Many management companies and artists struggle to find the time to prepare for tour properly. With PR obligations, release schedules, artwork deadline and thrilling meetings with accountants all getting in the way. This coupled with a lack of local contacts and knowledge can spell disaster for many acts touring internationally.
We believe in the Abraham Lincoln method - "Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." Our axes are very sharp here at TMHQ (our office is a log cabin)!
Here’s our top 5 tips to advance a tour -
Double check and then check again.
The manager may have sent over the tour schedule a while ago. Agents and promoters are known to switch and swap shows and dates at late notice so first thing’s first - check all of the tour dates, the routing and the days off. Do you have everything up-to-date? Email confirmation from the agent is a nice reassurance before any travel is planned.
Ask the promoters to confirm the date and showtime during the first contact you have with them. Some DJs may play after midnight and the agent’s contract will automatically choose the next day as show date. Clear this up early to save stress later.
If you’re heading out on tour you are most likely going to be meeting the face behind the email address or the voice behind the phone call. Play nice early on. If they’re not responding to your messages perhaps they’re busy, have a poorly dog or have so many emails in their inbox they need a small hammer to set yours free. Relax and make friends! We’re all trying to put the same show on at the end of the day and with any luck your careers can develop together in the long run.
Google has thrown world touring into the future. No more printed directions that fly out of an open car window and leave you flagging down strangers to ask where ‘the nightclub’ is. Thanks to the worldwide web we have street view, route planners and photographic evidence of everything! Be careful now…
This may make your life a little too easy so try to visualise everything that will happen on showday. Will there be a traffic jam for the 5pm load in? Is there parking near the venue? How about at the hotel? Is the venue in a dangerous neighbourhood? Use all of the tools at your disposal to imagine every scenario and then prepare for the unexpected anyway.
Write it all down.
With some tours lasting 6 weeks before a break and then another 4 weeks with travel in between it makes sense to have a few notes. We like to use email confirmations and a rather smart system called Master Tour. Some clients prefer Google Sheets and Calendar alerts. Whatever your poison, make sure you have everything written down so if that bump on the head ever happens you can jog your memory or an alien from the Pleiades system can pick up where you left off.
Check again and then double check.
Did I mention this? Now it’s time to check again. Once all the dots and down and the lines are crossed, please repeat the process until any problems have been solved. Then email and call everyone again just to make sure.
Follow these simple steps for a successful tour.
Contact Alan at Travelled Music to discuss your tour requirements. We have worked with artists of all levels to ensure they travel safe and tour successfully.