I hope you are staying cozy and warm – the winter bug has hit us and it’s already a nasty winter in my opinion. I’m just not built for this cold weather and kudos to you if you are!
I am fortunate enough to work with a tour every Christmas and it is always so fun to put together. Fun and stressful, yes, because you are trying to keep yourself organized with every presenter that you are talking to. This year, I’m managing a 16-date tour that spans across the nation, and boy am I glad this is the second time around tackling this tour.
There’s so much to handle, so if you are tackling a tour yourself, you WILL overlook a few things. However, until you get a tour manager or assistant to help you plan the logistics, don’t take the “It’ll take care of itself” attitude. Trust me, hotel reservations, meals and shower facilities just don’t take care of themselves.
We all know about load in, soundcheck and showtime, but here are a few details you may be forgetting when you’re advancing a show that will make all the difference.
Early check in for the driver – Being on the road, playing a show every night, being exhausted, you’re not going to want to wait for that annoying 3pm check in time at a hotel when you arrive at the next stop, and you especially shouldn’t make your driver wait after an overnight haul. Call ahead and push the hotel for early check in. Explain why you need it and they will usually take care of you if you call enough in advance (2-3 weeks out is best!).
Credit Card Authorization forms – Another detail with hotels, if you’re paying ahead for anyone’s hotel room, be sure to request to fill out a Credit Card Authorization form so that when they check in and you’re not there, there are no issues.
Dietary Restrictions – Unless your bandmates advertise to everyone on Instagram that all they eat is bacon, you’ll want to find out who in your band has any dietary restrictions. You don’t want to ruin a run of shows for someone who is vegetarian with no options to eat.
Merchandise – If you are selling CDs or other merch for an entire month of shows, that’s a lot of merchandise! For example, we’re shipping most of the merchandise to the first venue to hold and then take it away with us on the bus when it arrives. We had to make sure that they had the space to store all the boxes we will send and also if they could help us transfer it to the bus. Don’t forget to plan the logistics of your merchandise. How will each venue get the amount it needs? The earlier you plan this, the better!
Transporting Large Instruments – If you have anyone on in your band with a large instrument (think Bass), are they going to be able to fit it in the van or bus? Can you take it on the train or do you need an extra ticket? Is flying it in your budget and doable? Definitely check in with your bass player on what they are comfortable doing.
This post was inspired by just one phone call with the tour manager of an upcoming tour on what our last few snags were to take care of, so you can see, that even the people doing this for years can leave things out. But with a team and support, you can be ensured that with several eyes on one project, everything will get handled.
Cheers to you, hope you stay warm, and have a wonderful weekend.