4 things every musician should do before they go on tour

Now that live shows are back in full swing, you’re probably more than ready to get back on tour! As exciting as it is, there’s a lot to do before you hit the road. To make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible, here are some tips to help you prepare…

A guest post by Randi Zimmerman of Symphonic Blog.

Plan Your Tour Budget

A lot of money goes into touring, and it’s important to make every penny count at all legs of the tour.

Think about the cost of your crew, places to stay, food, tour promo, marketing, equipment, and everything else you know you’re going to need to spend money on. Once you’ve deciphered these, make an actionable plan that you can adhere to as you go along. Sticking to your budget will ensure you’re making real profit off of your efforts and not spending more than necessary to consider the tour a success.

  • Road Trip is a great app that lets you track your fuel economy and costs, document maintenance records, organize and compare vacations and trip costs, plan efficient routes, track mileage statistics, and more. — The last thing you want is to be stranded on the road with a dead battery or flat tire. With Road Trip, you can easily split the cost of gas, stay up-to-date on maintenance, and ensure you and your bandmates don’t end up hitchhiking to your next gig.

Set Your Schedule In Advance

As much as you plan, there are still going to be some bumps in the road along the way. (Both figuratively and literally.) Either way, it still helps to plan your schedule in advance to keep everyone as on track as possible.

As you calculate the flying (or driving) time, pit stops, pee breaks, and whatever else along the way, I know it can be exciting to cram everything into as efficient and fast of a timeline as possible. Be reasonable with yourself. Don’t burn everyone out because you only allotted one 5-minute pee break for a 7 hour drive or a 4am call-time on a Saturday morning.

Things happen. There may be traffic delays, essentials may be forgotten, hangovers happen. Plan for all this when you create your schedule. Give yourself ample time to set up before gigs without the risk of a crazy night out ruining everything the next day.

  • Band Mule is a great app that can help you and your bandmates harmonize your schedules. Band Mule features a shared band calendar, private chat room and shared set lists. Each member can edit the calendar and add rehearsal times or block out dates they’re unavailable. Members can all edit and share their setlists, which are saved in PDF format for easy printing.

Book ALL Your Venues

Keep in mind, some venues are fully booked 6 months in advance. Don’t miss your shot to play at a venue where most of your fans are likely to come out just because you procrastinated on booking the venue.

Plan ahead with insight, don’t just guess. Utilize things like your Spotify and SoundCloud analytics, where you can see exactly where most of your fans reside and plan to do shows there. // This post breaks down everything you need to know about using Spotify and SoundCloud to book your next tour. (Don’t sleep on this one!)

Spotify and SoundCloud aren’t the only platforms you should consult as you start booking. With BandsInTown and Songkick, you can keep your fans up to date with notifications and emails for when you’re in their town. Songkick also has a feature that will show your tour dates on your listener’s Spotify while they’re listening to your music.

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