Tour Logistics for Bands and Fans (in response to those who continuously email & ask, “How on earth do you all just run off and follow that band?) the answer, it’s not always easy but we get it done. Please Join Us!)
Unspeakable amounts of sacrifices were made this year by many fans who are attending next month’s Tears For Fears tour. Despite this difficult economy, many fans took second jobs at night and on weekends. This proved daunting, exhausting and challenging especially for one fan who ran into a less than friendly new boss and had to quit. Somehow she managed to get the funds anyway and will be at the Vegas show. **virtual hug for her** what an experience!
So how much is this tour for fans? Airfare (which went up to $350-$400 round trip from the East Coast, $250 from Midwest), hotel ($90-$200 a night), city transportation/taxi/car services ($30-85 each way) food ($150) tickets ($85-$100) gas, band merch&music… We calculate that most fans spend approx $2000-$3000 USD total (if attending 2-3 shows). The Asia leg of the tour has been equally challenging for our fellow kooks aka “friends and family” in Japan and The Philippines. Their SVIP pass was excruciating to get from what we read. We’re still awaiting the details and pray these fans got the passes and the seats they deserve. There will be some major tears shed in Manila when these kooks see Roland & Curt again. They really love them. (update: we heard from them and they got the passes! high five to the #PhilsKooks)
Bread & Butter
Meager meals are apart of the mix when you’ve got numbers like the above lingering over your head and less than 3 months to get yourself together…in addition to paying regular bills, taking care of your family, etc. It can stress you out and lead to sleepless nights. That thin coconut soup “tour soup” many of us chugged 5-6 nights a week w/ the occasional peanut butter sandwich was a test of the nerves. But knowing you are going to see the band and spend nearly a week with fellow superfanatcis you dont even notice any of these things or care what you are giving up to afford it.
Going Too Far? I think this is the first year some of us put off surgeries, doctor appointments, left certain bills until the last minute and drained our savings to cover the costs of touring. Last year we knew in March and we had until late August-September-October to wrangle and lasso funds. This year it was the last week in April/Early May. You wouldn’t think a month’s difference would have such an impact…but the thing is many already had their summer holidays booked (trips to France, etc). So, this sudden tour news caught us off guard. Many of us were not prepared. But forbid we not get to see Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal walk out on stage “TOGETHER”…for those of us who spend 2-3 hours a day focused on that band for our precious sanity and “special place” …not attending the tours is equal to saying you can’t go to the family reunion…it’s unspeakable, not an option. You are going on that tour if it means you eat a can of beans and a glass of water for three months til show time.
How to Fund the Tour
Savings accounts, scaling back on luxuries (do your own nails, hair and work out at home vs. pricey gym memberships) and in many cases dipping into savings & selling shares in stock (called the band stock fund) have proven to be a very successful funding method. This is not a joke. Andye (the moderator for @papasfans & this blog has done all of the above. She is often asked how she & the team managed to do this for 3years).
“Aside from prayer&begging the Almighty,I believe it is because I don’t have a husband and kids. I work like a horse and don’t buy petty things if I can avoid it. Still it’s hard. I emptied my piggy bank at times. I’ve done unspeakable things to make this tour and I talk to people who literally are eating rice, Dahl and water and using that extra money to see this band. It’s something about Roland & Curt walking out on that stage –at the same time– it’s surreal, there is nothing much else that compares. I mean, we talk about them (& sometimes to the band members themselves) and listen to their music everrrryyy dayyyy of the yeaaaarrr! That’s 365 days of Tears For Fears. You have to be on the tour. We do all we can to make sure we each get there. I start logistics planning as soon as Curt sends the tweet. Yes, last year we had so much more time but I still had to crash my savings to make it. These hotels and airfare are double than what we pay on the East Coast. I’ve all but moved permanently to California to be close to this band. They are beyond important to me…so I’ve made insane sacrifices just like many others so I can be in their presence. It’s my one splurge in life. Im not ashamed of it. If I can move out here I will. Their energy has proven life saving…what else can I say? I know I’m not alone. For years I kept $60 on hand just in case they were coming anywhere near me so I could get a ticket. Just a superfan habit.”
Top three things for fans to remember:
Stay prepared — a show can get announced at any time&you have to be ready to roll
Create an automatic savings account that stores money for these tours
Sign up w/airlines to get the latest deals on discount flights
Partner w/reliable fans to share a hotel room
Buy your tickets first, then flight…prepay hotel in advance for lower rates
Subscribe to Curt’s website & Follow @curtsmith, check his account everyday to get true tour news
Buy tickets from the outlets or venues directly w/in the 1st week of ticket sales
Interact w/other fans — healthy ones — to keep up morale, it’s essential to have other people with which to enjoy the band.
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions or tips on fan travel send them to @papasfans on twitter or leave them on the Tears For Fears & Kooks fan page wall. We encourage input and dialogue.
Have an excellent tour, be nice, be careful and sing all the songs! Cheers!
Enjoy these blog posts on new tools bands are using to fund their projects: http://www.musicnomad.com/Sell_Your_Music/Creative_Financing_and_Sales_to_Fans
Here’s another with details from bands on what they did to fund a tour: http://gigdoggy.wordpress.com/2008/08/02/band-quotes-organizing-and-financing-your-tour/