Booking a Tour

Being a small local band from Rochester, MN your opportunities for playing shows in the area are few and far between. Usually the closest venue we play at is the Warehouse in La Crosse, WI. So needless to say, after five years of playing within six hours from home, I am ready to hit the road and see what other states have to offer.

Booking a tour isn’t as easy as I expected.. Yeah you can read online about how to properly do it, but I’d rather learn on my own. So the first tour I am in the works on is heading out to Grand Rapids, MI. It’s only a four day mini tour, but I think it’ll be worth seeing other parts and if kids like what we are creating. 

After this tour, I am looking into a week long one. This would hit places like Fort Wayne, IN, Columbus, OH, St. Louis, MO, and several others. I enjoy traveling around in a van with three other guys, creating what we call art. As long as we continue making music that we enjoy, that’s all that will ever matter to me.

So back to the booking part.. What I’ve been doing is contacting venues in the area seeing if it’s possible to play at their establishment and could set up a show around the time we will be in their area. Another approach that I’ve tried is contacting band around the area to see if they could help us out. One problem with this is getting a guarantee or simply getting paid. Something I’ve noticed with the music industry today is that promoters let the word “guarantee” mean something more along the lines of, “well if we get that much through the door, then I’ll get it to you.” It isn’t free to get from venue to venue, so as long as we are making enough to pay for gas money, that’s all that matters to us.   

With that I ask a question, if you’ve ever booked a tour, how did you set it up? I’d love to hear what others do, because it’s networking that keeps small bands alive.