It’s needless to say that the rule number one for having a successful tour is: have your band’s finances in order. This can quickly put a wrench in things if there isn’t enough money in the bank.
Tour expenses can be unpredictable and costly:
- maintaining equipment
- the tour bus/van/car
- making sure all band members get their cut of profits from the gig.
When the costs add up, and you’re not prepared, a tour can go south quickly. These stressful situations can also create tension between bandmates if you’re all making less because of lack of financial preparation beforehand.
Establish House (or Bus) Rules
Knowing expectations ahead of time is essential to a drama-free tour. Set some ground rules so that all band members are aware what is expected of them.
If your band is touring, most likely that you’ve all chosen to make music and being on the road a big part of your career (if not your entire career). So, it’s important to make sure that there’s some standards set, such as no stumbling late for shows and rehearsals and absolutely no no-shows. Decisions like this affect the whole band as well as the venue you’re playing at.
It’s easy to think that rules just suck the fun out of playing shows, but in reality, it will save the band time and energy trying to resolve conflicts.
Know What to Bring Before You Hit the Road
We all know how easy it is to forget to bring a toothbrush on a trip, but touring is an entirely different animal because you won’t be coming back for awhile. Not everything is as easily replaceable (or as inexpensive) as a toothbrush.
It may be a good idea to make a list of things to pack before you hit the road. Phone chargers, medication, small stage equipment like cords; notes if you’re doing choir performance tours… It can all be easily left behind.
Hotel rooms have a way of swallowing things up, so make sure that everything is accounted for between gigs as well.
Business Cards/Promotional Materials
Touring is about networking too, right? You never know what opportunities will pop up when you’re out playing shows or chatting with fans and other artists – possibly even producers!
You’ll want to have some materials such as business cards to promote the band. Consider creating some flyers and handing them out to people wandering by the venue where you’re going to be playing your music. You’ll never know who may stop in and lead you to your next big opportunity. It could even be your big break!