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A new survey has found that music fans believe you should know at least 10 songs by a band before wearing their T-shirt. But for fans of folk music, K-pop and jazz, you should know at least thirteen.

The poll, by merchandise site Rush Order Tees, asked 1,017 owners of band T-shirts about their purchasing habits and beliefs about music apparel. Thanks to the growth of the “nostalgia economy” and resale platforms, the vintage T-shirt market is booming. Pre-pandemic, touring bands earned between 10% and 35% of their touring revenue from merchandise.

AC/DC were the band with the most popular T-shirts, followed by Aerosmith, Queen, Pink Floyd and Green Day. Younger artists fared less well: Ariana Grande was 10th and Taylor Swift 18th. Of those polled, 50.1% said they had bought a band T-shirt after the artist had passed away.

Heavy metal fans have the largest collection of band T-shirts – on average, 17 in their wardrobes.

The survey also revealed the unspoken rules about concert-going and purchasing band T-shirts. Nearly half (43.3%) of those polled said that the most important rule was to buy a band T-shirt before a show and to wear it during the gig, while 20.6% of people thought that wearing a band’s own T-shirt to a concert wasn’t a good idea.

The most popular online sellers of T-shirts was eBay (49.4% of music fans polled purchased their vintage T-shirts from there), while 25.9% of those polled bought their t-shirts from Depop.



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