As 2022 approaches musicians are hard at work making plans. Bands are figuring out their goals for the new year. Things are opening back up and venues are booking live music again. Getting out there and touring will be an important piece to add to the plan. Fans have been dying to see their favorite bands in person again. Give them what they want.
Here are some tips for keeping yourself and your band sane on the road.
Don’t Forget To Check The Oil
First off before you decide to take the dive into going on tour, make sure you have a reliable vehicle. Will it be a van, a truck, or a cramped car? Purchasing used trucks and SUV vehicles can be a great way to go if you are on a budget, and they will likely last the duration of your tour. They can be found in many areas, both online and locally. Be sure to do some research before buying used, as some models might require more maintenance than others. Make sure everything you can control is handled ahead of time. Have a good set of tires (and a spare). Are all your fluids up to proper levels? Get a fresh oil change before you embark on the mission.
Breaking down on tour is a terrible, and almost inevitable experience. Prepare for the worst with an emergency kit that can help handle the obstacles that you run into. Flares, fluids, jumper cables, and some duct tape are always good to have.
Plan a reasonable route for your tour
Continuing the idea of being in the van, try to plan a reasonable tour route. Book your shows in as straight a line as you can. This tour routing should be done well in advance of actually going on the road. The after show drives should be as short as possible to get to the next show. Give yourself plenty of time for rest and food breaks. Make sure to split up the driving task as well. Having one band member drive 10 hours straight is a bad idea. Staring at those yellow lane divider lines for too long is a monotonous and eye-tiring undertaking. Take it from my personal experience.
Be A Good Bandmate
Always remember you are not alone. Your band mates may be some of your closest friends but when cramped together in a crowded vehicle for weeks on end tensions can run high. We all have our little idiosyncrasies that seem harmless but can in fact become very annoying to others over time. Smoking which was always been a big part of touring has become less tolerated. Consider using a quality vaporizer like the ones you can order at hazesmokeshop.com to eliminate the smell of smoke emanating throughout the tour van. Being extra kind to each other will go a long way in keeping the peace…. And keeping the band together.
Budget Your Tour Wisely
Touring is meant to be a self-sustaining expedition but it does not always work out that way. Make a point during tour planning to plan a proper monetary budget. You will need cash for gas, tolls, food, and places to sleep and shower. Yes you should be getting paid for the shows you perform but be sure to leave for tour with a good amount of emergency funds. Unfortunately it is not too rare to get stiffed by unscrupulous booking agents and crappy venues. By planning for these potential bad situations ahead of time, it will not derail your plans of getting your live music in front of as many new crowds as possible. Running out of money on the road has left bands stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Performing your music live in front of new people will always be one of the best ways to grow your fanbase. Even with the growth of ‘virtual’ concerts, there is nothing that can replace touring. Connecting with new audiences and meeting new people is what will get your band to the next level. It ain’t easy but it can be fun. Touring creates everlasting memories that will last long after your band is big and famous…… or breaks up.