Last year I booked a tour called ‘The Southern Sanctuary Tour’. It was (if I remember correctly) 12 shows across four states. I booked this entire tour in eight weeks.
It fucking sucked.
Not the entire tour, though we did hope for better numbers. Some of the shows were great, some were not. Planning the tour sucked. The stress I was under because all of the bands, venues, locals playing the show, were counting on me. I had to preform well. My reputation in the industry was brand new and it very much counted on it.
But why did it suck? There wasn’t enough time.
Three bands on the tour package and I booked every venue, every band, dealt with sending out pre sales for all of the shows, working with venues, promoting, dealing with last minute cancellations from bands, everything.
Now, to be 100% fair, this is 100% NOT how you are supposed to book a tour. I was young and naïve in the industry and didn’t know any better. Live and learn.
But even if this were how tours are done, more time would’ve made such a massive difference.
That’s more time to promote each show. That’s more time to getting the bigger acts in each area (most established locals book their shows 3-6 months in advance). That’s more time to coordinate with the venues. That’s more time to do everything that needed to be done.
I didn’t really have the contacts in the industry to book a tour like this or the correct way, which is to contact venues and promoters and have them book the show. I definitely bit off more than I could chew. But this is about my sort of failure venture; this is about me telling you why it is important to book a tour so far in advance.
Take my word for it… you need 3 months to book the tour. You’ll make the venues, promoters, and other locals all happy for it. And your show WILL be bigger. Meaning more fans, more engagement, and more connections.
Isn’t that the point, after all?