This new set of Tour Tips was written by the rock band, Hunter and The Bear. You can check out their tips for being on the road, after the break.
Rider: If you are in a position to request your own rider request a lot of water, make sure you have healthy food options that you can take with you for the next day’s drive. For example apples, bananas are great. Also good sandwich making items; bread, cheese, salads etc. Some times its also better to say you are vegetarian even if you aren’t, as the old “Guess the meat game” can get old quick, some places eat horse and dog you know. Also investing in a chiller box for the van to put what ever is left from the previous day to keep fresh. survival is key!
Treat the sound and lighting guys well: If you on a tour and not bringing your own sound guy be cool to the in-house or main acts sound guy and crew members. Chances are they have seen more bands than you’ve had hot dinners, so aren’t impressed with your synchronised stage moves or spitting water over the front row and their monitor wedges. Make an effort to have a conversation with them. Introduce yourself and ask them if there is anything they need from you at that moment, or if you can give a hand if they need it.
They are the link between your kick ass live show and peoples eyes and ears, treat them with the respect they deserve and they will reciprocate, y’now Karma vibes. If you build a reputation as a band who is super easy to work with and professional this will get around the industry, so more chance of you getting booked again on a better slot. Simples.
Take turns in driving: Sometimes night drives are inevitable, If you are driving yourself around in a van, It really is incredibly important you take turns when someone needs a break. This means there is always at least two sober people able to drive at any one time, minimum. This is especially true if you are driving in parts of Europe, the roads in certain countries seem to be designed without cars in mind. They are too many terrible stories recently about bands being injured or worse from van accidents. This also means the driver has final say on music at night as he has doesn’t have to be distracted with the rest of the bands out of tune Purple rain singalong at 3 am.
Thieves are everywhere: No matter where you go people see a band van and think opportunity. Its crucially important that nothing of value is left on show in your vehicle during show time when no one is at your van. After the show make sure you either park the van against a wall, or bring light pieces of equipment people can run away with inside your hotel room/mates floor. Eg guitars, cymbals, amp head. Thieves who know it’s a band van usually go for a smash and grab approach. If this is not possible and your are parked over night in the roughest part of town pull straws for someone to sleep in the van. Individual equipment insurances are a good idea, if you have contents insurance on your home see what that covers. Or join a Union they usually offer insurance as part of the membership.
Make time for fans: If you didn’t have fans you wouldn’t be touring so don’t be a diva rockstar. Make time after the show to say hello, sign stuff or have a photo to all that want to. Saying during the show “We will be hanging at the merch stand after the show, come say hello!’. Will not only encourage people to come say hello but also helps merch sales. Everybody’s a winner.
Did you find these tips useful? Let us know in the comments below!