Any band can tell you that it’s tough to sell merch at their shows. For the die hard fans, they buy the albums and the shirts right away  but a few weeks down the road it can get tough to get new fans to buy items. People have paid entry, bought a couple beers, and now they’d love to buy an album but they are just a little unsure about their last $10. This is where Chicago music promoter Swizzle Steve has come up with the answer. And that answer is Merch Madness. 

While hanging out in New Orleans on Bourbon street, Steve noticed that the jazz clubs were letting people in if they purchased a CD from the band playing instead of coughing up the standard cover. It was a no-brainier that he had to bring this brilliant idea back to Chicago. While the notion that bands can now have a moment to help promote their albums, shirts, and other merch is awesome, Steve has also mentioned that they “…are hoping it becomes a new way to gain entry to our future shows as well.” This unique idea ushers in the notion of bringing extra promotion to the bands and helping get the word out, through an awesome incentive, on amazing music (especially some of these Midwestern bands).

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The shows have already successfully been spanning the month of March but they are not even close to being done yet. Merch Madness is being hosted at The Original Mother’s Nightclub and Goose Island in Wrigleyville (voted one of Midwest Action’s favorite venues of 2013). For now it is only here at these two venues that you can purchase merch for entry to the show instead of a ticket. Don’t worry though, these two locations are awesome establishments that offer a variety of great beers and mixed drinks and even better live music. With bands like Burnside & Hooker (March 21) and The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club (March 29), this music series is going to continue to be awesome.

Do312 has partnered with Swizzle Steve to help promote the bands and has all the details for the remaining shows right HERE. Also through Do312 you can win VIP passes to each of the shows as well as a ton of other awesome prizes (like a free drink from Mr. Swizzle Steve himself). We took the liberty of laying down the last of the remaining shows for you as well.

Thursday March 13 – Mothers (8pm)
Freaks for Geeks

La Republica
Annie B and the Complication

Friday March 21 – Goose Island (8:30pm)
Burnside & Hooker

Honey & the 45s
Mystery Loves Company
The J.R. Miller Project

Thursday March 27 – Mother’s (8pm)
10,000 Light Years

The Midwest
Winnie Page and the Dirt Band
Nick Fisher

Friday March 28 – Mother’s (8:30pm)
North of Eight

Joshua Powell
Don Burgandy
Them Guilty Aces

Saturday March 29 – Goose Island (8:30pm)
The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club

Local Motive
Brent Brown

Saturday April 5 – Goose Island (8:30pm)
Girlband

Sandra Antongiorgi
Kelsey Quinn

With approximately 20 bands and the opportunity to drown yourself in amazing merch, there is absolutely no reason you should not head out to these shows! The Midwest Action team will definitely be popping in to some of them so we’ll see you there.

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