5 Tips for Surviving Your Band’s First Tour

It’s the dream of every young rock band to go from being studio musicians to touring musicians. But what happens when that dream becomes a reality and you’re about to embark on that first tour? Your fans at Multitrack Master understand how big a deal this is for you, so we want to offer you these five tips for making life on the road a little easier and a whole lot more successful. You may not realize how many small bands split up after their initial tour because they just don’t know how to work together towards one common goal. Let’s avoid that from happening, here’s how:

1. Build Your Tour Itinerary

Every tour needs an itinerary. This may be something the band assembles or it could be done for you by a booking agent or a tour manager. If you’re opening for another band, it could very well be handled by the promotions company. Either way, it’s something you desperately need. It outlines all of the dates and locations where and when you will be performing. The itinerary will also include any interviews or appearances that you will be expected to attend.

2. Book Everything Ahead of Time

Let’s assume you are the ones putting together your itinerary. You are in charge of booking all of your travel, transportation, lodging, etc. That’s why the itinerary is so important, so you can book all of these things ahead of time and you’re not left in the lurch because you waited until the last minute. That means booking all of your important travel and accommodations well ahead of time, before prices go up and reservations are sold out.

3. Planning Your Trip

Again, if you are the ones in charge of all of these things, you do not want to plan your trip one leg at a time. You need to have every stop of the tour mapped out before you head out to each venue. In today’s GPS-savvy world, you can rely on your mobile app to get you there, but have some form of backup directions at your disposal in the event your phone is unreliable.

4. Create A Practical Budget

The financial aspects of this tour are critical, not so much for the money you’ll be putting into your own pocket but for that which you will be taking out. Let’s get this out of the way up front: you will not be making much money on this tour. In fact, it’s more than likely that the tour will actually cost you money. So put together a budget that delineates how much you will need to spend on the essentials like gas, food, and lodging, and once you factor in what you expect to make from each show date, you can start to figure out how much you’ll have to spend towards everything.

And never, ever depend on the door money to get you from one tour stop to the next. You will not make it. Work solely from any guarantees you have negotiated ahead of time.

5. Ground Rules

You’re not Motley Crue. Don’t act like it on the road. It’s the fastest way to ruin your reputations and your ability to get booked again in the future. Have fun but keep it professional.

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