On the Road, In Need of A Plan
Life on the road can be chaotic. There are many moving pieces to consider and even the brightest minds in the industry have a hard time doing it. Organization is the key to success in the music industry.
The worst thing you could do while on tour is to start out unprepared, but in order to keep things simple, where do you begin? The answer is this: One show at a time.
Using a day sheet will make all the difference as you prepare to roll into each venue, answering many of the questions that come up before those make-or-break moments just before your set. We've put together the top 5 reasons to use a day sheet, and even included a template for you to use over and over again!
1. Location, Location, Location
This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are few pieces of information more important to managers than location. Prior to load in, you need to know where your venue is and if there are any specifics to getting there. Whether it's an arena show or a music festival, if you don't know where your going how will you get there?
Bridgestone Arena in Nashville may be an easy target, but Allen Arena is actually part of the Lipsomb University college campus, which may make it a bit more challenging to find. Music Festivals are typically held in fields, at ski resorts or other open areas. Knowing the location is not Soulfest but is in fact Gunstock Mountain will help.
A few more challenges to location may include where will you sleep. How many Hampton Inns are there in LA anyway, and which one are you actually booked at? Where are meals being served? And most importantly - where is the COFFEE? A solid road map of this information and more will keep your feet on the ground and your show on the road.
2. Punctuality, A Hallmark of Success
Now that you now where you're headed, it logically follows that you'd need to know when to be there. Knowing the exact times of things like load in, sound check, or catering will ensure you have a smooth and successful show. Sharing this information with your partners is just as important. Concert logistics involve everyone, from your tour trucking partner to your caterer to your production team. Sharing this information with them via your day sheet will strengthen your reputation with your support staff. Timing may seem like a small thing, but don't underestimate it.
3. The Reality of Relationships
Next comes the who. No matter what leg you find yourself on, there will be people there - at least you hope so! Band members, fans, drivers, and a host of others will characterize each show, and they are all valuable relationships. Building rapport will get you and your artist far. Has the set list been updated and who needs to know? Do you have cell numbers for your runners? Who do you contact for access to a printer?
4. More Money, More Problems
If there's one thing you need to know, it's this: load in is not the time to set merch prices. What are your margins for your merch, and is it in line with what other artists are charging? Ticket costs, percentages, promoter settlements and other financial aspects of your event should be known well before you arrive at you venue. Tracking the financial details on your day sheet will keep stress levels low and profits high.
Knowing the answers to these questions before they are even asked will make your team happy, develop stronger relationships with venues and promoters and will keep the merch moving off.
5. Meet the Press
If there is press covering your concert or show be sure you know who you are meeting with, why and when. Having their names, numbers, and publication info handy will help you better prepare for any interviews you have and communicate best what you want the public to know. A little organization will have them eating out of your hand -- and not eating you for lunch.
Now that you've seen a glimpse of how a day sheet can add value, be sure to download the free template below. You can update it as often as needed so that every show ends on a high note!
Need some apps to support your travels and keep all the details straight? Check out this recent blog post 6 Travel Apps Every Tour Manager Show Know About.
Ready to hit the road? Start the tour off right - click below for your tour trucking quote