One of the best ways to expand your audience base is to venture out to play in different countries. Playing internationally not only helps to connect with new audiences, but is also a great way to do more event organizing, touring, and to enhance your musicianship experience. Getting to experience new cultures and seeing new countries could inspire new music!
In this blog post, I would like to breakdown international touring on four fronts for independent musicians: The what, where, when, and how. As a U.S. based musician, I would also like to explain to you this process through my personal experiences. Hopefully you can find some lessons and use them in your future touring efforts.
Just like getting started before any tour, it is best to start by asking yourself and determine what is the purpose of this tour. Are you promoting your newest album? Do you want to teach masterclasses and workshops? Do you want to make money?
For a new band, the prospect of touring is usually hugely exciting. Experienced musicians who’ve spent time out on the road trying to further their careers are well aware of how tedious and thankless touring can be, but unestablished artists and young musicians typically don’t have anything but popular culture to reference when it comes to perceptions about what touring is really like. If you’ve never toured before and are dying to bring your music to new regional, national, or even international audiences through touring, make sure you’ve done these three things:
Summertime is one of those wonderful times of year where it simply feels like anything and everything is possible. The sun is shining, you’re eating a lot of ice cream, and all your favorite festivals and bands are rolling through town. If you’re reading this article, odds are you’re one of those bands that are planning to do exactly that—embark on your very own summer tour.
Since there are a lot of ins and outs to booking a solid tour, we’re here to go over some of the basics in helping you prepare. From scheduling to merch, we’ve got your go-to guide for making this the coolest tour yet.
Hecklers are something usually associated with comedians, but they’re something musicians have to deal with every now and then too. In the comedy world, obnoxious audience members are something most of us view that’s inextricably linked to the artform. When comedians develop their unique voice and start performing in public, their ability to handle problematic members of the audience grows with them. But because heckling in music is much less common, it can lead to bruising experiences for musicians.
For new bands, the experience of getting up on stage and playing is exciting and meaningful no matter the circumstances. But for seasoned musicians, shows with wretched sound, empty rooms, and non-existent payouts quickly gets old. The “down for anything” stereotype musicians have had flung at them is dangerous because it’s an attitude that devalues the immense work songwriters and performers put into their craft. If you’re serious about making music, you have to learn how to discern what opportunities are worth pursuing from the ones you should be gracefully turning down. Here are three shows to say no to if you’re an experienced musician:
Every serious musician knows that putting on a great live show takes planning and work to pull off. But for some reason, some bands hold the belief that successfully playing live only requires a great performance, and that things like showing up on time is something that doesn’t apply to musicians. The truth is that when bands don’t act professionally at shows, it not only hurts them, but also the venue, audience, and other performing musicians. Here are three things that happen when your band is late for shows.
When you begin playing music out – especially in a new place – it can be intimidating. There’s often gateholders to breaking into a music scene, and they often have their own standards by which they allow people to play the shows they involve themselves with. I come from a big town where I was involved in the music scene for almost a decade, and then moved to a giant city with hardly any idea of what to do next. This one is personal to me.
What I truly believe is that no matter how old you are or what kind of music you play, there are ways to find people to play with and an audience for you. You just have to get out there and find them. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to play shows or have never done it before, let this serve as a guide to booking your first show.
The thought of making a mistake so bad that it ruins an entire show is something that keeps a lot of us up at night. When my old band was unexpectedly asked to open two big sold out shows in my hometown a few years ago, I literally wasn’t able to sleep the nights before out of fear that I’d blow it. Luckily, my bandmates and I played well both nights, and none of the disasters I lost sleep over materialized. Unfortunately, show meltdowns do happen to musicians, whether it’s rooted in the preventable performance mistakes or something purely psychological. Here’s some advice on how to avoid them: