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The Ultimate Guide to Getting Free Shit from Touring Bands

When I hear that a band I love is coming to town I make sure to buy a ticket immediately and tell all my friends about the gig on social media. I am VERY into supporting the art that I love. But after ticket fees, gas money, and parking cost, I don’t have a dime left for dinner, let alone for the merch table.

So I devised a way to get free shit from touring bands who are out on the road and desperate to get their name (and music) out there. Screw the free stickers at the merch table, I’m talking about real, high-quality, free shit.

Here’s how you can score too:

First you need to find out where they’ve parked the van. This is usually at a restaurant or hotel somewhere in the vicinity of where they’ll be playing their next gig, or even at the venue itself.

Bands often drop hints to the whereabouts of the free shit on their Instagram feeds, so keep your eyes peeled for landmarks near the giveaway spot. Once you’ve pinpointed the tour van, it’s time to go pick up your free shit.

Related: I’m Sure There Are Lots of Examples of Vans Stealing From People, Too


When you pull up beside the tour van, check to see if any of the doors are unlocked. The more generous bands will leave their van unlocked for the less fortunate. If the van is locked, that’s fine, the band still wants to give you their shit. These bands are far more interested in exposure than money, and believe me all their shit is exposed right now. So let’s remove one of those pesky windows!

With a window removed, you can unlock all the doors and take anything that interests you. Free guitars, laptops, cash, passports, and weed abound. The possibilities are endless.

When your car is full, drive away as fast as you can!

In the morning, check in with the band on social media. Chances are, they’ll post something to congratulate the winner of their free shit giveaway. Be sure to thank them by giving their post a like!

Hard Times shirts are available for purchase but you can get them for free if you break into our tour van parked behind the website:

Article by Chris Huber