[This article was written by guest contributor Eric John Kaiser.]
I’m a professional French singer-songwriter, originally from Paris, France, now based in Portland, Oregon. I tour in the US, Canada, and France. I’ve also been fortunate to play in Ireland, and a little bit in Australia. I’ve always played solo gigs in those countries and know the French market best. So I’ll mainly focus on that in this article. Here are a few tips I’ve learned from touring abroad that Chris from CD Baby asked me to share with you. I hope it helps. Smile, be safe, meet great people, enjoy every moment, and have fun!
First step: Booking shows
- Let’s say you are thinking of touring in France. Start by deciding when you want to go and where you will be landing (Paris, Lyon, Marseille…). Be sure to have enough time to book those shows (give yourself a few months at least). Don’t contact venues 3 weeks before you will be visiting; it will probably be too late.
- Make a tour plan. Organize in advance where you want to play, on what dates, and evaluate the distances between each gig. The most difficult part, when you’re starting from scratch, is doing the booking research yourself. Explore the web using tools like Google, Facebook, Reverbnation’s gig finder, Lonely Planet, the American newspaper in Paris (Time out) that lists shows that could be a good place to start, etc. Using keywords are very important. If you google for example “Live Blues music in Paris” you might find a list of venues. Also try to find online forums that talk about the same genre of music you play. For example, there are probably some Blues festivals in the Paris area or non-profits with blues lovers that organize shows there. Read more »