[00:00:00] Welcome to episode 155 of the Bandhive Podcast. It is time for another episode of the Bandhive Podcast. My name is James Cross and I help independent artists tour smart. This week on the show, I'm gonna talk about why now is the time to start planning your spring and summer tours, or if you're listening to this in the future, it's being released in November, 2022.
But let's say you're listening to this in March, just think about six to eight months ahead because at the biggest levels of touring shows are planned out a year to 18 months or more in advance. That's a long time. Now, this is when we're talking about in like arenas, amphitheater, and really any venue that's like five to 10 K or more, On the other hand, a DIY band playing bars in small to medium clubs would probably probably get laughed outta the room with that kind of timeframe. Now that said, planning roughly six to eight months in advance is what I recommend because that means you can book those shows three to six months before the date of the show.
Generally, that's a good timeframe for [00:01:00] an independent artist. Now, some venues will want shorter lead times of only a few months, but in general, three to six months will get you the optimal availability for most venues under 500 cap. And ideally we're talking like 50 to 300 here for this timeframe. If you're going for 500 cap, three months is very short.
Six months is probably about right, but that's still gonna be, you're not gonna have the most availability at that point because there are tours that get booked at that level longer than six months out. Why do I say you should plan six to eight months before the tour if you're only booking three to six months out?
Well, it's really simple. There's a lot of planning that needs to be done before you can start booking shows. This includes two of the most important parts of your tour, which are routing and budget. I gotta say routing. As much as it's a science of looking at the map and figuring out your mileages and that kind of stuff, it's also an art because your ideal route is almost never gonna work out.
So you'll end up backtracking quite a lot, probably, [00:02:00] which causes you to spend more time and money on those long drives. The ideal routing will have zero backtracking. But let me stress this, the odds of that happening are close to zero because of venue availability. Now, the further out you book, the better your venue availability tends to be.
So this is where the art comes in. Once you're starting to book your tour, you're gonna have to move cities around on your routing to match the venue availability while keeping the extra driving to an absolute. This directly affects your budget, which is why we create the route before we create the budget.
like I said though, the route is probably gonna change. So keep in mind that you want to plan for overages in that budget because your perfect route is not gonna stay that way for long. budgeting is the next vital step, and you absolutely cannot skip this because if you don't know what your expenses are going to be in advance, you have no way of predicting whether this tour is gonna be a profit or a loss, And not budgeting properly can lead to a disaster. For example, take PO MOUs. Matt and I dissected their [00:03:00] tour budget back on episode 98, losing $11,000 on tour, what not to do, and I have to say $11,000, that's a lot of money, but especially when you consider that their tour brought in. Over a hundred thousand dollars and they still lost that much money.
That is terrible. Now, personally, I think this was Jack Conte's kind of ploy to make an article pitching Patreon, which good for him. Patreon is hugely famous now, But still, that is a huge amount of money to lose as an independent artist.
On the other hand, if you do it right, you can turn our profit as a regional DIY band. And in fact, we interviewed The Writhers back on episode 105 DIY band's, tours and profit with The Writhers. So I highly recommend checking that one out because they did a tour up and down the west coast and they actually turned a profit of about $500 over, I think it was an 11 day tour.
That's fantastic. the poster child for how to do a DIY tour [00:04:00] without losing any money. Now, I've also done a few episodes on how to budget your tours so you have no excuse not to budget because you can go back to episode 1 29. Why you're losing money on every tour or one 50, what does it cost to go on tour? And ideally you'll listen to both because they are different. I don't just cover the same things in each one. They have parallels, but they are distinctly different episodes. So I know I've already referenced four other episodes today. Just for your reference, those will all be in the show [email protected] slash 1 5 5.
Those four episodes will all be linked there, or you can pull them up individually at banhive.rocks slash 98. Bandhive.rocks/ 1 0 5. Bandhive.rocks/ 1 29 and Bandhive.rocks/one 50. I think this holds the record for the most episode references in the first bit of a podcast episode.
Usually when I do solo episodes, I might reference one. It's very different from the days where Matt and I would chat and I'd just be like, Oh, hey, I should pull up this episode and reference that. Typically, [00:05:00] my discussions are a little more planned out, and I stick more into the outline when I'm by myself.
Then when I'm having a conversation with someone. So this amount of references in a so episode is like unprecedented for me, but I hope you will go listen to those because it's really important to understand tour budgeting, what you should do, what you shouldn't do, and how to put everything together.
You're probably thinking, Well, it's not gonna take me two months to put together routing and budgeting, and you are absolutely right. It should not take you that long to put these together, but getting ahead of the game gives you more time to choose wisely, which venues you want to reach out to when you get to that six month mark.
You can spend that extra time doing research, finding better venues in the markets that you're trying to play, So you hit the best absolute places to play for your band. also keep in mind that the earlier you reach.
The better your chances of the venue having your preferred date's openness. if you reach out at six months, there is going to be better odds that your date is available and you can get that first [00:06:00] hold versus if you reach out at three months, chances are somebody else has a hold on it if it's not already confirmed.
So keep that in mind. The sooner you reach out, the better chances you have of getting that ideal tour routing. Doing this further in advance will save you money because your tour routing will be closer to the ideal.
And of course, last but not least, putting the budget together before you contact any venues or promoters means that you'll know how much you need to earn per night to break even now, not saying that venue is gonna pay you that much, they're not gonna guarantee you that money.
But you can keep it in mind when you're negotiating your deals. And and keep in mind also that if you have a really long and expensive drive planned for one day, you don't need that specific show to cover the cost of that drive. Instead, you can average it out over the whole tour.
So No single venue carries the burden of Paying the extra costs on a day where you have a 500 mile drive when all the other drives you have are maybe a hundred to 200 miles. What are you waiting for? If you want a tour in 2023, the time to [00:07:00] start planning it is now, if you're thinking of early 2023, really, that was like two or three months ago, but for spring and summer, start planning your 2023 tours now.
If you have questions about how to plan your tour or you need some help, I'm offering free tour consultations. You can sign up for yours atBandhive.rocks/tour . That is B a N DH I V e.rocks/tour. Head on over there now to schedule your free tour consultation with me. I look forward to speaking with you, and I hope that you'll also check out the other episodes I've mentioned.
again, it's numbers 98, 105, 129, and 150. You can find those all in your favorite podcast app or by going to van hive.rocks/the episode number So if you're ready to hit the road in 2023, but don't know where to start, hit me up Bandhive.rocks/tour we'll chat about your goals for touring in the new year.
That does it for this episode of the Bandhive Podcast. Thank you so much for tuning in listening. I really appreciate it and I look forward to speaking with [00:08:00] you soon. so if you haven't already planned your 2023 tours, or even if you're already working on it, but need a helping hand, head on over to Bandhive.rocks/tour to schedule a chat with me where we can talk about your goals for your tour and how we can make your vision a reality. Again, that's Bandhive.rocks/tour. We'll be back with another brand new episode of the Bandhive Podcast next Tuesday at 6:00 AM Eastern, right here in your favorite podcast app. Until then, I hope you have a great week. Stay safe, and of course, as always, keep rockin'.