No matter what kind of music you make, it’s a common goal to be so successful that the price of gas isn’t something you think about much while you’re on the road sharing your music with the world. But for the vast majority of musicians actively developing their careers through touring, the ever-fluctuating cost of filling up is a big concern. For your reading pleasure, we’ve put together a short list of America’s cheapest and most expensive cities for gas.
The cheapest places in America to fill up
If you’re gearing up to play at one of Houston’s excellent venues––or pretty much anywhere else in Texas––then you’re in luck. According to the helpful folks at Gasbuddy, gas is currently going for just over $2.10 a gallon around Houston. As we’ll soon see, compared to other parts of the US, that’s one helluva deal. With the exception of Florida, most of Texas and the rest of south enjoys cheaper-than-average gas prices due to a combination of factors including low taxes and close proximity to oil refineries.
Kansas City, Missouri
Coming in at an average of about $2.20 a gallon, it’s pricier to fill up in Kansas City, Missouri than Texas, but not by much. With KC MO’s burgeoning music scene and unpretentious attitude, super cheap gas is just one of many reasons to make sure and head through Kansas on your next tour.
Roanoke, Virginia might not be synonymous with musical greatness, but it’s cheap as hell to drive there, so there’s that. Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians, Roanoke is quaint, easy going and a blast to play even if there’s only a couple of venues to choose from. And with gas around $2.20 a gallon, it’s a great tour stop if you’re traveling between DC and Nashville.
The most expensive gas destinations in America
All of California
If you’re at all interested in touring through California, I’ve got some bad news. By a massive margin, California has the most expensive gas in the continental US. With averages of gas ranging everywhere from $3.00 to almost $4.00 a gallon in some places, high gas prices make touring in California a big challenge. Steep taxes are a part of the problem, but that’s not the whole story. Apparently the high cost of transporting gas to the golden state is a driving force behind the inflated prices.
At around $3.00 a gallon, Seattle is one of America’s greatest and most inaccessible music cities. Everything from filling up to parking in Seattle is a major headache. But for most bands, pricey gas and limited parking is a small price to pay to perform in Seattle.
With the average gallon of gas currently around $2.75, Pittsburgh doesn’t have the most expensive gas in the country, but it is pricey. And by essentially acting as the gateway to the beltway, traveling through Pittsburgh is essentially unavoidable for most bands traveling through the region. Luckily, what the city lacks in cheap gas, it more than makes up for in great music venues and its gorgeous skyline.
Patrick McGuire is a musician, writer, and educator currently residing in the great city of Philadelphia. He creates music under the name Straight White Teeth, and has a great affinity for dogs and putting his hands in his pockets.