Summer Touring is just around the corner. If you haven’t begun the booking process yet, what are you waiting for?! As you (or your band) jump in head first, here are some tips for doing it the right way:
START 3-4 MONTHS OUT
By right, you should be working on July and August right now. Planning so far in advance can get annoying, but you’ll have to get use to it if you haven’t already. For many of the larger summer festivals, booking begins in early Spring. Some book as early as January.
BOOK AROUND A BIG SUMMER FESTIVAL
Look for the big one – that one summer art or music festival that will bring you massive exposure while helping you route your trip. Summer festivals can be incredibly flexible. Many of them take place during the week or daytime and you can often piggy back off of a Saturday afternoon festival gig by playing an evening club in the area.
Also remember that music and art festivals will be your “door opener” gigs, exposing you to tons of new potentially die-hard fans – people who will come out to future shows or even book you for a house concert in their own home. It’s a sweet deal – maximum exposure playing for large audiences that your band doesn’t have to draw.
REMEMBER THAT ALOT OF PEOPLE WILL BE ON VACATION
This tiny fact can make or break a gig. That show that packed out in the fall might not go over so well in the summer. It all depends on space, location, and timing. Spend more time looking into “touristy” events – festivals on beaches, annual city festivals, or special art happenings in a particular city. Look for outdoor gigs as much as possible. It can be hard to count on your fall turnout at a coffeehouse during a summer month. Lean towards events where you don’t have to work too hard to draw your own turnout. Also make sure you’re not booking in a college town. That doesn’t go over too well in the summer.
Summer touring can be alot of fun; but art and music festivals don’t always pay the bills. Festivals will often pay their larger headliners, leaving you to rely on CD sales. Take a look at your summer music schedule and determine how well compensated you will be. This will help you plan for the months ahead. You may even need to pick up a few extra private things to make up the difference.