Caring for artists during a tour can be difficult, especially for a new concert promoter. You want to make a good impression and take care of your artists but you also don't want to blow your budget. To find the right balance, here are our 5 tips for providing hospitality to your touring band.
- Plan ahead using your schedule.
First, it's important to plan ahead and anticipate the needs of the artist as you travel. To do this, you should evaluate your schedule. Look at the dates and modes of transportation between events and ask yourself:
- How long will it take to get from Show A to Show B?
- If driving, will there be a need to drive through the night?
- If flying, are any flights a red-eye? Are there long or short connections?
- Will there be time for stops to rest and eat?
- When is it appropriate to schedule a caterer?
These kinds of questions can help you make decisions about lodging, types of transportation, when and how to schedule events and more. For example, maybe you will be spending many nights driving while the band sleeps: you should then make sure that the bus you rent has sleeper bunks and bathroom so that the driver can drive without frequent stops. Or, you might find that your schedule is packed from one event to the next. You should then hire a caterer to meet your band wherever they stay or at the venue, so that the band members don't have to spend time looking for a place to eat. These considerations will make it easier for you to care for the traveling artists.
- Ask for a rider.
A rider is a document lists a band's request for their hospitality or comfort. Though usually given to a venue, it can also aid you when preparing for an artist's arrival. This is especially true for requests that a venue cannot meet. For example, maybe the rider includes specific requests for vegetarian dishes, but the venue cannot guarantee a vegetarian meal. Instead, you can spend more time researching vegetarian options or providing a caterer with vegetarian meals for the band. To get a hold of a rider (or just a simple list of requests from the artists), simply ask for one from the agent. He or she would have a copy of a rider.
- Always provide food and water.
Hydration and healthy eating are key to a long tour. Not only does it keep people in a better mood, but it can also keep band members from getting sick and (in the worst-case scenario) unable to perform. When possible, provide healthy, fresh foods, such as vegetables and fruits. In addition, a good welcome gift for a tour is a reusable water bottle. This is especially helpful when you're flying and cannot carry bottles of water with you.
- Bring a first-aid kit.
Whether you're touring on a bus or on multiple airplanes, a first-aid kit can become handy in a moment's notice. Make sure that it's stocked with essential medicines, such as pain killers for headaches and antacids for stomach aches or heartburn. Having these small medications will save you time and money later on when a small emergency happens on the tour.
- Set reasonable limits.
For both your artists and your own health, it's best to set limits and guidelines. For example, your artist doesn't need an unlimited bar tab every night of a tour (and you don't either). You can provide healthy alternatives or a budget limit, which will keep you and your artists from overspending and from over-consumption.
You should also make reasonable decisions based on your budget. For example, you don't need to hire a caterer every night you're on tour, or rent the most luxurious bus for a tour with stops in only 10 cities. Overall, use your best judgment when it comes to upgrading to a more expensive or convenient option.
By following these 5 tips, you can have a happier tour with healthy artists. For more career tips and guides, check out our website or contact us.
Don't forget to visit MyMusicTaste to bring your favorite artist to you!