Should You Be Touring?

On this episode of The Music Stuff show, we take an honest look at touring and where it fits into your career in the music business. We discuss some of the calculated risks worth taking, how to plan for your shows and routing, and some strong financial guidelines for hitting the road. Please enjoy this episode of The Music Stuff Show: Should You Be Touring?

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Episode Guide: 

  • Intro [0:00]

  • Sponsors [0:13]

  • Show Overview [0:55]

  • Work hard to go to sleep on time [2:02]

  • Toilet injuries [2:22]

  • Are you playing a show or touring for vanity, or are you playing shows and touring because people want to see you? [5:44]

  • Why not just hit the road? [6:08]

  • Touring is difficult to break even, much less make a profit on if you are just starting out in the game [6:25]

  • It’s not just playing a show [7:18]

  • It is hard to not want to stab every person you share a van with if you don’t have a place to sleep and shower [8:38]

  • Touring is a necessary extension of being in a band [10:29]

  • There is simply nothing that can replace the human to human interaction [10:44]

  • You’re not only failing yourself [13:26]

  • Not only are you losing money, but that venue is losing money [14:10]

  • If you lie to them, it doesn’t matter how great you are. You’re not getting invited back. [15:22]

  • Put out some trailers [17:38]

  • Put a budget together [18:23]

  • Nothing will make (you) quit music faster than this feeling right here [19:24]

  • Make it make sense [20:04]

  • Don’t ever book shows that you have to drive more than 6-8 hrs before you have to play again [21:35]

  • The whole idea of touring is so romantic [22:42]

  • However long you think it takes to plan a tour that will be a successful tour, you need to multiply that amount of time by 2 or 3 or 4 or 6 [25:17]

  • The best way to make sure people actually come to a show is to pre-sell tickets [27:24]

  • The firmer commitment you can have from people the more success you’re gonna have [28:21]

  • Now you gotta practice your ass off [30:14]

  • “I don’t care how much I like your record; if your show is average, I’m never going to come see you again” [30:26]

  • If the show is bad or underwhelming, it almost ruins the listening experience of the record [30:59]

  • Things that seem candid are not always as candid as people believe [32:00]

  • It’s gonna hurt so bad [33:42]

  • You have two choices: ignore it and pretend it was a fluke, or embrace it and learn how you can be better [33:54]

  • It always feels like you’re doing way more than you are [34:39]

  • A live show boils down to moments [34:55]

  • You want the headliner to be terrified to play after you [37:24]

  • JT Invitation [37:38]

  • Outro [39:06]


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Special thanks to Nashville based illustrator Bobby St. Louis for creating the artwork for The Music Stuff Show!