Planning a Tour: Making it Worth The Trip

Brooke Annibale

Brooke Annibale


New venues and fresh audiences are usually worth the hassle of touring but below are some ideas on how to get the most out of your trip.

Do Your Research
Nothing sucks more than playing for an empty audience in a new city…especially since you’ve driven so far.  Do your research to find out the best places to play?  If you’re going to New York, contact NY artists and ask them to recommend venues. Ask them to recommend locations that are central and bring in foot traffic.  This will make it
easier to promote (you don’t want have to work extra hard trying to get ppl to come out to unfamiliar, hard to find spots). 

Take advantage of craiglist.  If you’re going to Portland put a posting on the Portland craigslist page.  This is how I’ve planned most of my trips and I’ve always been suprised by how willing people are to help.  Here’s an example…

  • Example: Hey all.  Our band is coming to Portland in a few months and we’re currently looking for good venues in the area. Can you suggest any places that book rock bands.  Any help you can give would be much appreciated!  You can feel free to check out our tunes:

Plan Ahead
Plan 2-3 months ahead.  Even if people recommend good venues, keep in mind that the good venues are usually booked 2-3 months in advance.  Trying to plan a tour 1 month in advance is not impossible, but very difficult.  Read Planning Ahead – The Key to a Successful Show for detailed tips on how to successfully promote a show.

This summer I’ll be hitting up Philly, Ohio, and Baltimore with good friend and Pittsburgh aritst Brooke Annibale.  The initial planning of our trip has made me realize how much easier it is to work together with other artists in addressing money issues.  Traveling with at least one other artist cuts your gas/toll expenses in half…as well as easing the burden of promotional efforts.

 Also, try to split shows with artists that are already in the city you’re visiting.  For example, if you’re touring in Philadelphia, contact a local Philly band or artist to see if they wanna split a show with you. Chances are they will bring more ppl out than you will b/c they live and play more regularly in the area.

Here’s an idea…
Consider spending 3 days in a city.  Pick one city that you really like and setup a show every evening. ?Why not? It’ll give you a chance to really build a fanbase in a short amount of time.  Plan to visit the city often (maybe every other month or every three months) to develop the fanbase and really make a name for yourself in that area. The more you visit that city, the easier it will be to book…and eventually you’ll get better shows.


If you have other touring suggestions, please feel free to post them as a comment. Thnx!

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Explore posts in the same categories: Finding/Getting Bookings, Networking, Planning Ahead, touring, Uncategorized

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