Is It Time To Get On Tour?

So you and your band are itching to get on tour, but is it the right time and how do you start the process? We took the pressing questions about touring to Craig Johnston, Assistant Booker at DF Concerts.

Craig, at what stage in a bands career is the best time to tour?
CJ: A band should be “touring” from day one, I use touring really loosely, maybe not going out on the road for days at a time but they should be playing outside their hometown from day one. After that it is best to do a run of dates when there is a product to push, like a single or an album.  Once you start to get airplay and reviews you are more likely to get shows outside of town.

How far in advance would you recommend a band begin to plan their tour?
CJ: At least 4 months I’d say, 1 month planning then leaving at least 2 months between the announcement and playing the show to get as much promo done as possible.

Craig explains that bands try to commit as much time as they can to touring. It is normal for bands to get out a couple of times a month, Thursday – Sunday, meaning band members don’t need to take too much time off of work.

What is the best way for bands to book shows outside their home country?
CJ: Outside of Scotland the bands should be hitting up bands at their level from England that they like to arrange gig swaps. You can hire sleazys for £100, invite 3 bands up to support that you like. Sell 140 tickets at £6.00, after you have paid each band £50 you will have made £590 and that pays for you van to go on tour.

We asked Craig if it was best to tour with other bands, as bands from the same town often plan to tour together. However, Craig warns that these package tours are not so appealing to promoters. It is better for a promoter to put on one touring act and three local acts, to guarantee that more tickets will be sold. Craig comments that supporting a major act on tour is the ‘holy grail’, however you will find that these supports are usually on the same label, or have the same agent or manager, as the headline act.

Finally Craig, what advice would you give to a band planning their first tour?
CJ: Be nice to everyone, be respectful to everyone, remember the promoters name, remember the sound engineers name, and remember the other bands names. Be organised, be on time and don’t take the piss. Rock stars don’t act like rock stars so you shouldn’t either.

Blog Author: | Artist Relations & Marketing Manager, EmuBands
POSTED: Tuesday 24th September 2013

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