I’m currently writing this post on a train en route to Venice during my first European Tour. The next 10 days I will be playing at various cities in Italy, Austria, Portugal and Spain. On these next couple of blog posts, I would like to explain you how I organized this tour and what are some things you need to do to organize your tour in the future, whether you are a musician, yoga teacher, an author or someone that needs to interact with their audience by traveling.
Before you go on a tour, you need to ask yourself and determine what is your purpose for a tour. Do you want to promote your book/album? Would you like to do a yoga retreat? Do you want to teach workshops? Is it to make money? (Ha! If it’s your first or second time, keep reading). Mine was to reach out to my audience in Europe and to make more fans in select locations while I played my music with local musicians.
2.What are you presenting?
Based on your purpose, the next question is “what do I present?” Are you doing a workshop about a specific subject? Are you presenting your new photos as an exhibition? Are you promoting your new recipes? For me, my purpose for this tour is the play songs from my brand new EP “Lines” and also my first album that came out last year, “Between 12 Waters”, along with a couple of new songs I wrote. By playing a mix of these, I would like to present my recorded songs to promote my records, and also to play the new songs to the audience to see how they react. Based on their reaction, I will record and put them on my album (or not). Either way, I have a game plan of what I’m presenting with little adjustments for various countries.
3. Where are you going?
One of the most interesting and fun parts about organizing a DIY tour is determining where to go. I think the answer is a mix of:
a) where is interesting for you, where do you wanna go?
b) where does your audience live?
c) where did they offer you a gig?
d) where is more economically efficient?
Once you answer these four questions, an itinerary will start appearing right before you!
There is no right answer about when to tour for your event, however I will say this: If possible, don’t set up your first tour in the summer. Yes there are more opportunities, but there is much more competition. Also, if you’re trying to expand your fans base, there’s a good chance that they will be on vacation when you’re in their city, so they will never see you. Moreover, transportation and accommodation costs are way more in the summer! October-November and February-March are months when not only these costs are much lower, but also people will be in town, so they can actually come see you play/teach/talk/sign books/dance!
Have you ever toured locally or internationally before? What were some of your positive and negative experiences? Feel free to comment below!
Alper Tuzcu is a Berklee College of Music and Denison University alumni, and a Boston based guitarist, songwriter and producer. His new EP ‘Lines’ was released on November 2017 and his debut eclectic album ‘Between 12 Waters’ featuring 8 different vocalists is available on Spotify. In addition to being a musician, he regularly teaches workshops and masterclasses internationally. You can follow him on Instagram or Twitter, and for more information you can visit his website www.alpertuzcu.com