In this Tour Tips segment, the blues artist, The Reverend Shawn Amos, gives you his tips for being on tour. You can check out the feature, after the break.
1. CHOSE YOUR TRAVELING COMPANIONS WISELY
Unless you are traveling first class, you can bet on being in tight quarters (vans, motel rooms, single bathrooms) for long periods of time. Your patience and civility will be tested. Make sure you have bandmates that are willing to roll with the punches, accept the unexpected, and respect (what little space) you have.
2. KEEP TO A ROUTINE
Touring is not a vacation. Stick to a routine and resist the temptation to party after every show. Spend the off-hours sleeping, exercising, or tending to the business of your band. If you have side projects, be careful to not let them lapse while you are on the road. Stay connected to close friends and family back home. It’ll make your re-entry smoother.
3. BE KIND
It seems obvious but it’s easily forgotten. Every sound engineer, bartender, promoter, venue manager, radio station, stage manager — treat them all with respect, kindness, and dignity. Thank them on the way in and on the way out. They owe you nothing. They’ll book you again as much for your attitude as your draw. People talk and word travels fast. Build a reputation for putting on a kick-ass show and being a super kind artist.
4. KEEP A SUPPLY KIT
You will get sick, get a cut, and need an aspirin. You will require a flashlight and Philips-head screwdriver right before showtime and a tissue in the middle of a late-night drive. Batteries will die and hand sanitizer will be necessary. Pack supplies and make sure they stay stocked.
5. HIRE A TOUR MANAGER
As soon as you can afford it, hire someone to handle the details better than you. It’ll keep you focused on making music, up your touring game, and relief you from babysitting your band. You can also get some sleep while he drives.