Survey claims 10% of people own a t-shirt for a band they’ve never listened to

But metal fans were the most ‘financially devoted’ t-shirt buyers.

Yves Saint Laurent Nirvana T-shirt

The back of Yves Saint Laurent’s Nirvana t-shirt. Credit: Yves Saint Laurent

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For many music fans, wearing the t-shirt of a band you love is a way of life, a way to show the world your devotion to a particular artist or remeber a concert or tour you attended… but it seems that not everyone feels that way.

Using data from Google search volume and from surveying 1,000 Americans, a new survey by t-shirt printer Custom Inks has found that a whopping 34 per cent of Americans are perfectly happy to wear the t-shirt for a tour or concert that they didn’t even attend. Even worse, 10 per cent of respondents were happy to wear the t-shirt of a band or artist despite having never even listened to their music. 

Thankfully, the survey didn’t just reveal unsettling data – it also finds that heavy metal fans stood out for their unparalleled commitment to music-themed apparel, owning an average of 10 band shirts per person — the highest number across all music genre fans.

The group is also revealed to be the most “financially devoted”, having spent an average of $500 on band shirts in their lifetime ($100 more than other fans). Band t-shirts of Testament were the most popular among metal fans by search volume, with those of Trivium, and Like Moths to Flames following closely behind. The most popular artist t-shirt in America overall was recent Music Man St Vincent convert Olivia Rodrigo.

On average, fans had six music t-shirts – which seems pretty low to us – and while some of the survey’s respondents did think that you should know at least three songs by an artist before donning their merch, a whopping 30 per cent of those surveyed said that band shirts are for everyone, regardless of how well you know the artist in question’s music.

Check out the full report at Custom Inks’ website.

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