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The time I did a winter tour with almost no local support and no guarantees

Hi there MusicClout readers! Normandie Wilson here, with another excerpt from my upcoming book about all the stupid things I've ever done in the name of music. Read on to discover my experience of touring with very little local support and no guarantees so that you don't ever do this!

The time I did a winter tour with almost no local support and no guarantees


(miscalculation, mishap)

My former booking agent became my booking agent by offering to do it for me for free. Naturally, as most time-starved musicians do, the instant anyone offered me help, I snatched it up like it was about to be taken away forever. (Don't do this.) After a few rounds where he booked me several tours through the Midwest and nationally, for free, he began asking for a very modest fee. It was a rate that I could easily swing, and it felt appropriate. This tour was booked while he was being paid.

I agreed to fly to Nebraska and do a sort of one-way tour with a band from Lincoln where we'd go through some areas I'd never performed in before, places like Moscow, Idaho (a small college town) and other cities in Colorado and Washington, down the West Coast, and then get dropped off back home in San Diego while they would continue back home. The tour was booked for January, which kind of felt like it could be a bad idea, but I didn't really know how bad of an idea it was until we were driving through a National Forest in Northern Idaho in the midst of over a foot of snow, or over the Snowqualmie Pass in a heavy snowstorm.

Our booking agent was very detailed, always crossing his t's and dotting his i's, and since I was really the only member of the joint tour who was ever checking email, I followed it fairly closely. But I didn't follow it closely enough. You see, I'd fallen into this trap that many musicians, entrepreneurs, and managers fall into. The minute someone else offered to start taking care of things for me, I said, “Amazing!” and I took my hands off the wheel, and then I started to doze off. The issue with that is, in the vehicle that is a career in independent music, you are always driving the damn thing.

Had I scanned those emails more closely, I'd have noticed that we only had one, possibly two shows with guarantees on the entire tour. I would also have seen that we only had a few shows with any local support on the bill. What a difference that makes.

Head over to Normandie's blog to read the rest of this article...


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