Posted on 13 Jul 2023

How to Tour Like a Pro: Tips and Tricks for Surviving Life on the Road

Touring can be an exhilarating and rewarding experience for musicians and performers, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. From organizing logistics to managing the technical aspects of live shows, touring requires careful planning and execution. In this blog post, we will explore valuable insights from experts in the music industry, citing the following books: “This Business of Concert Promotion and Touring: A Practical Guide to Creating, Selling, Organizing, and Staging Concerts” by Ray D. Waddell, “Production Management in Live Music: Managing the Technical Side of Touring in Today’s Music Industry” by Matt Doherty, and “Touring and Mental Health: The Music Industry Manual” by Tamsin Embleton. By following the tips and tricks outlined in these resources, you can navigate the challenges of touring like a pro.

Planning and organization are paramount to a successful tour. Ray D. Waddell’s book, “This Business of Concert Promotion and Touring,” emphasizes the importance of thorough planning in the touring process. Begin by creating a detailed itinerary that includes travel arrangements, accommodation, venue details, and performance schedules. It’s crucial to give yourself ample time to prepare for each show and consider potential contingencies, such as equipment malfunctions or unexpected delays. By meticulously planning your tour, you can minimize potential roadblocks and ensure a smooth journey from one venue to another.

The technical side of touring is another crucial aspect to consider. Matt Doherty’s book, “Production Management in Live Music,” sheds light on the equipment, sound systems, lighting, and stage setup required for a successful performance. It is essential to understand how to effectively communicate your technical requirements to the venue staff and ensure that the equipment meets your needs. Employing an experienced production manager who can oversee all technical aspects of the tour can be invaluable. They can work closely with the venue staff to ensure that everything is set up correctly and troubleshoot any issues that may arise during the show.

While touring can be an exciting and fulfilling experience, it can also take a toll on your mental health. Tamsin Embleton’s book, “Touring and Mental Health: The Music Industry Manual,” highlights the importance of prioritizing mental well-being while on the road. Constant traveling, performing, and being away from loved ones can lead to feelings of loneliness, stress, and exhaustion. It’s essential to create a self-care routine that includes exercise, healthy eating, quality sleep, and time for relaxation. Incorporating mindfulness techniques, such as meditation or journaling, can also help manage stress and maintain a positive mindset. Additionally, maintaining open communication with your team members and seeking support when needed can make a significant difference in your mental well-being.

Engaging with your audience is a crucial aspect of touring. Social media platforms provide a powerful tool for staying connected with your fans throughout the tour. Utilize these platforms to share behind-the-scenes glimpses, live performance videos, and interact with your fans through Q&A sessions or giveaways. By maintaining an active online presence, you can keep your audience engaged and excited about your tour. Additionally, take advantage of the opportunity to promote upcoming shows, merchandise sales, and other events related to your music career.

Touring can be an expensive endeavor, so it’s crucial to manage your finances wisely. Budget carefully for transportation, accommodation, meals, and other necessary expenses. Consider partnering with sponsors or brands that align with your music to help offset costs. Developing a clear understanding of your income and expenses and keeping meticulous records will enable you to stay within your budget and plan for future tours effectively. By managing your finances wisely, you can ensure the sustainability of your touring career.

In conclusion, touring like a pro requires meticulous planning, attention to detail, and a focus on both physical and mental well-being. By following the advice presented in “This Business of Concert Promotion and Touring” by Ray D. Waddell, “Production Management in Live Music” by Matt Doherty, and “Touring and Mental Health: The Music Industry Manual” by Tamsin Embleton, you can navigate the challenges of life on the road successfully. Remember to prioritize your mental health, engage with your audience, and manage your finances wisely. To simplify your music promotion efforts during your tour, consider utilizing services like Playlist Streams to boost your online presence and reach a wider audience. Happy touring!

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