I produced a CD and have been performing small venues with my partner with a very encouraging response from both fans and industry folks. One publicist, who has worked with well known artists and loves my work, wants me to perform with some prestigious tours he's putting together…and he has a top booking agent he wants me to hook up with.
THE PROBLEM IS…I am a song writer/vocalist who has performed with various instruments, which I can play …okay, but I have never really developed my musicianship (working on it though!) Being an artist…I want to have an exciting performance that is at a higher caliber than my current performance…so it is apparent to me that I need to acquire a couple more band members who are already well developed musicians. However, I know nothing about putting a band together.
HERE ARE MY QUESTIONS: (if you can answer only one, two or a few – any answers are appreciated. I am especially hoping to hear from band members and managers from bands of 4 or more members, and who have run successful tours that have made a profit. Please keep in mind that I am not interested in doing the endless small town venue circuit -been there done that…I have aspirations to move up to larger venues in as short a time as possible)
1. What does it typically cost to tour a band? Meals, transportation, lodging…how do I go about finding those figures?
2. As this band will be touring under my name and promoting my CD…I'm assuming that I have more financial responsibility than if we all had equal interest. So what specifically am I responsible for?
3. Keeping in mind my aspirations, the eager publicist and booking agent, how do I start out? What size venues should I play first, and how do I go from the initial venues to larger venues in a short amount of time? More specifically, how fast do I return to a given area and how much to I increase the venue size each time?
4. At what size venue does the income surpass the expenses? (for a band of four) How do you carry the expenses until you reach that size venue? or How can I make this financially viable for other band members (make it worth their while) until I reach the point where I am making a profit?
5. How long is a typical performance (I'm talking about the undivided attention venue, not the restaurant/pub thing?) How long are typical sets? How long is a typical repertoire? (I have mostly just done short performances.)
6. What is entailed in a successful publicity/promotion campaign for a performance (both standard and innovative ideas?) How do you coordinate radio play, reviews and articles so that it all happens in the right timing for the performance? How long in advance do you need to set that promotion up?
7. How can I afford to do the promotion and pay band members if I am not breaking even?
8. How/where do I find band members? How can I approach them – especially very professional musicians – to make them see that this is an exciting and financially viable option for them (especially when I can't afford to cover all expenses from the start?
9. How do you transport instruments and equipment?
10. What is the best form of transportation for a tour?
11. How do you go about setting up a tour (that is…scheduling, organizing, etc…?)
12. How long is a typical tour?
13. Does the band need to already have made a name for themselves, or can a top booking agent help unknown bands become known? Do you know what a top booking agent's criteria is for who they will work with?
14. Do we need a band manager? At what point would I need to get one? Where would I find a good one?
15. What kind of contracts do I need? What specifically should be on the contract?
Thank you for taking the time to read these questions, and for your input!!!!!!!!!