Things to Consider Before Hitting the Road With Your Band for the First Time
Despite the potential to make millions from streaming services like Spotify, even the most successful musicians make more than 75% of their income from touring. The more shows you play, the more success you will find. Not only will it pay the bills, but it allows you to acquire new fans by opening for bigger names or playing at a festival. However, you can’t just hit the road and expect it all to go swimmingly. From money worries to travel sickness, there are a number of things you and your band mates need to take into account before your first tour.
Work Out a Detailed Budget
The worst thing that could happen is that you end up having to cancel shows because your funds have run dry. This will leave your fans disappointed or even angry. In order to avoid this, work out your daily budget. On your first tour, you may only be looking to break even, but keep a record of how much you will be spending versus what you are earning per show.
You will need to consider financing for your tour vehicle, splitting the pay fairly between band and staff, and covering living costs for the entire tour. Cutting costs by sleeping in the van or on a stranger’s floor is not uncommon. You don’t need to live a life of luxury to tour successfully, you just need to know how to budget.
Plan a Smart Route
A tour is essentially a big road trip, which could span several states or countries. Putting together a string of gigs will require you to get out the map and plot your route. Fatigue will be your worst enemy, both for the relationship of band members and the quality of your performances. Overcome this by making your route as easy as possible.
Don’t try to cover too much ground in one day. You can try to plan your timetable to allow band members to catch some rest during the journey, but don’t rely on sleeping during the ride every night. Finding a cheap motel will allow for a proper rest. Make sure you have physical maps and that you know the route well in advance. Preparation is key for avoiding last minute screw-ups.
Work Out Your Goals for the Tour
Touring shouldn’t be seen as an isolated period of showcasing your music. It is a chance to grow and develop as a band, offering a stepping stone to greater things. You should therefore have a clear vision in mind about why you are taking this tour. Are you promoting something? If so, brush up on your digital marketing skills. Be clear with your audience if you have a new E.P. that you are trying to flog. Alternatively, you might just be trying to become the best live act you can be. In that case, give it 100% each night and see how great you can become as a unit.
Touring is a rite of passage for many new bands. Album sales alone won’t be enough to support you. The tour is your chance to promote that album anyway, so make sure you are fully prepared. If you keep within budget, plan your route carefully and work towards a common goal, then you will be sure to make a success of your first tour.