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In this Tour Tips segment, the melodic metal band, Chariots of the Gods, give you their tips for being on tour. You can check out the feature, after the break.
1. Being on the road, for a smaller band, you need to deal with expenses efficiently because it is really hard to break even on your budget. Your expenses can easily surpass your income, and that by far if you’re not being careful. With that being said, you should never go on tour without having planned a tour budget and a daily budget. You don’t need a finance degree to do this. Here are a couple of questions we ask ourselves for our planning:
– What will be our sources of income? Which one will be fixed (ex: promoters guarantees), which will be variable (ex: merch sales, door sales). You need to be realistic with your variable income projections, can you really make 1000$ or merch sales per night?
– Where will this income go: in members pockets, the band’s tour expenses (ex : gas, hotels) or back in the band’s account.
– What are your expenses and mostly how will you pay those expenses : out of the band’s account, your own pockets or a little bit of both?
2. In addition to budget planning, once you determined your expenses, you need to figure out how you will manage those. You need to be zealous in cutting costs wherever you can because you will figure out the hard way that unexpected expenses happen. Most of these unexpected expenses can be the biggest one you’ll have on the tour such as: equipment damage, vehicle repairs, towing costs, getting robbed, lost merchandise, forgotten gear at the venue and even bad promoters that drink away your pay.
3. Be sure to respect your timing and schedules. If you’re only allotted a 30 mins set, don’t go over. Bands and promoters are aware of bands of such behaviors and chances are you won’t be booked again. Be quick in setting up your gear and getting it off the stage so that the show can move forward on schedule. Don’t go to the bar get a round of shots when you only have 10 minutes to set up, do it before, be efficient and plan ahead. When it comes to schedule, always be on time. With that said, don’t arrive 4 hours in advance at the venue. If you tour during winter, be aware of the weather and plan accordingly. Of course sometimes if you get hit with an unexpected snowstorm or other extreme weather conditions, don’t risk your bands and other driver’s safety, but find a way to let the promoter know of the issue.
4. Bring your own sleeping bags and try to get as many people in a motel room as you can, so once again, you can save some money. Always be ready to sleep on floors or a couch. Don’t pay for a 4-5 people’s hotel room. Get the cheapest room and sneak in your sleeping bags or inflatable mattresses or whatever you have to sleep on. Camping can always be a good option too. Back to the hotels, clean at least your underwear’s in the showers if you don’t want to pay for them to wash your clothes, it works great.
5. Try to be as secure as possible with your van, trailer, and equipment. ALWAYS double check that everything is locked. Every month we hear of a band getting their gear stolen and their van damaged in the process. If you park in a public parking lot, try to leave you van/trailer back door facing a wall in a way that robbers won’t be able to open the doors. With that in mind, they might be able to steal your dirty sandwiches and underwear’s that are hanging around in the van but not all the valuable gear in the trailer. Also, place the least valuable items in the back of the trailer in a way that they’ll have to work harder to get to the expensive gear.
Hope all those tricks will help, they definitely did great for us. Have a great touring and maybe we’ll see each other on the road!
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Digital Tour Bus
The posts made by this account were created by past Digital Tour Bus writers, which include: Mariah Spiering, Paige Kochanski, Elexis Hipp, Hayley Hoyle, Alyssa Mount-Bycholski, Javi Perez, Anne-Marie Totah, Bri Born, Grayson Maslin, Christina Major, Emillie Marvel, Kimberly Lady, Lisa Perez, Sara Ruben, Natasha Nadiah, Marissa Linzey, Ashlee Hussey, Alana Ludwig, Katy Fleming, Erin Miller, Rachel Sappie, Jessica Armstrong, Yasha Castro, Jodi Bushnell-Aleman, Brittany Bohn, Christina Bennett, Emily Young, Lizzie Baumgartner, Stephanie Kompradith, Deona Ragsdale and Corey Kleinsasser.