October 20, 2015
Landing your first tour can be exciting, but it can also be fairly stressful if you don’t know what to expect. There is a lot to consider, including equipment hauling, transportation, and even communicating with different venues. One of the first things you should do is consider what issues will arise. The more you tour, the easier it will get and you will become accustomed to what the demands of being on the road are. In an effort to ensure you are well prepared, here are some tips that will help you survive your first tour and get you well on the way to becoming a professional at touring.
Hauling Your Equipment
Before you even hit the road, one thing you need to consider is getting your equipment to each venue. You can’t just throw it in your vehicle and expect it to stay in good condition. Instead, you need to practically consider what it will take to get your gear where it needs to be and in the same condition it is currently in. First things first, you should take into account how much gear you actually have. Once you have determined this, you can then decide if you will need a van or if a trailer will do. If you plan on touring for a large amount of time, it may be more cost efficient to purchase something rather than rent it. You need to weigh the costs for both renting and purchasing to determine what is best for your situation.
Traveling from venue to venue requires a certain amount of communication in order to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. You should keep all contact information handy so that you can stay in touch with each booking agent. You should have several ways to get in touch with them whether it be through email or phone. Even after you have booked the gig, you still need to communicate with the booking agent regularly to ensure everyone is on the same page and nothing is left undone. As the gig gets closer, you should be communicating with them even more. Having a laptop on tour will help you keep everything organized. You can post your contact information and gig details in a spreadsheet to keep it all together.
Packing can be a nuisance if you are not sure what to take. You need to check out the weather forecasts for each area you will be traveling to. Because the weather is known to change often, you also want several options just in case. You also want to make sure you have all your toiletries you will need for the trip. Since you may not be familiar with the areas you are touring in, it can be difficult to purchase products when you get there. By having them with you, you can save money and time searching for what you need once you arrive at your destination. Making a list is a great way to ensure you have everything you need before you head out the door. You don’t want to get hundreds of miles from home and find out you don’t have everything. Additionally, have a close friend or family member go over your list to check behind you.
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"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all of the earth; make a loud noise and rejoice and sing praises. Sing to the Lord with the harp and the voice of the psalm." - Psalm 98:4-5