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Bands Atempting To Book Tours. o_O


Fraser Mac
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Know what really grinds my gears?

Bands that put on there myspace "BOOKING TOUR" then put out a heap of bulletins saying

"Please book us! or tell someone to book us!" and fire up a load of "TBC" dates on there gigs sections.

You cant just put out a few bulletins and expect promoters from un and down the UK to book you. especially when you have only done 10 shows in aberdeen, most of them half full. and one in glasgow.

Another button of mine, is when bands travel massive distance's touring, or setting up these tours and dont have any releases, fair enougth doing show in towns in glasgow, edinburgh ect.

but touring in englands with no CD's? way to not capitalise on a new audience by giving them a demo cd, Ok you may have fun doing these shows, and your very unlikly to make any money from the tour. but you could atleast get your name out,

:down:

/rant

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TBH our first 3 shows were a mini tour with To Catch A Predator,

was ment to be Glas-Edinburgh-Falkirk-Aberdeen-Dundee,

Edinburgh got cancelled and we got taken off the aberdeen one,

but we only got put on that tour last minute, so it was a bitty different,

But i would never do that sort of this this early into a bands conseption, unless it was with a band that were huge enougth to make an exeption,

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If your "BOOKING A TOUR!" your probably just slowing yourself down, a tour is where you go to cities where your on demand by your fan base, trying to satisfy and meet these fans.

I don't understand the slowing down comment.

Also, your second point makes little sense, a tour is when you play more than one place on consecutive nights, nothing to do with fans.

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Well if you wait for the venues to ask you to play simply by announcing that your available, could take a while longer rather than asking them straight up.

as for the touring thing, i suppose that could come down to opinion for what the purpose of a tour is.

shagging SLUTZ?...right?

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To be honest, it's relatively silly to bother playing other cities until you've honed your craft within aberdeen and managed to attract a few people to your gigs that aren't just your mates.

If I watch a really shit band in Aberdeen that aren't from Aberdeen who are 'on tour' I think "wow, these guys are a touring band and they are still this shit - there's no hope for them." So you can imagine what the people of Glasgow think when they see really shit Aberdeen bands... At least watching a shit local band you think "Ah well they're only young/just starting up etc., give them a couple of years and they might actually be half decent."

But the thing is it is all monkey-see-monkey-do. Some bands see other more experienced bands playing outside aberdeen and think to themselves "if so and so can do this, then we can too."

Then other bands see the less experienced bands trying to book 'tours' and suddenly feel there's competition and try and do the same....

Ultimately I wouldn't let it bother you Fraser because one of two things will happen;

a) it'll be terrible 'tour', at which point you can snigger to yourself that the band totally failed and possibly learned their lesson. This can in a way can be good thing because the band will realise how extremely hard it is to book and expensive it is to be on a tour and maybe try and get a bit more experience under their belts before attempting it again. OR,

b) against all odds it will be a resounding success at which point you'll be even more wound up about it for them actually succeeding, as well as being a fool for doubting them.

I can pretty much guarantee that it is going to be the former though.

It's all part of a learning curve, and if a band atill manages to stay friends and enjoy themselves spending every waking hour in a van being cold, tired, hungry and skint, after having 3 gigs 500 miles apart, one of which got cancelled, one where you got paid a tenner and one where 2 people turned up then all the fucking power to them.

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Guest idol_wild
on booking our September tour the dates with no gigs yet have been left 'TBC' so that the promoters that we get in touch with can see what dates are available and to make sure for ourselves that we're not double booking.

Precisely. When I booked Debutant's January 2009 tour, I listed the TBA's on the myspace page to show the available dates. Out of 10 dates, I received two bookings purely through that method. When I booked Kartta's tour last year, one of the five initial bookings came through this method too. That's a success rate of 20% of the tour in both cases.

I'm also booking Debutant's October tour as we speak and have just received emails from two promoters in the south of England who saw the status update about the EP release and the availability for shows. Details are being fleshed out now and it looks likely that they'll be confirmed within a week. Sure, they were both already aware of Debutant as they picked up demos when they attended during the January tour, but they learned of the availability for bookings purely via the update status.

It has it's uses. Sure, relying on that method and approach is absolute sheer folly - there is so much more involved in booking a tour - one has to be pro-active, dedicated and tenacious, especially on the DIY circuit. But it augments the booking process quite well in my humble experience.

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Precisely. When I booked Debutant's January 2009 tour, I listed the TBA's on the myspace page to show the available dates. Out of 10 dates, I received two bookings purely through that method. When I booked Kartta's tour last year, one of the five initial bookings came through this method too. That's a success rate of 20% of the tour in both cases.

I'm also booking Debutant's October tour as we speak and have just received emails from two promoters in the south of England who saw the status update about the EP release and the availability for shows. Details are being fleshed out now and it looks likely that they'll be confirmed within a week. Sure, they were both already aware of Debutant as they picked up demos when they attended during the January tour, but they learned of the availability for bookings purely via the update status.

It has it's uses. Sure, relying on that method and approach is absolute sheer folly - there is so much more involved in booking a tour - one has to be pro-active, dedicated and tenacious, especially on the DIY circuit. But it augments the booking process quite well in my humble experience.

Agree with all this.

Although, is there a chance that you personally might have had a bit more success with this from promoters/bands that are returning the favour for you having put gigs on for those people in the past? Naturally, having previously helped other's out and/or having a bit of a reputation is going to help in these circumstances... whereas (for want of a better word) 'n00b' bands that haven't really made any sort of impact on anyone anywhere aren't necessarily going to have the same sort of luck!

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Guest idol_wild
Agree with all this.

Although, is there a chance that you personally might have had a bit more success with this from promoters/bands that are returning the favour for you having put gigs on for those people in the past? Naturally, having previously helped other's out and/or having a bit of a reputation is going to help in these circumstances... whereas (for want of a better word) 'n00b' bands that haven't really made any sort of impact on anyone anywhere aren't necessarily going to have the same sort of luck!

Two of the shows from the January tour came about purely through this sort of thing, yeah. Dundee and Leeds. But also, the people in question are very good friends of mine so it wasn't a "gig-swap" idea as such, but just more of a "Hey, let's play gigs together and have a fucking ace party" sort of idea! Which, frankly, is the way forward - sure I want to work hard and try to achieve something musically, but unquestionably, the main reason I love touring is because I love meeting new and like-minded people.

So far, none of the shows for the October tour are through people I've worked with or met before, but if it's another two week tour, I may need to call on a friend or two depending on the areas/towns I am having less luck getting a show in.

I think the secret weapon for anyone attempting to book a tour for themselves is a press pack. If you've put the effort in to distribute your recordings and gain a couple of nice press clippings as a result, it makes a massive difference. Massive. Then you can compile a small collection of press clippings and literature and send it off to promoters, rather than just sending a myspace message saying "Hey, any chance you can put us on in <insert city>". As a promoter myself, if I receive a message from a band saying something along those lines, I usually just respond by saying I can't help them. However, if they go on to describe what they are trying to achieve sonically, state who they have shared a bill with in the past, throw in a couple of primary influences, and a few press clippings then I'll show more of an interest and give them a listen and see what I can do. If I like them, of course.

It's a big learning curve, but by gosh it's good fun.

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To be honest, it's relatively silly to bother playing other cities until you've honed your craft within aberdeen and managed to attract a few people to your gigs that aren't just your mates.

If I watch a really shit band in Aberdeen that aren't from Aberdeen who are 'on tour' I think "wow, these guys are a touring band and they are still this shit - there's no hope for them." So you can imagine what the people of Glasgow think when they see really shit Aberdeen bands... At least watching a shit local band you think "Ah well they're only young/just starting up etc., give them a couple of years and they might actually be half decent.".

There's no rules of why and when and what a band has to do to tour. If a band can string together a number of dates, regardless of their quality (which is entirely subjective) then fair play to them, as booking a tour isn't easy.

I've toured in a couple of bands who were nowhere near great. Venues were half full, people bought stuff, we lost only a little bit of money and only broke down once. It was great. People might have thought we were shit, but who cares? Punk rock and all that. I'd rather tour and lose money than not be in a band at all.

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Guest Exposure @ Lemon Tree
There's no rules of why and when and what a band has to do to tour. If a band can string together a number of dates, regardless of their quality (which is entirely subjective) then fair play to them, as booking a tour isn't easy.

I've toured in a couple of bands who were nowhere near great. Venues were half full, people bought stuff, we lost only a little bit of money and only broke down once. It was great. People might have thought we were shit, but who cares? Punk rock and all that. I'd rather tour and lose money than not be in a band at all.

This. Exactly this.

You know what I really fucking hate?

Is people telling other bands how they should go about their business. If Toxic Distortion (who I imagine this thread is aimed directly at) want to plaster their page with US TOUR DATES TBC, then let them, it isn't harming you.

Likewise if (like in Debutant/Marionettes case above) they have a couple of spaces on a tour they've pro-actively booked, why not stick in a TBC date on the off chance that someone they've added notices it. It's by no means a good way of booking an entire tour, but Phil's proved that some gigs can happen out of it.

Also, if a band wants to go and play gigs around the country without a CD, why does it make any difference to your life?

Let them do things their way, if they want your advice they'll ask for it.

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At the end of the day, I like to let folk know what we're up to and for the moment this mainly comes through online posts on forums such as this through or through our myspace for example. I originally put up 8 dates all listed TBC merely to show that we're going on tour again, and promoters who I contact can clearly see which date applies to their respective city. It's not like it hasn't worked, I've only got 2 gigs to book and it ain't happening until September!

And as for those of you commenting on the reasons why/why not bands should go on tour.....I can't actually see any reason why a band should not go on tour. For me it is the most enjoyable part of being in a band, and the April tour we did summed this up. So telling people they shouldn't gig outside Aberdeen because they're not that great is ludicrous, ever heard of fun? Does it really make a difference where you play?

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It's also the best band practice you'll ever have. Both bands I've toured with came back slicker than ever. By the last date, we could probably play the songs in our sleep, and gigs thereafter were much more enjoyable, and we gathered a bit mroe priase than we had done previously. Touring is a fantastic means of bettering yourself and staying consistent. Playing one hometown gig a month means things can get really sloppy even if you do practice once or twice a week.

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if you can do it, why not?

even if you are pish, annoyed and puzzled as to why nobody likes you or buys your stuff you will have learned that it was a silly idea and you wont make the same mistake again

whereas if you are up for the good times and you live for the next day then fetch the warm beer, bread & humous and have a blast as you might never get the opportunity again

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Guest Exposure @ Lemon Tree
if you can do it, why not?

even if you are pish, annoyed and puzzled as to why nobody likes you or buys your stuff you will have learned that it was a silly idea and you wont make the same mistake again

whereas if you are up for the good times and you live for the next day then fetch the warm beer, bread & humous and have a blast as you might never get the opportunity again

Exactly - sums the whole thing up.

I doubt I'll ever go on tour now. The Underkills all happened too late in our lives to have the fun we could have had with it. If we'd started the band when we were 17 instead of 23, we would have been all around the country regardless of how good/bad we are.

Music is about enjoying yourself as much as anything else.

We're all settled down with fiancees and decent jobs etc now, so touring would have to be kept to a week off work and doing a few gigs around Scotland, which would still be magic fun and might still be done.

We got offered to go across to America for a week with Eskimo Blonde in October which just can't physically happen this year, but we might do it some other time. They did it last year and played 4 gigs and had a week in America. Sounded like ace fun. They also got interviewed for some American TV chat show and played a song or two on the set, which is pretty cool.

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This. Exactly this.

You know what I really fucking hate?

Is people telling other bands how they should go about their business. If Toxic Distortion (who I imagine this thread is aimed directly at) want to plaster their page with US TOUR DATES TBC, then let them, it isn't harming you.

Likewise if (like in Debutant/Marionettes case above) they have a couple of spaces on a tour they've pro-actively booked, why not stick in a TBC date on the off chance that someone they've added notices it. It's by no means a good way of booking an entire tour, but Phil's proved that some gigs can happen out of it.

Also, if a band wants to go and play gigs around the country without a CD, why does it make any difference to your life?

Let them do things their way, if they want your advice they'll ask for it.

Not Directed at toxic distortion. Ment for A Few Others.

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Guest Exposure @ Lemon Tree
Not Directed at toxic distortion. Ment for A Few Others.

Nonetheless, I dislike the fact that you're telling another band how to go about their business. They'll learn from their own experiences/mistakes, and if they want your advice, they'll ask you.

I'd sooner listen to Phil (idol_wild) who does exactly the thing you say is completely ridiculous.

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