Once your band is practiced up and you've got a solid set of songs together, it's time to go on tour. Touring can be a great way to broaden your network and find new fans, plus it gives you and everyone in your band valuable experience, but it is essential to plan ahead.
Guest post by Maryn Mcdonnell
Ready to hit the road and show off your music across a planned route, which could be across many countries, cities, or even overseas for bigger acts? Touring is a lot of fun, and it will allow you to network and gain more fans. Playing live is also a fantastic way to grow and learn as a musician and a good test of your resilience.
Without a shadow of a doubt, a lot of effort and time goes into planning a music tour. You will need to embark on organising your tour a year or months in advance to have the most successful one. Now, let us look at how to organise and plan a music tour on the road.
Get a team together
The size of the team varies on whether you have a financial backing maybe from a music label and a large following. Large music tours can consist of a booking agent, a tour manager, production managers, videographers, sound technicians, and much more.
For most bands and musicians, the team requirements won’t be that expensive. They will probably want to begin with a booking agent or tour manager.
Plan your route
Try to come up with a route that makes sense. A route that takes the distance between live shows and potential earnings into account.
Plan which city, the town you would like to play your music and the dates as well. You should also research other musicians or bands that you share a fanbase with, and then try to ensure that your tour locations and dates don’t overlap.
In addition, ensure that your music tour locations aren’t too far apart to avoid unnecessary pressure of arriving on time. You need to focus more on putting on an incredible live show for everyone.
Get a car or a van
A conversion van is most preferred. It is not only roomy, but is comfortable, can power a small television, a video game system, VCR, and has rear seating that folds into a bed. Other vehicles to use during the music tour are Honda Element, Mitsubishi Outlander, or a Toyota Prius.
when getting a van, is also important to go for models that can fit a slide on camper. There are a number of slide on camper manufacturers with great deals out there.
Figuring out the support system of your team, logistics, should be a top priority. You don’t want running over your budget or risk people and equipment not arriving on time.
Transcontinental tours need a lot of staff, and forward-thinking is needed. The tours are mostly split into ‘legs’ to simplify travel logistics.
Having a tour manager or a booking agent
A tour manager will plan and organise everything from the finances to the logistics of your team. They will liaise with the venues and promoters to ensure everything runs perfectly, smoothly. Tour managers can session artists should you require them and take charge of things like hiring drivers and vans, if necessary. They can also help in managing tour routing and budgets.
Having a booking agent is worth considering; he or she will take a large burden off your shoulder. A booking agent will put together a list of venues and book and organise the dates you visit which venues. Their task is liaising with venues and promoters to get you every gig, mapping out the tour, and booking tours.
Perfect the setlist
Creating a setlist is arguably a more creative and fun aspect of how to plan a tour. Factors to consider, include the feel, tempo, and key of your songs. You should pay attention to how the crowd reacts to every song on your setlist.
It is also essential to regularly change things to keep your audience or crowd on their toes.
We hope this guide has helped you learn how to organise a music tour. Have set goals for your music tour; otherwise, it won’t have much success. Have conversations about what you strongly hope to achieve on your upcoming music tour realistically.
Also, accommodation and food budgeting are crucial. It is a great idea to talk with other musicians or bands you are touring with to arrange accommodation.
[PS: Don't forget to post your tour dates and promote them for free using the new Bandsintown For Artists.]
Maryn Mcdonnell is a creative content writer. She spends her days working closely with many entrepreneurs and creative thinkers from various fields. Her interests include travel, self-improvement, and technology. Find Maryn on Twitter @MarynMcdonnell