Industry Secrets: Robb Feinstein Merchandise Manager
Name: Robb Feinstein
Hometown: Rochester, NY
Currently Touring With: Emblem 3
Job: Merchandise Manager
Favorite Place: Puerto Rico
Years touring: 14
Now Listening To: Tune-yards, Dinosaur Jr., Fleet Foxes, and guilty pleasure; Justin Timberlake!
Chances are you’ve bought a shirt from Robb at a concert in your city. Within the last few years he’s toured with: Aerosmith, The Wanted, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Kiss, Jonas Brothers, and Avril Lavigne. If his resume wasn’t impressive enough, his attitude and sense of humor are even more impressive.
At the age of seven, Robb Feinstein started his first job as a dish washer in his Dad’s restaurant and by the age of sixteen he started his first job in the music industry as a parking attendant at The Auditorium Theater in his hometown of Rochester. Robb has enjoyed music from a young age, at the age of fifteen, he attended his first concert, Tiffany. Even at fifteen, Feinstein was a lady killer. Feinstein had intentions of going to law school, but was fortunate enough to have opportunities to be a tour manager, runner, personal assistant and stagehand, allowing him to live his dream of working in the music industry, rather than pursuing law. He now spends his time working in merchandising for many artists. His favorite artists to work for including bands such as Emblem 3 and Kings of Leon. Robb is very loyal to his job saying, “Merch for life!”
In regards to merchandising, Robb says, “Sometimes it seems like merch guys are short with people, but it’s just because we are trying to serve kids as quickly as we can. Most people buying shirts are polite as it is exciting to buy a shirt from your favorite band and it’s exciting for us to make the concert experience better for you. Keep coming to shows and buying those shirts!” If you see him at a show, make sure you say hi! Just remember, never buy shirts from someone selling them outside of the venue.
When I asked about memorable tour stories, Robb told me about the time when the truck broke down in Montana on the Poison tour. A man came to fix the car, he told Robb that the truck was dead. Robb told the man he had to get to the concert, two hours away. The man threw him the keys to his car and told him to go. Robb got to the show, the man got his car back with a letter from Bret Michaels thanking him!
One obvious question for him would be, why the music industry? His answer is simple, “I really enjoy all the fans. I got into this because I love music and the positive feeling of all the fans screaming when the band goes on stage. I get a rush from that and I always will.” Robb has a lot of advice for all of those who want to get into the music industry, his biggest advice is, “Work hard. Work at your local venue and take any job that is given to you. Do that job better than anyone else. Eventually your work ethic will get noticed and you can possibly get a road job.” Touring isn’t as easy as many people imagine. Personally, Robb misses his dog, girl, friends and family while on the road. No one tells you that on tour, it’s hard to find showers, so keep that in mind. According to Robb, a main rule of the road is to not touch anyone’s socks, no paper, no poop. Feinstein says the worst advice that you could get is going to college and getting degree.