Touring is stressful enough. Don’t make it any harder on yourself by leaving loose ends untied. Before you pile into the van for a summertime adventure on the open road, there are a few simple things you can do to make sure your tour goes smoothly. And trust us – a smoother tour equals a happier tour. We’ve prepared a short checklist to make sure you hit the ground running.
1. Mail Posters to clubs 6 weeks in advance. If possible, write or call the booker to see what sizes and quantities they prefer.
2. Put a tour book together. Print out all the relevant information you’re going to need on tour: an itinerary, copies of emails, contracts, directions, contact lists, etc. Use a 3-ring binder and a hole puncher. Arrange the pages in a neat, orderly fashion for quick reference on the road. Don’t be reliant on iPhones and WiFi.
3. If you’re not renting a vehicle, make sure to get your van, car, or bus serviced. Make sure the oil is changed, brakes are good, etc.
4. Plan your days in advance. That way no one can argue with you when you wake them up to leave at 7am for the next city.
5. Make sure whatever iPods you bring are loaded with music options that everyone enjoys. Otherwise, annoyance sets in. Annoyance leads to bickering. Bickering leads to fights.
6. Bring extras of everything: strings, cables, mics, picks, sticks, etc.
7. Buy healthy snacks. Don’t use your tour as an excuse to pig out on truck-stop junk food and McDonalds. It’ll cost you in the long run.
8. Know in advance where you’re staying each night. There is nothing worse than realizing after the gig that every hotel in town is booked because of the state girls’ soccer tournament down the street.
9. Check in with all the venues a week in advance of your show to make sure everything is still going to proceed according to plan. Adjust accordingly.