all the costs for the foundation so that 100% of the money we raise can go directly into the communities we support. We hope that we can be helpful in elevating their voices as we tour the world. Buying a shirt from our foundation is an easy way to help.”
To celebrate the day, Spotify will also have a special Band Shirt Day playlist that will highlight songs from participating artists and feature the available merch. The WASTOIDS podcast will also debut a band shirt special exploring the history of music tees with artists and merch makers.
“Since the earliest days of people creating DIY T-shirts for their favorite artists, merch has been a physical and personal representation of fandom. It’s an expression of identity, community, and support for the music makers and creators who add color to our world,” shared Heather Ellis, Product Marketing Manager for Spotify for Artists. “Band Shirt Day celebrates those creators and provides an opportunity for artists and fans to come together in support of the causes they care about most.”
So prepare for Band Shirt Day by digging through your drawers to find your T-shirt. Or support a charitable cause by buying something new from your favorite artist.