The Bootleg T-Shirt Market at Iron Maiden’s Show in Mexico City is INSANE
Iron Maiden are *the* band when it comes to bootleg t-shirts. I’d ask those with Maiden bootleg tees to raise their hands in the comments section, but I think it’d be more appropriate for those WITHOUT Maiden bootleg tees to do so. Wherever there’s a Maiden show, there’s guaranteed to be guys hawking cheap shirts outside, whether in the parking lot, out on the street, or the one time some guy somehow managed to sneak into the exit staircase at Madison Square Garden (I bought one, duh).
Having said that, plenty of folks buy the band’s legit merch too — I’ve never been to a Maiden show and NOT seen their merch booths completely swarmed. Maybe you want the new design, maybe you want to be ensured of the quality, maybe you believe in supporting the band directly or all three. But world tours on the scope of what Maiden are doing right now pose an interesting problem; where local currencies aren’t strong against the dollar/Euro/pound, the band’s official merch is completely unaffordable.
At a recent show in Mexico City, one fan captured video footage of the completely empty official merch booth, where shirts are selling for 550 pesos, and compared it to a massive outdoor market outside the venue, where dozens of vendors are selling literally hundreds of designs (and other Maiden tchotchkes) for around 100 pesos each. While the equivalent USD value of the official version, about $30, seems fair by U.S. standards (even cheap! I’d expect them to sell for at least $40 here), if you’re a Mexican fan of Maiden there’s no question which you’re gonna by. And for what it’s worth, the outdoor market seems like a fun hang, too; thousands of Maiden fans congregate in one place to share their love of the band.
So, if you’re Iron Maiden, I’m really not sure how you combat this problem. You can’t sell official shirts for 100 pesos; that probably barely covers cost. And you can’t shut down the outdoor market either, lest you risk inducing the wrath of your fans.
Check out the videos below. Really fascinating watch.