Booking a Tour for Your Band | 10 Tips Before Hitting the Road
The experience of hitting the road with your bandmates is quite unlike anything else. The unpredictable nature of touring, the rush of performing for a live audience...it’s truly monumental. But if you jump into that tour van unprepared, your trip may be fraught with unnecessary drama and frustration. With this in mind, here are ten important tips to help with booking a tour for your band.
1. Hire a Tour Manager
This isn’t an option for every band, but music acts that can afford a manager can greatly simplify the touring process by having the person handle detail work surrounding the tour, such as show bookings, hotel accommodations, and ensuring that the venue is ready for the band to play shortly after they arrive. Hiring a manager helps you focus on what you do best: play music.
2. Establish Length of Tour
Some bands love to be on the road and seem to schedule concerts whenever possible, while other bands like to take short tours that focus on particular regions, and then hit other regions when the touring bug bites again. Naturally, you want to expose your music to as many people as possible. Just be sure the length of the tour won’t leave you exhausted for the final dates.
3. Create a Touring Budget
Whether your band is The Rolling Stones or a cover band that plays the famous group’s music, setting a touring budget is essential for making the tour a financial success. A tour manager can greatly assist you in this area, as he or she will have experience helping bands manage their finances, as well as experience in knowing how much various aspects of the tour should cost. If you don’t have a tour manager, stop to consider the important factors like gas mileage, hotel accommodations, food, and emergencies.
4. Develop a Marketing Plan
If you need financial backing for your tour, supporters may wish to know what you’ll do on your end to promote the tour. There are several options for self-promotion, but the options of choice are those that reach the most people for the least cost. For example, investing in a web-based market marketing plan for your band’s website that is tailored to your target audience could cost much less than a plan that focuses on traditional marketing channels, such as TV and radio. Utilize the power of social media, collaborate with the owners of the venues where you’ll be performing, and take advantage of powerful music promotion apps like Bandsintown.
5. Learn Music Venue Details
The cities you visit on your tour are likely to have more than one venue where you could hold a concert, but some locations are likely to suit the needs of your performance better than others. So, before you decide exactly where to hold concerts, be sure to ask venue managers whether their buildings feature characteristics that would ideally suit the performance need of your band.
6. Book an Anchor Show
A so-called anchor show is typically the first concert musicians hold to kick off a tour. When choosing a location for an anchor show, most artists choose one that makes the most logistical sense concerning locations for subsequent shows. For example, if you plan to tour the West Coast, starting off with a location that is far north or far south, and then hitting concert venues as you travel in the opposite direction, would be an efficient way to complete the tour dates.
7. Book Additional Shows
Once you have your anchor show booked, it’s time to start booking additional shows, choosing locations that you can travel to in a linear fashion that doesn’t require you to double back and waste gas. If you’ve done your homework and know the details of music venues that would make good locations, you or your manager should be able to book shows without much hassle.
8. Rent a Touring Vehicle
Now that you know when and where you’ll be playing, booking a tour for your band should focus on reserving a vehicle that will get you to venues on time. Many bands like to travel in vans for the sake of having everyone in one vehicle and to make long travels as comfortable as possible. To ensure that you get the van you need for a fair price, reserve the vehicle as early as possible.
9. Rent an Equipment Carrier
Depending on how many band members you have and how much equipment you need to transport, you may need to rent an additional vehicle in which to carry the equipment. For many bands, a cargo van is the perfect solution for equipment transportation. The vehicles typically have comfortable seating for two and a windowless hull that helps hide the equipment inside.
10. Insure Your Equipment
Last but certainly not least, insure your music equipment against theft and damage. There are countless stories of bands being set back tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, by having music equipment stolen or damaged beyond repair. Booking a tour for your band without insuring its equipment could require you to cancel the rest of the tour while you save to buy new equipment.
Need to Rent a Touring Vehicle?
Out of all the steps you take to make your music tour a success, renting the right touring vehicle is one of the most important ones, as you won’t be touring anywhere unless you have a set of wheels to get you from venue to venue. State Van Rental offers a variety of competitively priced rentals that are great for touring, including vans with seating for seven, eight, twelve, and fifteen, and cargo vans that are perfect for hauling your music equipment to concert locations.
When it comes to booking a tour for your band, we can help you out by making vehicle rental affordable and hassle-free. Call us today at (888) 315-6888, or fill out our contact form, to reserve the vehicle(s) you need to for transporting band members and musical equipment.