Free Friends - TOUR TIPS

Join us as Free Friends recommend their tips for touring.

Free Friends - TOUR TIPS

In this Tour Tips segment, the pop punk band, Free Friends, recommends advice for being a musician on the road. You can check out the tips below:

We’re still a pretty fresh band with only a few short runs of tours under our belt. Even so, we have learned a lot on our travels, and continue to do so. The stress and discomfort associated with touring isn’t always talked about. We like to think of all the bigger bands touring in style on large tour buses with access to so many amenities, when in reality, we’re 3 people packed into a van with lots of heavy, cumbersome, space-sucking equipment. Sometimes it sucks, but with each mini tour and weekender, we have found some things that can make it easier:

1. You can never have too many phone chargers: On long drives, you have to keep yourself entertained, either through scrolling social media, listening to carefully crafted and curated road trip playlists, or a good podcast (our favorite is Two Bears, One Cave). With our phones seeing so much action on these trips, they’re bound to die, and quickly. There’s no greater stress than band members fighting over the lone phone charger. Pack extra. You’ll be glad you did.

2. Use your travel down time wisely and creatively: During our tours, we like to sneak in some sightseeing whenever we can. This allows for some fun that can break the monotony of long drives and stress of constant loading in, playing, loading out. But, as hard working musicians, we also use this as an opportunity to create content. Whether it’s behind the scenes of us just hanging out as a band, or lip sync videos to promote our latest song, we take advantage of the places where we are visiting and the inherent access to new and eye-catching backdrops.

3. (Attempting) to stay healthy: It’s hard to eat healthy and get regular exercise when you are on the road. Our first tour happened just months before Ben and Lauren’s wedding and so staying healthy was a priority (particularly for Lo who desperately wanted to make sure she still fit in her wedding dress). This wound up being awesome motivation for us, which we haven’t quite been able to match since. But, we did find some things that helped. For one, we tried to share meals as often as possible. This helped us not overeat and also cut down on costs (which can add up when you’re on the road). We also tried to opt for healthier fast food stops like Dunkin’ Donuts where we could get eggs which are filling or Chipotle (Gil’s favorite). Finally, quick, at home workout videos are your friend, especially in cramped hotel rooms, or even just exploring whatever town we were staying in by going for a run. If you are a gym member and can take advantage of memberships that travel with you, do so! In fact, Lo even tried to look for hotel stays within close proximity to an Orange Theory to get in some early morning intense workouts before hitting the road.

4. Planning ahead: Hopefully someone in your band is annoyingly, meticulously organized and has an Amy Santiago from Brookly 99 level love of spreadsheets (ahem, Lauren). Use the spreadsheets to compile important information such as departure times, load in and set times, hotel confirmation numbers, and contact information. It takes a little extra work on the front end, but the peace of mind is worth it.

5. Have fun! Touring is and will be stressful. You’ll have good shows and bad ones. You’ll be uncomfortable, miss your bed, and your pets, and your normal routines. You will get in arguments and want to rip your band mate’s head off at some point (who thought it would be a good idea to be in a band with your spouse??) so don’t take it all so seriously. At the end of the day, you’ll want to remember the laughs and the sites you saw and the good times with your friends and supporters. Keep that in mind, and just have fun!

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