R#130 with Karsten Fuhrken, founder of The Merch Republic

Karsten Fuhrken
Karsten Fuhrken began his music business career at Deutschrock; originally founded as a merchandise company for the band Die Ärzte. After the company was acquired by Universal and merged with Bravado, Fuhrken took over as head of the merchandise department at Warner Music.

In 2010 he set up his own business with The Merch Republic and the support of the Lingen music merchandise veteran EMP. Since then he has worked with the biggest acts, including The Three Question Marks, Herbert Grönemeyer, Peter Maffay and Moderat, and manages selected artists.

In the Redfield Podcast with Alexander Schröder, Karsten Fuhrken explains his strong focus on the live business, which has changed after the Corona break. They talk about the neglect of e-commerce, what quantities of merchandise are produced, calculated and moved on large tours and whether the black T-shirt remains the long-running favorite.

They discuss the relevance of stores like the US retailer Hot Topic and why it simply does not seem possible to successfully sell merchandise in brick-and-mortar stores in Germany.

At the end they talk about the TMR refugee aid Ukraine Berlin, which Fuhrken founded shortly after the start of the war. He talks about the broad willingness to donate from the music industry and reports on the current situation in the region supported by the association near Odessa and Mykolaiv.

In the interview, he also answers the question of how he can manage the balancing act between this emotionally demanding challenge and the crisis-plagued job in the entertainment industry.