Touring with a band is one of the greatest, worst, most amazing, soul-crushing things ever. There’s a constant feeling of anticipation, exploration, new horizons, and that feeling that you’re finally getting paid to do what you were born to do. It’s also uncomfortable, boring, exhausting, If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to really tour with a band, keep reading!
Road Trips as a Child
If you’ve ever gone on a road trip as a kid, then this will be similar. If you had a sibling or two, then it will be even more similar. While there may be a little bit of bickering among the bandmates, you will mostly share driving and sleeping duties. Keep water and snakes on hand, control how much you whine and complain, and find different positions to put your body so that you don’t get stiff.
Luggage and Equipment
While you may be fortunate enough to afford an enormous tour bus, chances are you will be stuck cramming all of your luggage and road equipment cases into the back of a regular bus, finding a tiny corner to sleep in, and then waking up cramped and thirsty. The road equipment cases, in particular, will be hefty, bulky and hard to maneuver. It would be wise to have equipment that can weather the beating.
Sleeping in the Bus
Of course, as all roadies know, there won’t be much sleeping on the road. But what sleep you do manage to eek out, it’s going to be in cramped quarters in your van or bus. In order to mitigate the stress of sleeping on the road, switch out sleeping, driving, and recreational duties between band members. Try to stick to a schedule so that everyone has what they need.
The Few Minutes of Raw Glory
All of this sounds like a ton of hard work and long hours, day and night, on the road. However, it is all worth it for the few minutes of pure glory you will have on stage. After you have loaded everything in, set up your equipment, done many sound checks, and watched the fans arrive, you will be ready for the whole point of it all. Performing live and on stage is a rush like no other.
Perhaps a fan or two will even treat the band to some food afterward. Then, you will all pile into the van and begin the whole process over again.
Touring with a band is a wonderful experience, but it is not for the faint of heart or for those who prefer a nice, cozy indoor environment. It’s both easy going and intense, light-hearted and brutal. Happy touring!