Have you ever wondered if it would be possible for you to go on tour without a Booking Agent?
The answer is YES. Its possible. You can go out on Tour by yourself and even make money out of it.
Do you want to know how? Here are 10 tips to make it possible:
The first advice is to wait until you are successful enough in your home town. You don’t want to run too fast. This is something you are going to invest your money in so wait until you feel the investment is worth it. Learn from every venue, from the audience and from yourself first. Once you have the experience and the money and you feel it’s the moment, you are ready to start organizing your own tour.
1. Time: start 5 months in advance. You will need 2 months to get gigs and 3 to promote them. Most likely you’re going to spend the first month routing the cities, researching venues and gaining contact info.
2. Choose the places you want to go first and the venues second. To find venues you have to first decide at what type of rooms do you see yourself playing, it will depend a lot in your music style. Use Yelp or Indie on the Move ‘s list to help you with the venue research. (Indie on the Move is a newer resource that is specifically for bands booking their own tours.)
3. Getting in touch with venues: you can do it both by phone or email. Do both of them. Don’t be shy while calling and not too long while writing. Be specific, tell them who you are and what you have to offer. Give them numbers. Talent buyers want to know how many people are you expecting to attend to the show, business is business. They want to know about how much money they can make. The magic number? More than 50 people.
4. Find local openers. They will bring their own audience.
5. Routing: You will need backtracking to adapt to the venues dates and days off (try, of course to miss as less time as possible). Set up a Google Calendar to help you with show dates and contact info. Stay at friends houses and drive from one place to another (6 hours driving max on show dates and 10 max on days off).
6. Establish a realistic ticket price. People will pay between 10-12$ for a indie band/artist on tour.
7. A typical deal for clubs these days is a 70%-100% cut for 21+ venues, 70-85% for 18+ venues, and around 50-70% cut for all-age venues with higher off-the-top expenses.
8. Leave budget for promotion. No promotion, no profit.You should have money at least to send posters to each venue.
9. Your team: Bring with you those who are absolutely necessary. You will have to do most things by yourself.
10. Remember: Everything can be a gig; even someone’s house. Colleges pay a lot for unsigned artists performances.
Now you are ready to go on the road!