Peter of the band Deep Sea Diver wrote a tour diary for Bandsintown that’s both funny and full of good advice.
I suggest you read the original article for the laughs, but I’ll summarize the tips below:
Put some money in the bank beforehand
You never know what could go wrong on the road — flat tires, running out of merch, etc. — so make sure you have a little cash in reserve for emergencies.
Try to get a sponsorship
Find a cool local business that wants some extra attention. Slap a logo decal on your van, head out on the road, and collect some sponsorship dough for spreading their name far and wide.
May the best driver win
If you have a real Type-A driver who prefers to be in control, and who also keeps you safe and loves the challenge of parallel parking in San Francisco, let ’em drive as much as they want. Reward them somehow (coffee, extra sleep, etc.) and let them choose what to listen to on the stereo. Meanwhile, you get the reward of… not driving.
Tour with another act that inspires you
You want to tour with a band that is great to hang out with and who gives it their all on stage. That’ll keep you on your toes in a good way.
Don’t be a stranger
Your fans have come out to see you on a night they could have been doing a hundred other things. Don’t be an aloof jerk, be accessible and show your appreciation.
Cherish good wifi while you have it
If your data is limited, or your reception is terrible, you’re going to have to spend those hours on the road actually TALKING to the people around you. This is a good thing. Then when you’re at a coffee shop or venue with reliable wifi, that’s the time to dive into the abyss of social media, email, Spotify playlists, and so forth.
Build a bed in your van
It will come in handy when someone needs a nap, but also, if someone prefers to have some solitude at night (as opposed to listening to the snoring of bandmates) and is okay sleeping in the van, a bed gives you the chance to have a built-in security guard for your gear.
Got any tips of your own to add? Some essential touring wisdom? Let us know in the comments below.
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