With social distancing all but killing the live concert industry, Tampa Bay artists are taking their shows online, streaming performances from their homes in hopes of tips and donations.
A few of them have taken their merch booths online, too.
And with the timetable unclear on when people can once again gather in groups, purchasing a T-shirt from a Tampa Bay band might be the best way to float them a little extra cash.
In some cases, the bands had already designed and printed extra T-shirts in advance of a since-postponed tour. In others, they’re unloading older shirts at prices far below the $40 or $50 you’d expect to pay for a shirt at a concert by a major arena act.
Either way, purchasing one of these tees is a quick way to cop some stylish new threads while supporting a struggling scene.
Here, in alphabetical order, is a virtual catalog of more than 40 Tampa Bay artists with T-shirts for sale online.
Alexander and the Grapes: In addition to vinyl records and other music and merch, long-running St. Petersburg indie folk outfit Alexander and the Grapes has this $17 tee for sale via Bandcamp. Click here. (And you can also find a tee from Alexander Charos’s other group the Venus here.)
Ari Chi: The singer-songwriter has three styles of T-shirt commemorating her 2019 EP Lost in the Hues. You can get them in white, black or yellow for $25 apiece. Click here.
Big Baby Scumbag: Okay, it’s not a T-shirt, but how can we not link to this $25 trucker cap celebrating Tampa rapper Big Baby Scumbag? After all, the man is doing his part to combat the coronavirus by selling hand sanitizer through his online store, and that’s already sold out. Click here.
Greg Billings Band: Odds are you’ve probably seen Billings’s rock group pop up at some festival or charity show in town. But if you’re a real Tampa original, you may remember his popular early-'80s band, the nationally signed Stranger. You can pick up a Stranger T-shirt on Billings’ website starting at $30. Click here.
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Billy Mays III: Fittingly for the son of late TV pitchman Billy Mays, the St. Petersburg experimental artist has merch available on multiple platforms for multiple musical outlets, including Infinite Third and Mouth Council. Click here and here.
Blackbird Morning: St. Petersburg rock band Blackbird Morning is mostly quarantined together, and still writing songs, according to their social media. Until you can get out and hear them, check out their store, which has several tees starting at $15.
J.T. Brown: The rootsy Tampa singer has been “putting food on my table” through donations via live-streamed concerts, he said, “but people are becoming exhausted by the sheer number of them.” This $25 T-shirt was designed by artist Sarah Rupp. Click here.
Cottondale Swamp: Profess your love of “Florida swamp rock” with a $22 tee from these Weeki Wachee Southern rockers. Click here.
Crownz: Young synth-pop group Crownz won a band battle for an opening slot at last year’s 97X Next Big Thing festival in Tampa. They still have an array of brightly colored tees starting at $15 on their website. Click here.
DieAlps!: The Tampa indie rock group led by husband and wife Frank and Connie Calcaterra just released a new album, More Important Things, and is selling tees and tanks for as low as $5 via Bandcamp. Click here.
Discord Theory: This Tampa rock group, which played the Gasparilla Music Festival in March, has an array of T-shirts, including this $25 one dubbed the “Party Beer Tee.” Worth it for the title alone. Click here.
The Easy Button: Tampa power-pop outfit the Easy Button has a handful of shirts on Bandcamp that lean into whimsy and nostalgia, with designs incorporating turtles, merry-go-grounds and a group of vintage gamers. Click here.
Jordan Esker and the Hundred Percent: Designed by St. Petersburg firm Wax and Hive, this $15 T-shirt comes with a bonus download of the band’s 2018 album Fail to Learn. Click here.
FayRoy: Beachy Pinellas psych-rockers FayRoy have a nice selection of tees in their merch store, including several 2019 styles and vintage options including a nice tie-dye one. Styles start at $15. Click here.
Fever Beam: The Tampa three-piece was set to play South by Southwest before that festival was cancelled. But you can still buy a handful of vintage-styled tees, buttons and more via Bandcamp, with shirts starting as low as $10. Click here.
Gino and the Goons: You know you’re rock 'n' roll when the two T-shirt choices you offer your fans are snakes and skulls. Both versions are $12 and come in a variety of colors. Click here.
Glove: In what seems like a missed opportunity, you can’t buy Glove gloves on Glove’s Bandcamp store. You can’t buy a bundle of the Tampa group’s stylish tees, either, as several styles are sold out. But you can buy this chic ringer tee for $25. Click here.
Haunting Portraits: With a just-released album, That Which Looks Far Away, available for purchase, the Tampa alt-rock group has several T-shirt designs on sale for $10 apiece. The Tide Pods design is a winner. Click here.
Have Gun, Will Travel: The Bradenton Americana group is a familiar presence across Tampa Bay, performing at just about every club and festival you can name. Their online store features one T-shirt, $15, in classic black and white. Click here.
The Hip Abduction: Since forming in St. Petersburg, the fusion band has cultivated a proper national following, having played major festivals and venues like Red Rocks. Accordingly, they’ve got an enormous online store selling tons of merch, including patches, flying discs and tons of tees. Click here.
The Jackettes: This St. Pete band’s lone T-shirt on Bandcamp is simple yet effective, and pretty straightforward rock 'n' roll. Kind of like the music of the Jackettes. Click here.
King Complex: Between their videos and stage presence, St. Petersburg alt-pop outfit King Complex is a pretty visual band. So you might as well rock one of their T-shirts or tank tops, which are available for $20 and up online, or as part of a bundle that includes music, too. Click here.
La Lucha: The jazz-pop trio, popular for their unique spins on household-name hits, has one $15 T-shirt for sale via Bandcamp, but it’s a good one, with a sweetly folksy story on the front. Click here.
Mountain Holler: St. Petersburg alt-folk singer-songwriter Mark Etherington just launched a new line of $25 tees via local screen printer WovePrint, and if you aren’t in the market for a shirt featuring a raccoon hermit during these tough times, we don’t know what to tell you. Click here.
Nightmarer: Every good death metal band needs an illegible logo. But you don’t have to be a death metal fan to appreciate the awesomeness of a skeleton playing a skeletonized cello. Nightmarer’s shirts start for just $10 on Bandcamp. Click here.
Obituary: The Tampa death metal legends had to postpone their spring tour with Black Label Society (they’re now scheduled to play Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on Aug. 23), but that’s not stopping them from selling their original 2020 tour merch, including shirts for $15 and up. Buy a souvenir from a show that never happened! Click here.
Photo Fire: The St. Petersburg indie band’s had a big year, releasing a lush new album, Foreign Voice, and performing at the Gasparilla Music Festival -- one of Tampa’s last big concert events before social distancing. They’ve got several $15 T-shirts for sale through Bandcamp. Click here.
Pohgoh: Singer Susie Ulrey and her husband, Keith Ulrey are at the center of the Tampa music scene, playing in this popular indie band, operating Microgroove Records and running the Tampa label New Granada. They’ve got a couple of $8 shirts for sale on Big Cartel, including one with caricatures of the Ulreys themselves. Click here.
Resinated: The reggae-rock band missed out on playing this year’s Reggae Rise Up festival in St. Petersburg (at least in March; the fest has since been rescheduled for October). But they’re still slinging several styles of merch, including this $24.99 tee. Click here.
The Ries Brothers: The Belleair Bluffs natives tend to keep a busy touring schedule, but their spring run was interrupted by the coronavirus. They have several T-shirts for sale in their store, featuring iguanas, bears, sunsets and dreamcatchers. They start at $20. Click here.
Samurai Shotgun: Prog-metal-hip-hop-fusion outfit Samurai Shotgun splits time between Tampa and Atlanta, but their various T-shirts, starting at $20, would pass as stylish streetwear in any city. Click here.
Set and Setting: The music of St. Petersburg post-rock instrumentalists Set and Setting feels pretty fitting in these apocalyptic times, so you might as well dress the part while streaming it. They’ve got several designs available on their website starting for $15. Click here.
Shurwood: Tampa alt-rockers Shurwood have sold out of several styles of T-shirt since releasing their latest album Changing Face, but they are still selling this style for $15. Click here.
Siren: Hailing from Brandon, ’80s metal band Siren has a couple of styles of shirts available on their Bandcamp, including a $15 tank top for all you beachside sirens out there. Click here.
Sister Kill Cycle: Props to the Tampa metal band for branding their own face mask. If you’d rather keep it casual in a T-shirt, they’ve got several, including one for their since-postponed spring 2020 tour. Click here.
Soapbox Soliloquy: Jasmine Deja’s experimental indie project has only a couple of T-shirts for sale via Bandcamp, but they include this cool $15 tie-dye V-neck that looks like it came straight from Haight-Ashbury. Click here.
Soul Circus Cowboys: Hillsborough County country outfit Soul Circus Cowboys play festivals and shows all over the area, so there’s a good chance you’ve already seen merch like this pink $25 tank top out and about. Click here.
Vetnough: This Clearwater indie group’s $20 T-shirt looks like a cool Rorschach test until you flip it upside down, and realize it’s actually a silhouette of the trio. Click here.
Victims of Circumstance: The Clearwater ska-punk band recently released a new album, Five, but now cannot tour behind it. But you can choose from an array of merch items from their online store, including T-shirts starting at $15. Click here.
WD-HAN: Alt-rock band WD-HAN has a slew of merch items for sale via its well-stocked web store, including coffee mugs, tote bags, tank tops and children’s hoodies. Click here.
Wolf-Face: The costumed St. Petersburg punks have sold a variety of T-shirts over the years, including some that aren’t exactly safe for work. But since we’re all working from home these days, go nuts. Click here.
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