Friday, August 23, 2019

5 Tips For An Indie Band Going On Tour | Music Think Tank

You’ve got your sticks, picks, and kicks, and it’s time to get on the road to show the world your tricks. Your drummer is jazzed, your guitarist is electrified, and the passion is through the roof. But before you step out your door with your gear in hand, make sure you’ve thought about some key ingredients for tour success.

An Established Fan Base

Social media is huge, and if you’re a band, you need not only to be on it but have a solid presence as well. The last time I was in a band, every member was sure to go on every social media platform and push the band like crazy. Invite, invite, invite to like. Invite friends, friends of friends, family members, friends of family members, and essentially everyone you can. Keep a logbook of what towns they are from. This will help you later when you’re strategizing your tour schedule.

A Budget

There’s an old joke that bands pack $10,000 worth of gear into a $1,000 van to go play a $50 show. It’s true. Gigging doesn’t pay a whole lot. Not at first anyway. If you’ve already got a solid fanbase, the whole point of going on tour is to grow your fanbase. So whether you’re heading out for six weeks or six months, be sure to budget accordingly. Chances are, you won’t be able to stay in five-star hotels in every town you visit. You’ll need to make sure you have money for food, extra gear if something gets broken or stolen, toiletries, gas, and other essentials. If you don’t have the money, don’t count on making it at the gigs.


As mentioned above, you probably won’t find a place to stay in each town you visit. If you budget right, you may be able to rent an RV. This would solve a lot of problems. You would have plenty of room to store your equipment. You would have somewhere to stay every night you’re on the road. And of course, you would have transportation to get to wherever you’re going. Renting or buying a used RV makes perfect sense for state side tours.

Schedule the Right Venues

Remember me talking about writing down the towns of your fans. Well, once you have a solid fanbase and you know where they’re from, talk to them about clubs in their area. Let them know weeks or even months ahead of time that you’ll be gigging there. Make an itinerary and post it on social media. If you have the funds, print up tour shirts. Do everything you can to get the word out so that you’ll have someone showing up to see you in every town you visit. Also, be savvy about the venues you play. Talk to booking agents and make sure they have solid agreements that guarantee your band will get paid. It may not be a lot, but at least you won’t get stiffed after your set.

Hit the Road Ready

If you’ve followed my advice so far, you’ll have a great plan and be ready to hit the road. My last piece of advice is to make sure you’re ready. If you don’t have the chops, guts, or zeal, then what are you doing it for? Go on stage with the attitude of success. Practice and know what you’re doing. Give your fans something to cheer about. Most of all, make sure you can walk away satisfied and proud.


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