Rockabilia brings your favorite band merch to the State Fair with a twist

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If you’re looking for unique items at the Minnesota State Fair, Rockabilia might be the place to find them.

Founded in 1987, Rockabilia creates apparel, home décor and accessories with printed designs from your favorite band.

This year, Rockabilia is bringing exclusive Minnesota-themed merchandise to the Minnesota State Fair. From Amon Amarth, Elvis Presley, Guns N’ Roses, KISS, Metallica, Pantera and The Rolling Stones, there’s something for every music fan.

Partnering and licensing with the musical artists themselves allows Rockabilia to create custom products using the logos and names of these iconic bands.

We interviewed Frankie at Rockabilia to find out more about what to expect at their booth.

What can fans expect to find at your booth?

As soon as we decided to do the Fair, I knew I wanted the merchandise to be special.

You can order from our site 24/7/365, and we also have a lot of competition when it comes to band merchandising, so I didn’t really see the point of doing that unless I cannot obtain specially designed merchandise for us at this event.

There’s a ton of state pride that exists among Minnesotans, and you see it especially at the State Fair. So I came up with the idea of ​​giving an MN touch to any new exclusive products we would sell, like old Minnesota concert t-shirts.

The response was honestly overwhelming. So many people came to our booth last year to tell us that they were at this specific Pink Floyd concert in 1988 at the Metrodome for example, and we were hearing all these crazy stories every day from fans who were the.

We even spoke to some people who were at the Beatles show in Bloomington in 1965! Just crazy stuff.

This year we have new old Minnesota concert tees from Guns N’ Roses, Pantera, KISS and The Rolling Stones.

I also worked with the Estate of Elvis Presley on some new concert posters for two shows that Elvis Presley has played on the same day in the Twin Cities since 1956.

The guy I hired to design them is a well-known art deco pop culture artist named Steve Thomas, who also lives in Minnesota.

Custom Elvis Presley poster designed by Steve Thomas

Everything we sell there has to have a Minnesota connection, in my opinion, even down to the artists I’ve commissioned. We even have this new copy for the band Amon Amarth, which is a very popular Swedish Viking-themed death metal band.

They just released a new album earlier this month, and the first single was written for an AEW wrestler named Erick Redbeard, who believe it or not… lives in Minnesota.

So I worked with them to develop a cool new poster for Erick to sign at our booth. I never thought I’d bring an element of Amon Amarth to the fair as they’re a pretty obscure band to the general populace, but the Minnesota connection was just too cool and crazy not to. The world is small.

What is your personal favorite item you are selling at the Fair this year?

Metallica’s limited edition for their Damaged Justice Tour concert on April 21, 1989 in Minneapolis. I asked my tattoo artist friend Brandon Holt to do this one, and he absolutely killed all expectations.

It’s seriously just a crazy work of art. We only made 300 to make it really special too. They are numbered and signed by hand, and the response has been overwhelming.

The band liked the art so much that they approved it before Brandon had even finished the track, which is very rare in our business…especially with a band as big as Metallica.

Are there any groups or items you couldn’t get your hands on?

Yes. Replacements! I have tried two years in a row now, and without success. This is by far our most requested group. If you’re reading this, Paul…call me!

As an e-commerce business, what made you decide to sell at the Minnesota State Fair?

A friend of mine who owns a local sports memorabilia store in a few malls here called Fan HQ approached me in 2019 about an idea to combine our two companies and sell group merchandise at the Fair under the name by RockHQ.

We once did a Rockabilia pop-up store in one of its locations and were looking for a way to go “bigger” together locally.

He had already been doing the Fair for years, so he had an “in” for the pitch, which we did at the beginning of 2020, and it went very well.

But then COVID hit, and obviously the Fair was canceled that year. But then they called us on April 21, and although they turned down the joint venture, they offered us a spot to do it solo under the Rockabilia umbrella.

Honestly, we had very mixed feelings about it at first. Since we’re an online business that ships globally, we’ve never really felt the need to be known as a “local” business or anything.

But being in Minnesota, obviously, we know firsthand just how massive the State Fair really is.

I mean, companies can sometimes wait 10 years on their waiting list just to be told “no” at the end, so we knew how important it was that they invited us after just one meeting.

Do you plan to do more in-person events?

Absolutely. Post-COVID, I think people are really craving these unique brick-and-mortar retail experiences filled with exclusive items you can only get by attending.

Obviously our site is what we’re rooted for, but I want to keep doing live events just to keep growing our audience and attracting different types of people.

Our largest customer bases are in New York and Southern California, so we certainly plan to make appearances in both of these markets.

End of interview

Rockabilia has been shipping its products worldwide from its Chanhassen, MN warehouse since 1987, and is the largest independent group merch company in the United States.

To purchase Rockabilia merchandise, you can visit their location at the Minnesota State Fair or visit their merchandise online!

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About Eileen W. Sudduth

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