This past weekend I had the pleasure of watching Martin Atkins do his world famous talk on Touring and his awesome book Tour:Smart. His book is packed with real world advice, hilarious road stories, and tons of solid ideas on how to make your tour a success.
Listening to Martin speak reminds me home how much you have to LOVE what you do. Touring is not for the faint of heart, and hearing some of Martin’s stories only reinforces that fact. You have to be committed to your show, your tour, and your band, to get results. If you’re gearing up to hit the road then I would definitly recommend you grab a copy of Martin’s book. Here’s a little snippet from the BUDGETS section:
- Do a budget!
- The budget for the tour is not supposed to prove that it is a great idea. It is designed to let you know where the problem areas will be.
- It’s better to do it on paper than with people
- Include a line in the budget for every day, not every show!
- Include a column for days of the week
- Be realistic. This isn’t time for putting in figure of what you hope for. There is no such thing as a guarantee.
- Enter a formula where the total number of guarantees is divided by the total number of days on the road, not the number of shows.
- Stay on top of your budget as things change. The crucial time to make changes and act is before and during the tour, not after!
- One of the easiest ways to make a budget work is to do seven shows a week.
- Add 15% to the total mileage for the tour to allow for running around getting lost, etc.
- You will probably estimate travel times based on 70-80-90 mph.
- Choose the highest average for gas prices.
- Don’t include merchandise revenues into the incomes until you have done 50 shows, and you can extrapolate or guesstimate them. Even then, use a figure of 50% of what you are hoping.
- Don’t schedule arbitrary days off.
I talked with Martin after the show and he said he’d be down for a little interview so I’ll get that to everyone soon. In the meantime enjoy Martin’s talk about Tour:Smart from NAMM in 08.