Written By Petra Hule
Times have changed now, concerts are no longer held in living rooms, and tours are hosted worldwide as opposed to the same county. Tours last for months at a time and target multiple cities on back-to-back dates. So why do musicians go on tour? As one gig turns into numerous, and your exposure increases, there comes a time in every artist’s career where people around the world are waiting to hear you sing for them in their own country.
Why Go On Tour?
Touring is one of the greatest ways any artist can give back to those that love and support them. Tours also come with other many great advantages for you or your band. Tours bring out exposure on a grand scale, networking, opportunity, and new experiences that can only be created when traveling and performing live in front of thousands.
Tips For Organizing A Music Tour
In order to set out on this wild adventure, a lot of time and organization must occur with a supportive team around you that you trust, as this is not a one-man job. A world tour doesn’t come together overnight and if it’s your first tour, a lot more time should be set aside in order to schedule and market your world tour to its best ability.
Gather A Team
Teams usually consist of a tour manager, booking agent, sound technicians, videographers, production managers, and many others. This is just a starting list so you know who to incorporate to start with.
Remember The Logistics
Some of the most important aspects to be considered first are the dates and locations, but also the logistics of everything. This would be one of the tougher things to plan as it is heavily based on travel parties and airlines. The last thing anyone wants is to plan and travel to your tour destination, but not give enough time in case something goes south, whether it’s baggage or equipment trouble, delays, flights, or illnesses. Like planning a trip anywhere the main things we think about are budgeting food, travel and accommodation. Although there are many others traveling, you will essentially have to take everyone into consideration and discuss this openly with your team. Don’t be alarmed to think you will have to plan everyone’s meals and what everyone will eat on a day-to-day basis.
Hire A Tour Manager
Your tour manager becomes your best friend, especially when starting out and going on your first tour. Discussing and budgeting with your tour manager is a must and being open with what your budget looks like, even if it’s a small amount. They will be able to guide you throughout the process until you get the hang of it to ensure you’ve thought of everything, everyone, and have planned all that needs to be planned out.
Give Yourself Time To Plan
To start off your planning, give yourself at least six months in advance to be able to cover everything without stress but to also have some leeway when coordinating your schedule with the locations and tour sites you’re hitting. The best months to plan on touring are May, June, July and August, in the northern hemisphere as the weather has heated up and the Christmas spending has slowed down to a point where people are open to start spending.
On the plus side, it fits right in with the summer break, however, if you’re looking to include places such as Asia or Australia in your world tour, be ready for the long haul as your planning time might just have to be doubled. Taking into consideration the different time zones, seasons, and travel times, a couple of extra days for jet lag should be accounted for.
The months to stay away from are usually the December through January and February period as the Christmas and holiday season is coming to a close, however, if you’re touring throughout the southern hemisphere these months are reversed as November through February/March are the months of summer and summer break.
Find Music Venues
Although your tour manager is there to assist and guide you throughout planning your tour, there are still decisions that fall on you to make, such as tour venues. This comes down to you as you know your fans and where you’re most loved, so if you’re well known in a certain city or state, but not so much in another you can book different venues according to how many fans you’re anticipating attending.
Stick To A Budget
Plus, looking to book months in advance gives you the most amount of options, however, if this is your first tour, keep in mind your budget and the overshadowing goals, expand your fan base and also make a profit after covering your expenses. This can’t be achieved if you’re booking the largest venue and not selling out tickets, so although having the grandest or largest venue may be nice, it might not necessarily be what’s best for you.
No Stress, You’ve Got This
This all may seem like a lot to have to think about and having to take into consideration everyone that will be on tour with you and their meals and expenses. Don’t stress. When starting out your group can and should be small as no one should be on tour with you if they’re not fulfilling a purpose, after all, they do come with added expense.
The people with you should be there assisting you in order to achieve success on your first tour, thus, all of these key points won’t have to be tackled on your lonesome. There are a few things where you have the last say or the final decision comes down to you, but these should be merely set visuals or things that don’t affect the entirety of your tour.
At the end of the day, all these stressors will be worth it when you’re standing in front of thousands at your sell-out show in a country you’ve never been to, hearing your fans scream your lyrics at the top of their lungs.