There’s a lot to be said about working as a touring musician. You’ll be able to use every performance as an opportunity to build your profile and sell your music. You’ll get all the benefits that come with travel, including exposure to tourist attractions and cultural treasures. And, if you do it right, the process of touring can be fun, too.
Book your Venues
You’ll want to book venues according to several criteria. They’ll need to be reachable by your target audience, and by you, too. If you’re travelling by road or rail, then it’s a good idea to map out a long chain of venues across the country, so that you have a minimal distance to travel. The venues will typically be booked by your agent, so make sure that you hire a competent one.
A touring band needs to transport not only the band members but also all of the supporting personnel and equipment. Some bands have a naturally lighter load than others. If you’re a singer-songwriter, for example, you can get by quite easily. If you’re a ten-piece jazz band, then you’ll need to take logistics a great deal more seriously.
If you’re flying from country to country, then pick airports with reliable and convenient rail links to the nearby area.
Food and accommodation
The places you stay in and the food you eat will quickly eat into your budget if you don’t properly plan for them. Book well in advance, and try to resist the temptation to go for fast food after every performance. If you’ve been performing locally on a sporadic basis, you might have gotten into the habit of grabbing a takeaway as soon as the gig is over. When you’re performing seven nights a week, this isn’t sustainable – or healthy.
It’s, therefore, a good idea to plan and prepare your meals in advance. Book accommodation where you can easily prepare meals before you head out. It’s also a good idea to work an hour of exercise into your day. Go for a jog before you arrive for the first soundcheck.
Marketing your dates
If your audience doesn’t know when and where you’re playing, and they aren’t excited about it, then you’ll almost certainly run into problems. Leverage social media to get the word out there, and learn how to promote your concert effectively. Nowadays, fans might follow a musician directly to get information about them and what they’re doing. Don’t be shy about promoting yourself!
The more money you can make along the way, the more profitable your tour will be. It sounds simple, but few bands really push as hard as they could be doing. Set the right rate for your ticket prices, and push your merchandise as aggressively as you can. Certain bands might provide limited-edition vinyl releases and other goodies, as well as t-shirts.
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