How To Book A Tour For Your Band In 7 Steps
Touring allows musicians to show off their craft. On top of that, they get to connect with their fans and gain a few new ones. However, artists often get into the creative side of the music industry and not the business side. Touring is all about schedules, planning, logistics, and budgeting. That leaves many artists underprepared to book a successful tour.
Of course, technology makes a lot of things easier, such as routing your destinations using Google Maps. But on the whole, booking a tour is still incredibly difficult for musicians, and the process isn’t’ discussed much. Here, we laid it all out for you in 7 simple steps so that you can understand what is required to book a successful tour.
Find Out What Are Your Most Active Local Markets
Trying to book a tour in a city where no one has ever heard of your music is pointless. Instead, begin with the local marketplaces that are the most familiar to your sound. Instead of asking which locations you can tour, ask which city has the most admirers or listeners. Where will you be able to sell the most tickets? This is where music data comes into play. Numerous data tools are available to help you identify the right touring opportunities.
Set Up a Date Range
Booking a tour is a difficult task that requires effort. Once you are certain you are ready for a tour, you must carefully plan for it. You’ll first need to decide when you’d like the tour to take place. Knowing when your tours will begin is critical because it will allow you to plan appropriately. It should be noted that booking a tour is time-consuming, and a 4-6 months pre-planning period is reasonable. Booking ahead of time is vital since you will need time to contact people, complete follow-up work, and other relevant functions related to booking a tour. Besides, some places require reservations at least six months in advance.
Route Your Tour
It is also vital to decide on the general direction of your tour. You will very certainly have to make changes along the road. Some cities are harder to book a tour than others. Strive to create the most efficient route possible. Check Google Maps to see how long it will take to get from one location to another and prepare appropriately. Avoid driving back and forth. Again, this is subject to venue availability, but if you can arrange a direct route, you’ll save time and money on accommodations and transportation.
Choosing the right venue is a tremendous challenge: choose a larger venue, and you might end up playing to a half-empty audience; choose a smaller venue, leaving your fans outside the door, potentially losing money. Those are just the sales considerations: you also want venues with the proper ambiance that satisfies all your needs. While you may find it easier to book the tour on your own, it may be a good idea to enlist the help of several music tour management companies to work in your priority regions.
Music tour management companies are familiar with the local venue landscape. In addition, they have relationships with talent buyers, allowing them to assist you in maximizing the impact of your performance in exchange for a set percentage of the show’s revenue. The live music industry is built on reputation and contacts, so ask around among your peers – chances are, someone knows a reliable booking agent.
Advance the Tour
This refers to gathering all the information you’ll need regarding your event from the venue. Some tour venues have the usual advance paperwork that includes all the details you require; some will gladly offer it to you over the phone, and some venues may wonder why you are even asking.
The major details you need to find out is whether the venue offers accommodations or discount codes, your set times, parking information, whether they offer complimentary drink and food, the number of people you can have on your guest list, and who the contact person is for the show and so on. In some cases, you may also need technical assistance.
Start Promoting Your Tour
After you’ve booked your tour, planned your route, and reserved your accommodations, it’s time to start marketing. For instance, you can frequently post on social media to remind your fans about your tour, send out an email blast, or have a raffle for a couple of free tickets – anything to get noticed. You can also let your supporters know about the upcoming tour in their city!
Collaborating with local music tour management companies and venues for each event is crucial when promoting your tour – they may have a lot to offer in terms of regional promotion channels, such as putting you on the radio, getting media mentions, and advertising at venues.
Have a Backup Plan
When deciding how to book a tour, chances are your original plan may not go as easily as you had hoped, especially if you decide to do it alone. Perhaps a previously booked venue will cancel the show, or the local authorities may be concerned about your performance.
Whatever the reason for canceling the show, you should have a contingency plan to help you manage the situation. Touring is costly, and failing to perform will result in a loss for the entire tour. For instance, if a show you had planned falls through, you should consider nearby towns where you can perform soon.
Touring is one of the most exciting parts of being an artist, but the logistics of making a tour work are quite challenging. Many artists face significant burnout when dealing with the practicalities of touring rather than performing. Just remember to take it one step at a time, starting with the abovementioned steps.
At GUIÓN PARTNERS, we can take on full tour management responsibilities or provide specialized support alongside your existing provider. We have several years of experience managing everything from theatrical stage productions to branded promotional tours.
As one of the top music tour management companies, our touring professionals are available for various engagements to ensure everything runs successfully. Contact us today. We look forward to discussing your next tour project in greater depth!