In this Tour Tips segment, the rock band, The Failsafe, recommends advice for being a musician on the road. You can check out the tips, after the break.
As many touring bands, The Failsafe has had their share of horror stories on the road. From witnessing horrific accidents, dodging actual bullets, to doing battle with a snake who snuck into a vehicle, we have shed our share of blood, sweat, and tears.
Here are some tips we have learned and hopefully they will make your touring adventures safer and more efficient than our first endeavors.
0: Pre-tour tip – Remote work: Many of us musicians are not at a point where we can fully rely on music to pay the bills (in fact, the amount of money it costs to record, prepare merch, support a tour, etc can end up costing a lot of money). The ability to work remotely enabled me and my band to be able to work our day jobs during the day while traveling and playing our shows at night. If you can work on the road and exceed your job expectations, this will allow you to keep your bills paid while you’re trying to eventually replace that income with your music.
1: Reliable Transportation: We learned this the hard way trying to tour out of a 30-year-old RV with 700,000 miles on it. It dies and left us on the Appalachian road at 1AM with no power and forced us to take U-haul vehicles (yes, 2 – since there were 4 passengers) across the midwest back to our truck where we could rent a trailer and safely resume our tour.
2: VIP pre-show events: I stole this from another touring band, but it is always worth a shot. offer pre-show VIP tickets for an additional 20$. This would come with some swag, access to meet the band before the show, and perhaps a small acoustic show with a Q & A. Even if 2 people buy in, that is an additional 40$ that can go toward gas, batteries and can add incremental revenue to your concert. It also gives people an opportunity to get to know the band in a more personal setting.
3: Lodging hacks: First, try to find someone in your touring area who can host your band. If you cannot find anyone, utilize Expedia, credit cards, etc. to find discount hotels/motels, preferably a place with continental breakfast. Many locations charge extra per person so have one person pay for the room and let the others sneak in.
4: Take your vitamins: Make sure to get your vitamin C, fish oil, and other supplemental multivitamins on a daily basis. As you travel from town to town and shake hands with people, your chances of catching a cold (or worse) increases. A good daily vitamin regimen will help ward off sickness and keep you healthy.
5: Don’t party like a rockstar: When you are playing night after night, restful sleep and what goes into your body is extremely important. You are leaving an impression on new people every time you hit the stage so you want to always be at your best. Reduce your intake of alcohol (until you finish your last set of the tour), and try to get as much sleep as possible (I know, it is hard).