Recently every time I turn around I feel like I am packing to go somewhere whether it’s a car ride or flight away, it requires packing, being on the go and often times away from family. I’ve always admired how our artists do it, being on the road and traveling from place to place a good majority of the year.
As a result I decided to reach out to some of our artists for feedback on touring and keeping up on things. Below are some tips and advice they had, enjoy!
- As an artist, whether new or established, one of the most important things is to hit the road with complete humility and a servant’s heart. Show up to venues not waiting to be waited on, but waiting to serve the promoters, the crew, the volunteers, the pastors, and the fans. This attitude goes a long way, and people remember you for that.
- On the spiritual side of things, it is great if you can get into a routine, both personally and as a band. If possible having daily prayer and digging into scriptures together. It is a great way to challenge yourself and each other to grow spiritually, in an environment where this can be a very tough thing to keep up.
- Eat at local restaurants once in a while. Visit used bookstores. Read the Wikipedia page for each town you visit, just in case it’s famous for something cool, like being the birthplace of Velcro or something. Buy an extra toothbrush that you keep in your backpack. That way you never have to pack one. And never, ever, EVER touch a Texan’s hat.
- When booking hotel rooms, use priceline and hotwire. Don’t just show up to a random hotel and ask for a room. You will save a lot of money by using one of those websites. If you’re booking flights check out Kayak.com, they will give you a good overall feel for prices on various airlines.
- When booking flights, try to always use the same airline. The more miles you accrue on one airline the sooner you will enjoy some of the elite perks such as free checked baggage, free upgrades to First Class, and better customer service. Remember the cheapest fare may NOT be the cheapest fare by the time you factor in checked luggage.
- When booking a Saturday or Sunday night show at a church, see if the host church is willing to have you lead worship that Sunday morning. While they may not have a lot of money in their budget to pay you, if they are willing to allow you to sell CDs after the service that will often make it worthwhile in itself.
- When opening on tours, realize that it might not be a huge opportunity to make money. If that happens, great, but know that what you are gaining is exposure from an already established artist’s fan base, and relationships. It’s not a bad goal as a new artist to start out just trying to break even on expenses.
- Try to make the most of the relational side of the opening slot on tours. Make a conscious effort to invest your time and energy to meet and serve the people around you as we touched on earlier and the investment will not return void. An example is making sure you spend lots of time after the show being available and talking to fans, sign, taking pictures and anything else.
- There is a lot of opportunity for increasing your online presence while touring, utilize all your time on the road to boost your online media. Daily tweet, post pictures, videos, blogs, and anything else like this.
I’d like to thank Seth Mosley of Me In Motion, Jeremy Thiessen of Downhere and Andrew Peterson for contributing the above advice for others on touring and being on the road.
We wish everyone on the road safe travels!