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Old 12-28-2012, 02:53 AM   #1
hahaha15
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How to go on tour

I wasn't sure where to post this. What do you do/need to go on tour? How do you know where to book and how to get people to go to your shows? and just any tips. looking for experiences.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:56 AM   #2
food1010
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This is the right forum. I suggest you delete your other thread.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:53 AM   #3
chronowarp
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What you need sort of depends on what kind of tour you're planning on doing.

I'd say at the minimum you at least need a van/trailer to move all the gear/band members in.
You should probably calculate mileage between destinations to keep track of how much potential gas money you're going to need.
If you don't want to sleep on the floor of the band van with your buddies, then you probably want to have sleeping arrangements in each city...whether it be a dirtbag hotel or some like minded dudes in bands that will let you crash for a night or two.

The basic idea is that you probably shouldn't be playing out of your town if you can't already draw in your town. If you can...then it might be a worthwhile venture. You need to book the shows in advance the same way you book regular shows. Research venues in that area and try to book a date at one that makes sense. Usually venues hold the local bands responsible for drawing for a touring act, and they tend to give you preference when they split the door/guarantee, because they know you have expenses...but obviously you probably want to settle on those things with each venue before you take off on a tour.

If you can get in contact with bands in the areas you want to tour through, see if they can help you out.
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:23 AM   #4
axemanchris
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As a general rule, if you have to ask this question, you're probably not ready to go on tour. If you've developed a local following, have product for sale, have done local media and regular shows in your town, chances are, you'll know how to do it in any town, and you will have made contact with bands from other towns who have played in your area - thinking bands that have played on bills that you've been on, etc.

A couple other basic points:
- income needs to exceed expenses. Plan accordingly. That means that if you have a day off, you better be doing something useful - hitting media, etc., because you're not making any money when you're not gigging. Don't plan for days off. Gig at night and do media during the day.
- wear a seatbelt. Sure, cramming five guys and their gear into someone's mom's minivan sounds like a lot of fun, but I know two people who have been killed while on tour. Both times, they weren't wearing a seatbelt. Caskets aren't cool.
- have proper insurance
- people will ask you this (whether playing in your own town or in someone else's town): How many people do you think you can bring out? Be prepared to have an answer that will instill confidence. (and if you're going to say 50 people or whatever, do you honestly believe you can draw that many people in a town that you don't live in?)
- the grocery store is a much more economical place to buy food than any restaurant. You can buy a jar of peanut butter, a jar of jam and three loaves of bread for not much more than the price of a single Big Mac Combo.

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Old 12-29-2012, 01:42 AM   #5
scguitarking927
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Step 1. Get a map!
Step 2. Get a vehicle!

What do you want to accomplish? small weekend tour, or a longer trip? one week...two...a month? Even longer?.

As axeman hinted to, days off can suck because you're not getting payed, yes a couple days off a week is nice, but may not be practical to meet expenses. That being the case, if you're going out for two weeks...you need to be playing for 14 days if possible.

It's safe doing just a weekend get away and play a few places starting out, moving up to doing two weeks at a time is where you want to be at though. Venues, generally want you playing every 2-3 weeks if they want you back. If you plan accordingly you can hit some venues twice, once on the way out of town, and then again on the way back. And you can honestly just cycle through venues if you can get into enough places and get asked back.

Get a home town gig as a starting point though, and pick a direction. do you want to go south, north, east, west???

Start picking out cities in the states where ever you're heading. Once you have a list of cities start researching venues in the area as well as searching for bands similar to yours in those areas. The easiest ways to get gigs out of town is to find similar bands and show swap, you come play there, and next time you play in your town invite them onto your bill. Builds friendships, contacts, etc.

Next step is to get booking, set everything up.

Now that you have things booked, plan your route. Print out directions, side routes, find the location of all the McDonalds you can find . Check for gas stations, etc.

Also decide sleeping arrangements, motels can add up quickly, maybe talk to some of those bands and see if you can crash at their place for the night, just be sure to return the favor.

Do plan some down time during the days though, once you get to a city, yall can all head off and just take it easy for a while and then meet back up a few hours before the gig. Your stuck with these people for how ever long you're out, get away from each other every now and again.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:42 AM   #6
TNA
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Everyone has made great posts so far. Here's some of the stuff from my experiences.

First off as someone mentioned, you shouldn't even begin to think about touring until you are consistently drawing crowds in your home state. This doesn't mean friends or family, this is actual fans. People you don't have to beg, and people who don't mind paying money to see you. I'm sure some may disagree, but I think if you are at the point of touring, then you should probably have someone else booking your shows. Someone who can negotiate deals, and does all the business stuff for you. It's not necessary, but once you get to a certain point, it's sometimes better to let someone else handle that stuff.

Are you thinking like a full on tour, or just a couple out of town shows? I'd start with just a few out of town ones to see how things go. You could find that you can't stand to even be in the car with your band for an entire day, good thing you found that out before planning a month long tour.

You pretty much book them like you would any other club. Except the expectations will be higher, since you are touring I'd assume you'd want to be paid. And that means getting fans there, and that means if you don't the club still expects that money from ticket sales either way. And remember if you are touring, you're not always playing on Friday nights.

So you need to get a large crowd, probably sell tickets, in a place you have no connections to, for a show on a Tuesday night, if you don't sell enough tickets the club is angry, you owe them money, and you have to pack up all your gear, find a place to sleep and eat, and drive to the next club and again are expected to fill the place. Sound easy?
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