A note from the editor...
Hello FNO Bands and Performers,
This month's article
is from Sheena Metal who explores ideas on why and why not to
tour! Enjoy!! And below check out a new feature: FNO Performer of the Month!
Check out the new 2007 music festivals in our database. You can search by music genre, zip radius, and much more.
Remember to let us know if you need any assistance searching for shows
or if you need your log in information to find music festivals.
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FNO Marketing Chick
Festival Network Online
By Sheena Metal
It’s every musician’s fantasy. The tour bus rolls
up to the arena (full of groupies, beer and pizza). Fans are
crowded out front hoping to catch a glimpse of America’s hottest
band. The group is escorted to their dressing room (full of more
groupies, beer and pizza). They enjoy the various pleasures of
stardom while roadies set up the stage. It’s show time. The
artists take the stage. The crowd is screaming. The lights
are glaring. The amps are humming. The drummer clicks off
the first song and…
You wake up in the back of your PT Cruiser. Your bass player’s
elbow is in your ear and the drummer’s asleep on your foot.
You’ve eaten nothing for the last week but corn dogs and frozen
burritos. This is not the tour you imagined. This is not
your Lilith Faire. This is not your Lollapalooza. This is
not your Warped Tour. This...sucks.
Every musician dreams of touring. Getting out of their same
boring town. Trying their tunes out on new crowds, in new areas,
for fresh faces. Bonding on road, writing new tunes in the motel
room, free food, free drinks, getting paid, getting laid…living the
But the music biz is full of touring horror stories. Bands stuck
on the road with no money to come home. Musicians not eating for
days. Clubs canceling gigs the night of with no warning.
Negative reactions from bar patrons and local bands. The list
So, how do you make sure that your touring experience is a positive
one? What can you, as musicians do, to eliminate potentially
negative experiences and create positive ones.
The following are a few tips that add success to your touring experience:
1.)Don’t Plan A Tour Because You’re Unhappy At Home---Just as an affair
will not fix the problems in a marriage, a tour is not the cure for:
problems within the band, problems in the band members’ lives, or a
general malaise for your local scene. A tour is strain and stress
and loads of work. You should be excited, and enthusiastic and
positive when planning.
2.)Over Prepare Before You Leave---You can never plan too much or take
too many precautions. At home is the time to rethink ever
scenario and arrange accordingly. Get the van tuned up.
Pack extra emergency money. Bring a list of additional clubs in
the area in case your gigs fall through. Pack extra strings and
sticks. Bring a backup guitar. Pack extra
merchandise. Bring emergency food/water. Pack extra
batteries and power cords. Bring cell phones.
3.)Be Humble And Thankful---You’re in a strange town and a new club,
act like a guest. Nothing ticks off a club owner/promoter who’s
taken a chance on an unknown band more than out-of-towners swaggering
into a club like Paris Hilton in an episode of “The Simple Life.”
No matter how cool you are in your own town, this is unproven ground
and your first impression is important. Ask, don’t demand.
Set up quickly. Play at an appropriate volume. Clean up after
yourselves. Be friendly and courteous. Say “please” and
“thank you”. Unless you’re booking in Jerkville USA, this
positive attitude could set you well on your way to a repeat booking
with better perks and more local support.
4.)Seize Every Opportunity---If you’re going to take the time away from
work, family, and the buzz you’ve built in your own music community to
head out into the great beyond and conquer unknown lands…you might as
well come back with something other than lovely memories and an
out-of-state parking ticket. You’re in a new place and the
possibilities are endless. Sell CDs. Sell T-shirts.
Get new names on your mailing list. Solicit local reviews,
interviews, and radio. Introduce yourself to other club owners
for future bookings. Find out who books local festivals.
Play an impromptu house party after your gig. Make new friends
that can street team for you next time. Think of something I
haven’t even written here and do it!
Don’t Expect To Conquer The World In One Tour---Rome wasn’t built in a
day and neither will your touring empire be. Have fun.
Enjoy each trip and using it as a building block to make each tour to
that particular place better and more elaborate. Play your cards
right, and after a few trips you may be making terrific money, have
secured lodging (either new friends let you crash or a club pays for a
motel), get food and drinks comped, and guaranteed press and radio
In short, touring can be the best thing that ever happened to your band
if you work hard, play it smart, and follow through correctly.
But no matter how much you love to tour, always remember to keep your
foot in the door locally. It’s the great work that you do at home
that makes other clubs excited about you bringing your show to their
Sheena Metal is a radio host, producer, promoter,
music supervisor, consultant, columnist, journalist and musician.
Her syndicated radio program, Music Highway Radio, airs on over 700
affiliates to more than 126 million listeners. Her musicians’
assistance program, Music Highway, boasts over 10,000 members.
She currently promotes numerous live shows weekly in the Los Angeles
Area, where she resides.
For more info: http://www.sheena-metal.com
Both inspirational and hilarious with an exceptional set of pipes, Amy
Steinberg is a goddess troubadour wandering the countryside with a
purpose. She is on a mission to incite a groove riot in her audience,
inviting them to sing, clap and laugh along. Her spiritual essence
mixed with a socio-conscious attitude makes for an enlightening
experience to be had by all. Fans call her "wildly attractive" and
"life changing" while critics say she is in a "league of her own" (LA
Music Connection). She is currently touring in support of her 7th cd,
"Must Be the Moon" which displays her theatrical training as well as
her musical prowess.
Classically trained on piano and self-taught on guitar, with a
bombastic belt and a dynamic presence, Amy's shows are jubilee meets
Email Julie Cochrane if you are interested in appearing here.
Put "FNO Band Feature" in subject line.