#1
Me and my band are planning on going on a cross-country tour of the United States in the summer of 2012 (starting in New York, the state where we reside).

What I would like to know is several things:
-How soon should we start calling places to book dates?
-How do we go about booking shows? (What is the best way to do so?)
-What equipment do we need/should we have?
-What expenses should I keep in mind that people usually don't really think about?
-How much money should each person try and save up for the tour?
-What merch should we bring? How much merch should we bring?

Pretty much questions like this, and any other advice you can think of would be highly appreciated. Whether this is a good idea or not we're not too worried about. Whether this is a huge success or a train wreck one thing is certain: this will be one hell of an experience.

Oh and as far as transportation, this may sound odd but we actually own a small bus. My bassist's brother (who is also a good friend of mine) bought one a couple years ago and just recently fixed it up. We just need to buy a trailer for equipment. We'd probably sleep in that most of the time, while sprinkling in a few hotel stays. We want to play in as many places as possible.

Hope you can help, thanks a lot!
Last edited by Burntout Chump at Apr 1, 2011,
#2
-What expenses should I keep in mind that people usually don't really think about?

Insurance for equipment and liability.
#4
Quote by BrandonBeaux
-How soon should we start calling places to book dates?

Two to three weeks at the least. If you could book all of the gigs before you even left, that would be best

you want them booked before then man, try like a month or two in advance.... this gives you a chance to get publicity for the event and see some tickets....
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
#5
Make sure you invest in a substantial quantity of Fabreze or other suitable deodorizer or air freshener. Your van will quickly smell of armpits and ass.

Save enough for a bus ticket home in case it all falls apart.

Best of luck to you. I guarantee you'll have stories that will last a lifetime!
#6
Quote by Burntout Chump
Me and my band are planning on going on a cross-country tour of the United States in the summer of 2012 (starting in New York, the state where we reside).

What I would like to know is several things:
-How soon should we start calling places to book dates?
-How do we go about booking shows? (What is the best way to do so?)
-What equipment do we need/should we have?
-What expenses should I keep in mind that people usually don't really think about?
-How much money should each person try and save up for the tour?
-What merch should we bring? How much merch should we bring?

Pretty much questions like this, and any other advice you can think of would be highly appreciated. Whether this is a good idea or not we're not too worried about. Whether this is a huge success or a train wreck one thing is certain: this will be one hell of an experience.

Oh and as far as transportation, this may sound odd but we actually own a small bus. My bassist's brother (who is also a good friend of mine) bought one a couple years ago and just recently fixed it up. We just need to buy a trailer for equipment. We'd probably sleep in that most of the time, while sprinkling in a few hotel stays. We want to play in as many places as possible.

Hope you can help, thanks a lot!



Well how long are you wanting to tour? You said summer, but that could be a month, two, hell 3-4 sometimes depending on your schedules with school or work. That's going to determine a lot of how much things are going to cost.

Start booking dates a few months before hand. Then if there are any open spots, try to find somewhere while on the road to play.

Best way for booking would probably be a booking agent lol. Other than that you need to find venues and contact them. I'd might be able to help with that, if you wanna shoot me a message.

Equipment - All of your the essentials, amps, guitars, drum set, etc. Bring extra sticks, picks, strings, maybe a couple extra drum heads, tubes (if you need them), a speaker or two. It's easier to gather this stuff up at home than trying to find a music store on the road.

Expenses - Gas is going to be expensive, but you should be able to calculate that out, once you figure out where your going and how many miles it is. Food, mcdonalds is your friend, but I'd try to treat yourselves to some real food every once in a while. You mentioned hotel stays, so there's that. Have some money put aside incase you break down. Depending on how long you go and how many miles you travel, it may be worth getting the oil changed on the road. Just go in with the thought that anything and everything will go wrong, and you'll need money to bail yourselves out.

I wouldn't imagine going to anywhere far away without a 1000 or so dollars in the bank, what if you get stuck in california and can't get back to new york, and it would be cheaper to fly back, than rent a car and drive back, or get your bus fixed. Just something to think about. Then each person should have their own budget for food, laundry, any personal items.

I would just bring shirts and cds. Figure out how many venues your playing and then say you'll bring 10 shirts and cds, per venue. You'll sell more at some and less at others, so it should even out.


Also schedule in some downtime. It is necessary being stuck in a van or bus in your case for weeks on end. On my first tour, we ended up going to a theme park lol. After playing night after night and traveling all day, you need a day to rest and have a little different fun.
#7
I don't mean to rain on your parade, but it sounds like you're getting in over your head. If you weren't, you would already know the answers to these questions.

I applaud your ambition, but placing my bets on this not working. You're the grade 5 art student trying to recreate the Sistine Chapel and asking what kind of paint to use.

Now, before I go off at the mouth (keyboard) too much too soon, let me ask you this. You're from New York. Your tour will take you to, say, Ft. Worth TX. Who in Ft. Worth is going to come see you? Do you have a mailing list with people from there? Do you have any buzz there with press, disc sales or music downloads, myspace friends, etc? How is it that you're not going to be just another band that nobody there has heard of and therefore will not go see? Now, tell me about how this same question applies to, say, four other cities and towns you will visit across the country.

Next, let me ask you this. Let me assume that you're not independently wealthy or anything and that you intend to finance this venture basically on a show-by-show basis. How many gigs per week do you expect to play, and how much are you asking for in terms of money and other compensations? Most original bands without any buzz are lucky to make $100 for a show. You make more than that when the person paying you is confident that you're going to draw a bunch of people. (see questions above).

Based on that, and assuming (to make these numbers seem easier for you) a four piece band, you're looking at $20 gas, $20 accommodation (haha... nice....), $10/person for food, and $20 for emergencies. That's if you play (and get paid) EVERY SINGLE DAY of your tour!! (that's not taking into account the myriad of other expenses that will invariably occur) Take a night off or get stiffed by a promoter or get a speeding ticket and you're screwed.

My advice... start a small, say, northeastern tour. New York state, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Jersey, Massachusetts kind of thing. Work hard on that. Learn from that. Stay within a couple hundred miles-ish. THEN think about going bigger.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.