The economics of touring a jazz band are virtually impossible. My band is only 4 people, but I have to figure out a way to cover van rental, gas, lodging, food and find a way to pay my guys a decent wage. I’m hoping the tour will last about 10 days, and I estimate that it’ll cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $4000-5000. As I mentioned in the previous post, I was able to book a wedding in Palm Springs that will help finance some of the costs, but I’m still looking at quite a big budget I’ll have to cover.
The first task, however, is actually booking the gigs. I’ve compiled a pretty hefty spreadsheet of potential venues between Vancouver BC and San Diego and have begun to contact them. But it’s kind of like trying to put a puzzle together while someone keeps moving all the pieces around! I have mapped out a best-case-scenario route and plotted the days on which it would be good to be in certain cities, but until the venues say “yes” to a date it’s hard to know how it will all shake out.
I’ll keep you updated on my progress. In the meantime, I’d be interested to hear how you’ve handled the booking process on your tours. Did you ask venues for specific dates or give them a range to choose from? Did you try to lock in the big cities first and then fill in the holes along the way? Did you send requests to multiple venues in one city, or start with your first choice and only go down the list if they said “no”?
Any advice is greatly appreciated, and I’m sure will help not only me, but all of my readers who are hoping to tour their bands in 2010.