What is a Tour Manager in Music
Every successful artist knows that touring is essential to an artist’s career. In fact, some would even say that touring is a vital part of promoting your music as an artist. But touring is not just about showing up to a venue and performing for your fans.
It takes a lot of coordination, organization, and planning in order for everything to run smoothly. This is where tour managers come in.
Here, we’ll talk about who a tour manager is, the duties of a tour manager, and how you can select a tour manager to ensure the success of your tour.
What is a Tour Manager?
A tour manager is a person who is responsible for coordinating all aspects of an artist’s or band’s tour, from booking venues and arranging transportation to handling merchandise sales and managing the budget. They also serve as a point of contact for the artists and handle any unexpected issues that may arise during the tour.
In short, a tour manager ensures that a tour runs smoothly and successfully. Without them, it would be nearly impossible for an artist or band to successfully navigate the hectic world of touring.
What Does A Tour Manager Do?
The duties of a tour manager vary depending on the size and scale of the tour, but some common duties include:
Arrange Travel Plans
Tour managers handle everything related to travel for musicians so that the artists can focus on their performances. This includes tasks like booking flights, arranging transport and accommodation for the entire band, and managing background singers, guitarists, merchandise sellers, etc. Tour managers also ensure that everyone has the right visas and other required documentation before departure.
Tour managers handle the logistical tasks of a tour, such as booking venues, setting up sound and lighting equipment, negotiating contracts with venues, and coordinating catering for musicians and crew members. They also handle merchandise sales and make sure to budget accordingly for each show.
Handle Unexpected Issues
No matter how well-planned a tour may be, there will always be unexpected issues that arise. Tour managers serve as the main point of contact during a tour and are responsible for handling unexpected issues, such as canceled shows or sound problems at a venue. It’s their job to find solutions quickly in order to ensure the smooth running of the tour.
Manage The Tour Budget
Tour managers are also responsible for managing the tour’s budget and ensuring that all expenses, such as transportation and equipment rental, are accounted for. They also handle merchandise sales and distribute profits accordingly to the musicians and crew members.
Oversee Tour Staff
Tour managers oversee the tour staff, including roadies, sound engineers, and merchandise sellers. They may also hire additional staff if necessary and make sure everyone is doing their job effectively.
Serve as a Point of Contact
In addition to managing the tour staff, tour managers also serve as the main point of contact for the musicians, venues, and other parties involved in the tour. They handle communication between all parties and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Handle Press and Media
Tour managers also communicate with press and media outlets during a tour, handling interviews and ensuring the artist or band has a positive public image. They may also handle social media promotion for the tour.
Ensure the Safety of Musicians and Crew Members
Lastly, tour managers have a duty to ensure the safety of all involved in the tour, including musicians and crew members. They may coordinate security at venues and handle any potential safety issues that arise during the tour.
Types of Music Tour Managers
Being a tour manager in the music industry is an exciting and crucial responsibility. Tour managers are responsible for overseeing all technical, financial, and logistical aspects of an artist’s tour, from booking flights to arranging interviews with local radio stations. It’s their job to ensure that every step runs smoothly, guaranteeing safety and success.
There are various types of managers who may specialize in specific areas, such as tour production managers, artist liaison professionals, travel coordinators, technical and lighting designers, among others. Each role requires a unique skillset, but there are common responsibilities shared across all positions, including budget management, event scheduling, and itinerary planning.
Benefits of Hiring a Professional Tour Manager
Hiring a professional tour manager can save you time, money, and valuable resources. They have the expertise to monitor your music touring budget and secure accommodations and transportation while on the road.
Tour managers facilitate communication among crew members, such as sound technicians or lighting teams, ensuring everyone collaborates effectively during gig days. With their understanding of media connections, production staff requirements, and other crucial aspects, they can anticipate and address challenges before they become tour disruptions.
In addition, a tour manager ensures a seamless experience at concert venues, even after a long day of performing. They maintain high energy levels for the artists, maximizing their performance output. The tour manager also handles customer relations before and after gigs, fostering fan loyalty and boosting ticket sales through positive brand recognition.
Scheduling and Planning on the Road with a Music Tour Manager
Organizing a tour stands as one of the most pivotal responsibilities for any music tour manager. Your role involves planning and coordinating all aspects of musical tours, encompassing travel arrangements, performance dates, venues, shift logistics, and meeting deadlines. You must ensure that every facet aligns with quality standards while achieving excellent commercial outcomes for the managed band or artist. Selecting cost-effective routes that maintain convenience is imperative.
You should also adeptly negotiate contracts with partners and efficiently manage budgets. When orchestrating journeys away from the home base, spanning multiple locations within tight timeframes and unfamiliar terrain, seamless coordination is vital.
Every premeditated move necessitates prior collaboration between yourself and the artist’s or band’s manager, rooted in reliable data drawn from personal experience or external sources, contingent on your familiarity with the destination. Tour managers constitute an indispensable component of the music industry.
They assist artists in organizing tours, overseeing budgets, and crafting itineraries. They also handle travel logistics and marketing campaigns, ensuring the flawless execution of tour days. Tour managers possess exceptional organizational skills and an in-depth understanding of the local environment in which they collaborate with artists or bands during tours.
How Do You Select a Tour Manager?
When selecting a tour manager, it’s crucial to find someone who is experienced and knowledgeable about the music industry. In addition, they should have a strong understanding of the logistics involved in planning a tour and also be able to handle unexpected issues effectively.
It’s also important to choose a tour manager who understands your vision for the tour and can work well with both musicians and crew members. Good communication skills and the ability to work under pressure are crucial traits for a successful tour manager.
Overall, selecting the right tour manager can make or break your tour. Finding someone with the necessary experience and expertise will ensure a smooth and successful touring experience for you and your band.
So before hiring a tour manager, be sure to thoroughly interview them and ask for references from past tours they have managed.
Selecting The Best Tour Manager For Your Trip
Choosing an experienced tour manager can make all the difference to the success of your tour. However, it can be challenging to find a tour manager who is not only knowledgeable and experienced but also a good fit for your band or group. That’s why we highly recommend partnering with us for your tour management needs.
At GUIÓN PARTNERS, we have over 15 years of experience managing tours for some of the biggest names in the music industry. Our team comprises dedicated professionals with expertise in all aspects of tour management, from budgeting and logistics to handling unexpected issues and press.
But beyond just managing the logistics of your tour, we also take the time to understand your vision and ensure that we are a good fit for your band or group. We prioritize clear communication and work closely with you to ensure all your needs are met, including the safety of you and your team.