Slayer has been on an extensive farewell world tour over the last year and a half, and now we’re finding out just how successful it has been so far.
According to Pollstar, the band’s management says these thrash giants have sold more than $10 million in merchandise on this tour so far.
Merchandise is a big part of Slayer’s tour and brand, one that the group is very involved with. Says Barry Drinkwater of Global Merchandising, the company that works with the band on merch and product partnerships:
“They’re very focused on the quality of the products, between Tom (Araya, frontman) and Kerry (King, guitar), and very into the design and development. We have a lot of input from them – how they want the graphics, everything from the color and depth of the saturation. It’s great to have so much involvement from the artists themselves.”
Because of their musical success, Slayer has also found success in selling their brand. Their merchandise can be seen worn by celebrities (whether it’s genuine or just aesthetic is unknown). Their name and imagery have been licensed for use in partnerships with liquor brands, clothing lines, extreme sports, automobiles and more. According to a recent lawsuit filed by the band’s merchandise company against bootleg venders, it was noted that over their entire career, the band has sold
“More than $25 million worth of licensed merchandise bearing the Slayer name, trademark, logos and/or likenesses.”
In retirement, Slayer’s music and brand will continue to thrive. Said Kristen Mulderig of Rick Sales Entertainment Group, the firm that manages the band, to Pollstar:
“We’re in legacy mode, which is a lot to do, even though they won’t be making records or on the road. They still have their endorsers, there’s still merch and branding to do – sync licenses and who knows? Maybe coming up with some sort of event that is Slayer-based. This is all stuff we’re thinking about and talking about. Slayer lives on, absolutely.”
Formed 38 years ago, Slayer has become one of the most important metal bands of all time. One of the “Big Four” thrash bands alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax, the band has sold millions of albums and played for sold-out crowds worldwide. Their last album, Repentless, was released in 2015.
On top of the success of their merch (and perhaps more importantly), the band’s current farewell tour has also seen some notably high-grossing shows. Their US dates in Sacramento, CA and San Jose, CA pulled in $715,760 (13,711 tickets) and $597,042 (9,408 tickets), respectively. A recent stop in Dublin, Ireland took in $648,140 (10,643 tickets). The full extent of the tour’s financial success won’t be known until its conclusion.
Slayer kicks off the final leg of their farewell tour (following a handful of October festival dates) on November 2 in Asheville, NC. The North American run of dates will hit arenas around the country, wrapping things up with two nights at The Forum in Los Angeles, CA on November 29 & 30 (Nov. 30 is sold out). Support for this leg comes from Primus, Ministry and Phillip H. Anselmo & The Illegals. Dates and tickets can be found here.