So, it’s your first time touring and you don’t know what to expect? Here are some important aspects of a musician’s life on the road to take into consideration before you embark.
1. Clothing and laundry
Ask any indie act who’s been touring for a long time about practical advice for the road and this subject is bound to come up. It’s not something most first-timers think about, because it doesn’t sound very rock ‘n’ roll, but having clean, non-smelly garments is a real concern for any group of people traveling in close quarters for an extended period of time. Bring a laundry bag, even a smaller plastic bag for smelly socks and underwear. Seek out accommodations with a washer and dryer or close to a laundromat, otherwise you’ll have to make an extra stop every few days.
2. Always know where your gear is and never leave it unattended.
The two places your equipment is most likely to get stolen are in a hotel or restaurant parking lot and outside the club. Always leave a band or crew member with the vehicle while loading in and out of the venue, park it in front of your room when sleeping and within sight when dining. Bring your most expensive gear and precious instruments into the room with you at night. Many heartbreaking tales of beloved instruments lost due to negligence have been told. Don’t be a victim.
3. Bring healthy food
Being on the road means you’ll be spending most of your time driving between cities on the Interstate, where the dining options are chain fast food joints and gas stations near the exits. As anyone who’s seen the movie “Super Size Me” knows, living on greasy fast food can lead to all kinds of problems in less than 30 days time. Stock up on healthy snacks and staples whenever you can. Bring a big cooler along for the perishable items.
4. Make your band a company and get a company credit card
You need to be serious about finances, especially if you’re part of a traveling band. Get a separate credit card for band expenses and make sure everyone is on board with what constitutes personal expenses.
5. Give space and get some sleep
You may all be best friends, but spending every waking moment together can be trying, even for the closest of pals. Like any good marriage, you need to give each other space. Having earplugs in means “don’t disturb.” And if someone’s asleep, respect that and keep quiet. Getting enough sleep is extra important when traveling and performing.