We’ve teamed up with the indie acoustic pop artist, Mary Scholz, to take you through how to plan your next tour. She accomplished this task recently and has some advice to share! You can check our her advice for planning your next tour, after the break.
The first step in planning a tour is mapping out your route and schedule. Time of year is important – for this tour I knew I’d be passing through a lot of potentially snowy towns so I planned to leave in the spring and head south first before hitting the north and Midwest towns. I like to sit down with a big empty calendar and start with the bigger towns I need to hit, making a list of which ones I need to play on a weekend. It’s important to know your audience – some places I just have a better turnout on a Friday or Saturday, and some towns I know Tuesdays or Thursdays are fine. Of course you can only do this for a few specific places.
I started contacting venues at the beginning of September. Some venues you need to nudge a few times, some are more responsive. Most book a few months out, and some will tell you they don’t have a calendar made up yet. It’s a bit of a crap shoot in that way – you need to allow enough time to book a tour of this size (3 months) because you’ll have to make sure everything lines up with your route and schedule.
Start with your biggest market and make sure you can get the date and venue you want. Then work around that. Google maps has become my best friend. Take an honest look at how long it takes to get from one place to another, and plan a little extra time to account for rest stops, food and traffic. After that, plan for days between shows and driving for rest. Driving days are not days off and they do take a toll on your body. It’s imperative to schedule days to rest in order to keep your health intact. You can’t play shows if you’ve lost your voice.