Ahh, nothing beats the open road and playing music with your band. You get to visit cities and little shitty towns you never knew existed, get to meet all kinds of crazy people and sexy women who practically throw themselves at you, and well… get to play live music. When it comes to being a traveling band, you better know how to do it right or you’ll be broke as fuck and possibly broken down on the side of I-64.
Here are some road tips, band people.
After you get your complete tour all booked, it’s a good thing to hold a little pow-wow with your band members with Google maps or an atlas, and find out the best routing for your tour. It’s crucial to consider the time of the year because touring in the winter time can be a huge struggle, especially in the colder snowy states such as Vermont, Maine, and most of New England and the Mid west. Keep a keen eye on the weather channel because snow will delay your time, and possibly cancel the show. Also, don’t always pay attention to when your GPS says it’s going to be “3 hours until your destination in Richmond, VA.” Instead, consider the mileage, because again, road work and other weather obstacles will slow down your trip. Hopefully when you’re driving in Texas, you won’t need to find a Lubbock towing service to tow your van because you will have already been prepared!
Prep Work For Your Van.
Before leaving your home town, have a tune up and check up from your mechanic so you won’t run into any unfortunate surprises on the interstate at 3 in the morning. Brand new tires is borderline mandatory. Get your oil checked, your spark plugs looked at, your van battery, windshield wipers and A/C all in order so you and the boys will have a smooth ride to and from shows.
Every now and again, you will get a flat tire or blow a head gasket at the worst times possible. Before leaving your big tour, get yourself a premium AAA membership. A AAA premium membership allows you up to 120 miles worth of towing, unlike the 6 miles of towing in the basic membership. It’s only $120 for a year, and you can use it up to four different occasions. Once I was broken down in the dead of winter in Wyoming. Our next gig was in Denver, CO and thank God for AAA because the tow truck company towed us all the way there at no charge. AAA is the shit!
Something else to consider is your gas mileage and toll roads. Tolls are an absolute bitch especially in the North East. If you’re just starting out, make sure you have about $100 set aside because states like Illinois like to charge you out the ass, especially if you have more than two axles. You will probably have more than two axles because you will have a trailer hauling your gear.
Last but not least… bring some powdered laundry detergent because your stinky ass is going to need it! Also bring plenty of socks, and then bring extra socks because those are what get super gross. You’ll thank me later, I promise.
Alright folks, that’s about it for touring tips for bands. Let me know what you think!