Ready to take on your first band tour? Then we have some great pointers for you. If your band has just started to build a following and get the word out, a tour will be a good idea. The best way to get exposure is to make people hear and see you. Planning a tour takes a lot of planning, patience, and teamwork. It will also cost, so be prepared. Let’s get you started with the following tips.
1. Decide on dates and your route
Before you do anything else, you need to decide when you want to do the tour. Factors like holidays or breaks or other big events may play a role. These things may influence the availability of venues and it may also make it difficult for you to take off if you have a job or study.
The route is important. You need to take into account logistics and which route will make the most sense. Decide if you’re going one way or making a circle. Your route will also have to take into account where venues are situated. You may struggle to get play space or even a stay over in the very small places.
2. Contact venues and book your gigs
Once you have your dates and routes, start calling possible venues along the route. You will likely have several options. If one doesn’t pan out ask for an alternative option and keep calling. If you find that you have some dates open, see if there aren’t any people looking for some live music on that day and go play in a pub or at a wedding. It’s still exposure.
3. Gather your helpers
Some people call this your ‘street team’. Post your tour and the venues you will be playing so fans can see where you will be. Gather your street team ahead of time online. These guys will help with spreading the word, setting up, and just basically get the word out that you will there and that you’re worth seeing. You can reward these guys with free merchandise or tickets.
4. Plan your setlist
It is important that your set list flows. After one or two shows, you will start feeling whether things are flowing or maybe need a shuffle. With experience, you will also get a feel for the town and the audience and adjust the list accordingly. The flow needs to make sense and not get boring or be too much up. There should be a balance.
5. Use social media
Social media is great if you want to get the word out. Your street team will definitely help you with this part. Advertise your tour on social media and gather as many followers as possible. Offer merchandise for sale and get things rolling before you even leave your hometown.
A tour is a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of work. When you plan properly and make sure you cover all your bases, you will be fine. A big part of planning is the costs involved. Make sure that gets enough attention.