In this Tour Tips segment, the melodic metal artist, I Built The Sky, recommends advice for being a musician on the road. You can check out the tips, after the break.
1. Take full advantage of your bands rider. Most venues will give you a certain amount of food and drink for each show, some places more than others, In Europe, we were lucky to get a great spread of food and drink as soon as we arrived at the venues. If you get things like Water bottles, chips or anything you can take with you for later… TAKE IT no matter what, you can store it on the bus and use it later when venues are less giving.
2. File management. If your band use backing tracks or any files, it is a good idea to upload files to an online file saving platform like dropbox, that way, if you ever need the files you can get them easy enough. Take USB sticks and have back-ups of back-ups including mono MP3 files on your phone for emergencies. It is always better to over-prepare as you never know what might happen while on tour.
3. Traveling on Planes. Especially when traveling internationally, where you need all your gear as checked baggage leaving little or no room for clothes, take your clothes as a ‘handbag’ allowance, use a shopping bag or any light carry bag and take the essentials. Most airlines won’t think much of it and you will be able to take a ‘carry on’ bag AND another ‘Handbag’ with clothes. You can also stash things like underwear and t-shirts in with your guitar cases giving extra cushioning to the guitars, and allowing you to take advantage of every piece of space you have in your luggage.
4. Light Merch Items. Another awesome thing I’ve discovered is to use USB Card’s as merch items, they can be customized with your band’s logo/artwork and loaded up with Song’s/ Albums/ Tab’s/ Artwork/ Guitar Patches and other things people love to buy at shows. They also take up very little space in your luggage for you to take along on planes etc.
5. Use Labels. Label each piece of gear with a number, so you can easily check to see if everything is packed on the trailer after each show while on tour. It also helps to be the one who packs it away on the trailer, Or at least checks it when the show is over. This way, you know for sure that you have everything ready for the next show.
Joshua Weidling Owner/Founder
I'm the owner & founder of Digital Tour Bus. I started the company in my dorm room during my freshman year of college. I have a degree in Marketing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Outside of music and going to concerts, I'm a big fan of stand-up comedy, playing board games, trying the most amazing unhealthy food, and watching really mediocre comedy tv shows.