How to Tour 101: Organization
Sol Driven Train travels over 200 days a year. They have a great system of organization when it comes to boarding The Original to play shows.
1. Plan departure times well in advance. Have a system in place for wake up calls to members who are likely to oversleep. Meet at a central location and be sure you have permission to leave cars at that site if you’re traveling in a van.
2. Plan van space. Remember you must make room for gear as well as personal effects and people. Recognize people will gravitate to a personal space and will usually expect to have that space permanently.
3. Plan driving and switch drivers often to avoid exhaustion. Be sure someone is in the front to navigate so the driver can concentrate on the road. Plan to stop every couple of hours for stretching and breaks.
4. As you arrive at the venue, send one person inside to check in. Identify your show contact and get any last minute load in details. The check in person acts as the band’s emissary, so choose someone who is jovial, upbeat and personable, even when they’ve been stuck in a van for 8 hours.
5. Be sure to clarify your bar tab, buy out or meal vochers with the staff. Nothing like getting a big bar tab at the end of the night when you were expecting the tab to be comped.
6. BE NICE to the staff in the venue. THAT INCLUDES everyone. The guy sweeping the floor may be the talent buyer next week.
7. TIP your bartender, server, sound guy, etc. A few bucks and a sincere THANK YOU means so much.
8. COUNT your money at settlement. If you’re paid via check be sure the check is made to the correct person or company for the correct amount and that it is SIGNED.
9. Have a method for making sure everything is in the van at load out. It’s a good idea to number each road case and make sure you have all numbers present and accounted for at load out.
10. DESIGNATE a driver. Be aware of curfews and blue laws on Sundays, particularly in the southern US.