|Unless you're a one-hit-wonder like Foster The People, chances are you're not ready to tour.|
Welcome to Ask a Failed Musician, in which I will help struggling musicians make sense of their careers and even offer some advice. Whether or not it will work, who knows? It obviously didn't work for me. But then again, I was on Kimmel once, so there's that.
My band just got back from month-long tour of the U.S. and it was largely unsuccessful. By unsuccessful, I mean nobody came to the shows and we lost money. We expected a better turnout because of songs that were placed in prominent scenes on Grey's Anatomy and Vampire Diaries. But despite them being shared over a million times on the web, the tour pretty much bombed. What went wrong?
can see why a band would talk itself into going on a tour. The thought
of fun on the road, big crowds, lots of money and all the glamour of a
successful tour is exciting. But, if you're lucky enough to get to the
point at which that stuff is actually happening, you'll probably be too
jaded to care. Either that or you're Foster the People.
how to know if your band is ready to go on tour: How many people are
coming to shows in your hometown? If you answered "not many," then you
should work on building up a local following before you ever cross your
county line. Maybe you need to play less often and make your shows more
of an event. Maybe your band needs to rehearse more and improve the
your local show improves, do the same in a neighboring city. Work out a
show trade with a band that's doing well there. When you gain a
following there, do the same in the next city, and so on, until you have
a solid regional following, playing once every two months in each city.
you have the financial backing of a major label and can buy onto major
tours, the best way to tour is, basically, by not touring. Start small
and build your way to the next city. How do I know this works? Because
I've played to less than eight people in almost every major city in the
Write to Ask a Failed Musician here. Ask anything you like. I will do my best to help you not fail also.