In this Tour Tips segment, the alternative folk band, The Arcadian Wild, give you their tips for being on tour. You can check out the feature, after the break.
1. Bring Enough Sleeping Bags
Camping on the road is a great way to save money on lodging while touring, not to mention enjoying the outdoors as an escape from the daily grind of traveling and performing. BUT, if you do camp, don’t skimp on any essential equipment or gear. Ya know, like sleeping bags, for example. Otherwise, you’ll end up in a cozy little spooning train with your bandmates and roadies to stay warm through the night as the temperature drops a surprising 20 – 30 degrees in Yosemite National Park.
2. Don’t Eat Broccoli
Or any other gas-inducing food. Use your head, man! If you’re spending multiple hours a day in a car with others for weeks at a time, don’t be a tool by eating stuff that turns you into human mushroom cloud of flatulence. So when you make a stop fuel up and grab some grub, make wise choices, lest you make yourself the scourge of the tour van.
3. Avoid 13 Hour Drives through Texas
Scheduling consecutive performances in an efficient way is incredibly important. When you’re lining up your gigs, keep your daily travel times in mind. It’s easy to power through long days at the beginning when your energy reserves are full, but when you’re a month and a half into tour, a 13-hour driving day is going to be a real buzzkill. Plan accordingly to avoid strenuous runs at inopportune legs in your journey.
4. Schedule Enough time to Enjoy the Cities You Visit
Going on tour is a convenient excuse to explore areas and cities you’ve always wanted to visit. But make sure you don’t pack your itinerary so tightly there’s no room left to hang out and enjoy the cool places you’re playing! Many times, we’ve snagged shows in really cool cities, but then had to ship out early the next morning to make it in time to the next stop. When you can afford the extra time (and money if you need to get a hotel or an Airbnb), slow down, relax, and be present in a nifty spot. What’s the point in driving 2,000 miles to Seattle if you only stay there for 16 hours, 6 – 8 of which you’ll be sleeping?
5. House Shows are your Friends!
Playing bigger venues and selling out clubs are definitely awesome experiences, but house shows are a treat you don’t want to skimp on. Compared to other types of gigs, they’re low risk and easy to schedule, and they come with some amazing benefits. They are relaxed, intimate, and memorable since it’s so easy to connect in a personal way with your audience both during and after the performance. Plus, if you communicate and coordinate well with your host beforehand, it’s another great opportunity to save money while you’re on the road, as many hosts will generously offer to house and feed you. Historically, house shows have been some of our favorite performances to date, and we’ve built entire tours on the living room concert experience.