Music Business

Supply chain issues in 2022 that musicians need to know about

As everyone tries to get used to this ‘new normal’ that resulted from the recent pandemic, learn about which supply chain issues will affect your music career.

A guest post from Pop of Colour.

Touring is back on! This is great news is you’re a performing artist, whose live shows make up the majority of your income. However, while you might be ready hit the ground running, not everything else is back to normal in our post-Covid world. 

Supply chains are a complex, intricate series of stops products take from source materials all the way to us. Any snag along the journey causes delays, pileups, and empty shelves at the grocery store.

While we’ll be able to live without some of these items for a while – Baby Yoda dolls, video game consoles and turkey (a bland, overrated bird).

Others are more impactful, such as toilet paper, medical equipment, and blood donations.

And then some are particularly relevant for touring musicians. Here are eight of them:


If you drive, you’ve probably noticed the insanely high prices at the pump lately.

If you’re in the UK, you’ve probably encountered literal petrol shortages. 

If you’re on the internet, you may have seen this delightful video making the rounds.


Not an obvious one, but don’t forget that microchips are essential components of electric guitars, computers, and audio gear. 


The last car-related item on this list, be sure to budget in the increased price of getting your tires changed.


Construction Materials

Are you playing a music festival? If so, stages will need to be built with… you guessed it… construction materials.


If “no one wants to work anymore,” that applies to staff at venues, bars, and restaurants you play at too. Be kind to your servers and tip well.

Takeout Containers

Whether you’re paying out of your own pocket or trying to maximize a per diem, eating on the road is all about getting the most bang for your buck. With a shortage of takeout containers, it may be worth bringing some Tupperware from home to store leftovers.


Last but not least, lets talk about drugs (a sentence I never thought I would say). No, I’m not referring to it in the context of ‘70s rockstar excess. Instead allow me to connect the red yarn of this supply chain:

Heroin is sourced from the poppy flower, whose crops are harvested and turned into the powerful drug in Afghanistan.
Due to currently political situation in Afghanistan, and the promise from the Taliban regime that they will end the production of heroin and opium, there is less of the drug to smuggle its way across borders and land in the grasp of your local dealer.

To make up for the lack of “pure” heroin getting here, dealers have been mixing their current supply with fentanyl, a synthetic tranquilizer that’s fifty times more potent, and dangerously easy to overdose on.

It’s been a last while for everyone, and music is something that reminds us were not alone. On tour, bring an emergency Naxalone Kit and encourage every venue you perform at to have one in their first aid kit.

The world is opening back up again. Let’s get dressed, and get clever when it comes to evading supply chain shortages.

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