Five Things to Do Before You Go on a Tour

It can be overwhelming without a dedicated team to help you prepare for big tours. It isn’t easy to prepare for a tour musically, but the planning and promotion take time. Where do you begin? These are five things you can do to prepare for your tour. Every musician’s dream is a huge, wild, fun, brain-melting tour that will skyrocket your band to the top of the charts and deep into the hearts of fans. But before you put all your gear in a car along with a gallon of Dr Pepper and hit the highway with your excited buddies, you should know that, as usual, things are not what they seem to be. 

Create a list with contacts for media/radio/press

Once your tour has been booked, it’s important to compile a list with media contacts and radio and press contacts in each city you will be playing. Because it takes time and the outlets that you contact will want to cover you or airplay, this must be done at least months in advance.

Create a compelling pitch for your press release

What are your strengths, and what is the value of your tour? These are the key points to consider when preparing your press pitch. Newspapers, blogs, and alt-weeklies based in large cities receive hundreds of pitches each week. If your story isn’t compelling, it’s unlikely that someone will write about you. If you have difficulty writing a press release that grabs attention, this is an area to hire outside help.

Radio stations can broadcast your music.

Use the radio contacts list you have compiled to send music to stations in the cities where you are on tour. One note about DIY radio campaigns. Most independent and college radio stations still require physical CDs for music submissions. It’s frustrating for musicians who only publish music digitally. Although you could burn your music to CDs and mail them out, the chances are that they won’t take you seriously. Radio promotion is a great way for bands to promote their tour, even though it isn’t the best option for many musicians today.

Send your shows to blogs, newspapers, and alt-weeklies.

Send your press release to media contacts and the press well before your tour. This step will take at least a month to complete. Pitch submissions can take time, and it may take several weeks to get attention from busy editors or writers. You should only follow up with your contacts twice. If they don’t respond after the second attempt, they aren’t interested in pushing the show.

Practice, practice and practice

Now it’s time for you to practice your set and iron out any kinks. It would be best to address any weaknesses in your live show during the rehearsals before you take the stage. Do you remember the press release that you wrote in step two? In your practice weeks for a tour, you should try to bring the same energy and genuine feeling described in your promotion into your live show. Promoting something solid and entertaining is key to making a tour a success.

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