Swag is the term I use instead of merch or merchandise for the stuff I bought or received at concerts.
For me, this is an important part of the concert-going experience, not just because I’m a materialistic person. This is the single most impactful way to support a musician you like. Besides buying the ticket or advertising them to friends or Internet acquaintances helps. The shirt, CD, or stickers have low overhead so that way the bands, that traditionally get screwed by touring and venues, get some cash to get to the next gig.
At least for the smaller bands.
I might eventually develop this into its own metric, but for now, it falls into a few main categories:
- Nope! Or some variant. – No way I’d support them.
- “Maybe next time” – There were some minor concerns over the band that prevented me from supporting them. I’d consider upon further evaluation of their albums or watching them again.
- “Probably next time” – I tend not to buy expensive swag on the first viewing unless they completely impress me or I’ve heard enough of their music to form an educated opinion.
- I’ll list the swag I get or buy since I like stuff!
In a way, buying swag is like giving money to a busker or tipping at a nice restaurant. It’s a way of acknowledging that they performed well and they usually get a better cut of the money they receive than buying the swag in a store or online.