Cutting Tour Costs Ain’t Easy

If going on tour is your goal, then making as much money, if not more, than you spend is essential. In the tour budget example provided, there are a few areas where costs could be either eliminated or trimmed down to a reasonable enough amount so that money is not owed at the end of the tour.

There isn’t much to do with ticket sales per city but one major expense I noticed was with the commissions category. I thought it was odd that there are two different percentages given out to a “Business Management” and “Personal Management.” I understand giving a percentage to the booking agency but why not just have one manager to do both business and personal managing? Take away the 15% completely and add an extra 5% to the business manager. That shaves off $700 from commissions.

Salaries I don’t think should be touched. That could cause arguments between bandmates. And per diems should stay the same. But I don’t think its necessary to have money for local transportation in the budget. The band can just take the van where they need to go and if one member wants to go elsewhere in the city, they can use money from their per diems for an Uber. That saves $980.

Now, as for hotel rooms, if the band wants to actually make money from this tour, I’d suggest the most cost-effective way would be to ask friends in each city on the tour if they can sleep at their houses for free. Or sleep in the van (as much as that sucks). If that is possible, it would save $5,850. Or another option would be to get an Airbnb. Which would be about half the cost (depending on the city and place). Even if you cut the cost in half it would be a savings of $2,925. Another option would be to get hotel rooms for the cities that the band doesn’t have friends in. That would hopefully be about 3 nights in a hotel room. It’s a way to keep the band happy without completely breaking the bank.

One way that might help with cutting costs is to just have all extra equipment shipped to each city instead of renting what you need. You’d save about $300 and not have to deal with rental stores/companies. A lot of musicians are doing this nowadays so that they can use their own gear.

Now, T-shirt sales were not counted in on the spreadsheet. But if you say T-shirts are half the cost of CD’s and typically sell more faster, it would be about $2,000 in final sales (just estimating here).

At the end, that all adds up to about $6,000-$9,000 in savings depending on what the band decides to cut. Making more budget cuts also allows for more money for per diems on tour.

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