With Christmas two weeks away and Hanukkah in full swing, I think we’re all in panic mode when it comes to buying gifts. There’s no time for hand knitting a custom sweater for your brother or commissioning an oil painting of your best friend anymore, but you still want to be thoughtful and give your loved ones something they’ll like. And if you have a musician in the family, you know that getting us something we can use for work is extremely helpful – especially if it’s something we wouldn’t splurge on for ourselves, but would make life on the road way easier.
So, our thoughtful gift to you is to give you some great ideas for what to give as your thoughtful gift to someone else. Yes, it’s a little confusing, but you have to know that our heart is in the right place.
6 Gift Ideas for Touring Musicians
1. MUSIC (OF COURSE)
Buying music for musicians is just plain good sense. Since opening up our beta, we’ve had the privilege of getting to know loads of new bands and their music. We’ve heard their stories, watched them sell their merch like nobody’s business, and have now made them permanent fixtures on our playlists. May we suggest Sovereign, Twin Kennedy, Sumo Cyco, and Peter Katz for your gift giving, this year? There’s something in there for everyone!
2. MERCH TABLE TOOLS
Anyone who has ever sold a piece of merch knows that there are some objects that make life at a merch table a whole lot easier – and those objects are rarely around. Pens, notebooks, small flashlights, and Sharpie’s are all great stocking stuffers! In fact, we suggest metallic Sharpie’s because the chances are high that black won’t show up on the album cover they want to sign.
3. BEAUTIFUL MERCH CASE
I’m always impressed when I see a band walk up to an empty merch table, open a couple of beautiful suitcases and immediately transform the blank space into a store front. For bands that play festivals, a quick and professional looking merch display is essential because sometimes they need to setup and teardown in a matter of minutes. A suitcase that can make those minutes less stressful is an awesome gift idea. Etsy is a great place to track down some of these unique cases (this vintage suitcase is our newest favourite).
4. LOCKABLE MERCH BIN
If your friend or family member already has their merch table display sorted out, consider helping them with their merch stock. All of those extra t-shirt sizes need to live somewhere and that home should be in a lockable merch bin (we’ve all cursed broken cardboard boxes enough to know that a merch bin is necessary). If a big bin is overkill because they’re playing smaller shows, this pack from Nambagear is also lockable and can also handle a pedal board, large laptop, or controller.
5. THE FUTURE OF MUSIC
We are big fans of the people at Music Counts. They’re a great local education program exposing kids to the wonderful world of music and are extremely worthy of your hard earned dollars. If you’d like to give back this holiday season, we highly suggest learning more about this organization and writing them a nice cheque or giving an online donation.
6. DIY MERCH KITS
Screen printing band shirts is basically a merch rite of passage, so give your loved one a leg up with something like The Screen Print Store’s DIY screen printing starter kit. You could even include a nice portrait of yourself as a future design suggestion!
That’s it, folks! If you have other suggestions, we’d love to hear them. Tweet us @merchapp with your gift ideas for touring musicians!