Reading through this budget the first thing I saw was that the tour plan itself lost a lot of money. The scheduling of the tour has a lot of back tracking that seems unnecessary. Realistically a way to save much of the money would be cutting one date and rerouting the tour to be more streamline. I’m assuming that this is not a possibility so the best I could come up with is shaving off $4,730 off of the tour budget which still leaves the band $1,050 in the hole.
The first shaving could happen at the equipment rental. With $400 going to equipment rental it might be possible to call on some friends to let the band borrow road equipment and spend only $200 on what they can’t source among friends and collegues. Another favor the band could call in is trying to rent a van from a friend as well. Offering $1500 to borrow a van from a friend gives your friend some cash in pocket and offers a $600 break in the budget. This can go down depending on how charitable the friend is feeling. In addition there are cars that can haul small trailers. Cars are much better on fuel efficiency and can be rented with a small trailer for much less than a van and gas for a van. Since the tour happens primarily midwest and eastern states, the mountainous regions are limited and a car is viable. This all depends on the amount of stage equipment of course.
Next I would say if the band could Air Bnb or get cheaper motels for 7 of the nights and reserve the $150 rooms for the towns like Chicago and New York where hotels are more expensive anyways. Assuming $70 a night rooms with 3 rooms, for 7 days, this could cut the expenses by $1,680. In addition, any travel days can include sleeping at rest stops to save between $210-$450 per night they decide to do that. Also some money can be saved by reserving hotel rooms way in advance and during a season that isn’t near a holiday or special event.
The merch in the budget is also not set up correctly and has no T-Shirts. adding in t-shirts and assuming they can sell for $15 each and selling 10 at each show, the band could walk away with an extra $3,000. The CDs at $20 is a little steep for CDs so bringing that down to $15 would penalize $750 assuming still 10 being sold per show.
The last thing that could possibly happen to save a little cash would be canceling either the Minnesota show or the Ohio show and going back to a home base depending on where this band is based out of. Cutting a day will save about $2,620 in per diems, management percentages, lodging, and gas. The Minnesota show would be a minimal cut but Ohio might be more feasible to cut since there would be an additional $1,120 cut off of the budget. Assuming the other changes could be made as well as this one, the band is now barely in the positive.
As a closing, I would say that without cutting a show, in order to break even or make a profit, merch sales are key. Selling 70 additional pieces of either merch is needed for an even break. I’d also suggest upcharging certain venues that the band has been successful in before especially if the shirts are a new or tour-specific shirt. They can be brought up to as much as $25 and then more profit can be obtained. Overall the band is set up to lose some money unless they can call in lots of favors.