How to tour on a tight budget

From gas, to food, to lodging, touring can rack up some hefty expenses; and the more money spent is less money made. In this post, learn how to budget your tour so you can make it all worthwhile.

by Janelle Borg of AmplifyYou

Let’s face it – touring is an essential part of an artist’s career. However, it’s safe to say that touring is not cheap. Unless you’re a big-shot artist, you’ll most likely lose money or at best, make ends meet. Thankfully, there are ways to tour on a shoestring budget and make touring a bit more viable. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Image source: Independent Music Promotions

Tips for touring on a shoestring budget

Plan your route well

Routing can make a huge difference in reducing fuel costs and road charges. Make sure the gigs you (or your booking agent) book make sense in terms of location. Try to book gigs close together to avoid wasting time driving. Allow yourself ample time for rest stops for lunch and coffee breaks.

A drive of 6+ hours long is taxing for the artist and crew. Therefore, plan your routing well before setting out. You’ll thank us later!

DIY tour managing and driving

Having a professional tour manager and driver is great. However, it’s also very costly. Therefore, sharing driving and tour managing duties between band members is a way to keep costs down. If you’re a solo artist, asking supportive friends to help is a good way to still tour on a shoestring budget.

Prepare meals beforehand

Staying healthy while touring is imperative. However, this does not mean you have to spend a lot of money on food. Bring snacks, tinned food, and just add water meals to supplement you while you’re out on tour. Stop at supermarkets and grocery stores to grab ingredients which you can cook at your accommodation.

Some foods you can prep on the road with a shoestring budget are sandwiches, wraps, ramen, noodles, fruit salad, and instant oatmeal. Don’t forget instant coffee, of course!

Janelle Borg knows a thing or two about the music industry. Having been involved in the industry since the age of 13, she’s now involved in a variety of music-related projects and is always keen to share industry tips ‘n’ tricks with fellow musicians.

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