The Best Way to Book a Tour


Booking is hard. Here are some valuable tips on how to hopefully make things a bit less stressful. If you have other tips, post them in the comments section.

1. Start with the Weekend
Where do you want to spend your weekend? Book your Friday and Saturday gigs first? Its likely that these will be your money-making gigs since you’ll probably get more folks out. Book the weekend gigs in cities with your biggest following.

2. Have One Anchor Gig
This is the gig that pays the bills and funds your trip. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a weekend gig. Maybe a college is bringing you in to do something on a Wednesday night. Or maybe you’re doing a wedding in one of the cities and they are paying you upfront. Knowing you have some financial backing will give you confidence to book other gigs even if there is no guarantee in how much you’ll make at the others.

3. Fill in the blanks
After you’ve booked your weekend gigs and your anchor gig, focus on your weeknights.  Thursday nights are probably the next most important day for a musician. There’s alot happening on Thursdays- not as busy as a Friday or Saturday, but usually busier than other weeknights.

4. Save the Big Venues for an Off-night
Getting into a  major venue like Philly’s World Cafe, can be hard…especially on a Friday or Saturday.  Shoot for a weeknight.  You’ll have a better chance…especially if you contact them with advance notice.  BUT, if you can land a major venue on a weekend, then go for it!

5. Sunday House Show
House Shows are laid back and perfect for a Sunday evening (or afternoon) potluck. It’s the perfect type of show when you can’t seem to fill in that last date. Sunday’s (and weekends in general) are especially good for this.  But it doesn’t have to be. See: House Shows – Small Crowd, Big Return

6. Be part of something that already exists
Maybe you’ve missed the boat. Your trip is 6 weeks away and you only have 2 gigs booked on your 5-day tour.  Look into local happenings. Maybe there’s a community day you can be a part off. There’s less stress of trying to create a gig from scratch, and you don’t have to promote. See: Why Won’t People Come to My Shows?

7. Check the venues online calendar before emailing them about a date that could already be taken
Don’t go asking a venue if you can play on June 5th if June 5th is already booked with two other bands. That shows them you didn’t care enough to stop by their website. It also means you haven’t read their booking policy or any other need-to-know facts.

8. Don’t be afriad to do an Open Mic
For some reason, it always seems like Tuesday’s are the night when nothing is going on. Not as many venues booking shows. Not as many events going on in a city.  How about doing an Open Mic? Contact the host and ask if they have featured performers. You’ll find that some open mics give guest artists a longer set.

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