Where do I begin when booking a tour?
I will say unequivocally that the first thing you must do is….
Convince yourself that you are definitely going!!!
Once you have done that, all the other things will work themselves out. I love that saying, “it will all work out”. That is for sure, but whether it works out well, or badly is the real question. There is only one way to find out and that is, Just Do It!!!
Many times I have had people ask me for information and help. They say, “I might be going over in September”. The answer you will get from me, or any booking agent, record company, or music industry person is, “Let me know when you are definitely coming, maybe I can help”. You can’t book a venue if you don’t know you are coming, you can’t give your publicist a tour schedule, your record company a promo schedule or even hook up a gig with a band on myspace if you don’t know when and where you will be at any given point in time.
When I said, Just Do It, I meant it. If you say you are coming and get a lot of help or advice, or even a booking and cancel, you are not likely to get help or bookings from that source again!!!
There are also different opportunities at different times of the year, so nobody can tell you what is going on until you tell them when you will be there. You need to pick a time frame. I know, I know, but there is X,Y and Z going on at that time, and you don’t want to compete against that. There is no doubt there are some “no go” times, but there is always competition. On the subject of competition, it sometimes turns out that the competition will help you, and you might even get to be friends with some of them. Competition is healthy and should be looked at that way. Anyway we are all chasing our dreams right so give some respect and kudos.
At Reeperbahn Festival in Germany there will be so much competition that it will seem bewildering. On the other hand there is a concentration of music industry executives that are looking for something new. You may think you are in “competition” with other bands but in reality, it normally benefits both of you when you work together. For examples of cooperation you have, sharing a back line, you book a few gigs, the other band books a few, you look after the publicity, I will look after hotels and vehicles. Sound like a plan? I have met some of my best friends in this way.
Like-minded people that want to succeed but not at the cost of others, usually work well together.
For those of you “on the prowl” for gigs and publicity, have a prowl and I really hope that I can help you independent people to help yourselves.
I mainly deal with the European market but I will be posting information on many destinations and continue to update the website. The Vagrants, Black Leather Blues and I get around a bit, but life is journey not a destination. So if you go somewhere and want to share I am happy to put up info and credit you with it. Send it in!!!
How much money do I need?
I will answer this if you can tell me how long is a piece of string?
There is no real answer, but the rule of thumb that I use is pay for as much as you can before you leave, for example vehicles, accommodation, publicity, printing, CD pressing, etc.. And then take $100 per day for spending. The money you use daily is often referred to as Per Diem, which is Latin for ‘per day’. If you spend more than that on food and booze your trip will get slower and harder anyway. Keep hungry and stay lean..
If you are trying to get a sponsor the first thing you need to do is give them an itemised list of what you can do for them. Include how much printing you will be doing, posters, post cards, AO, A3, mag ads, street press, editorial promises, radio airplay, vehicle advertisement, banners on stage, website possibilities, newsletter updates, myspace hits and friends, and of course include any possibility for their products to be used, or placed in a high traffic area.