How Do Artists Pick Where to Tour?

Artists and musicians have always relied on touring as a vital source of income and a way to connect with their audience on a deeper level. However, planning a tour involves more than just randomly picking cities on a map. In fact, the decision of where to tour is a strategic one that requires careful consideration and analysis of various factors. Artists, along with their managers or booking agencies, often delve into the world of analytics and data to identify the locations where their fan base is most active. By examining metrics such as the number of active followers on social media platforms like Facebook or streaming platforms like Spotify, artists can gain valuable insights into which cities hold the most potential for successful shows. This method allows them to target specific areas where they already have a strong and dedicated fanbase, ensuring that their performances resonate with the audience and generate maximum impact. So, while it may seem like a matter of personal preference or convenience, the process of selecting tour destinations for artists involves a strategic approach driven by data analysis and audience engagement.

Who Decides Where Artists Tour?

Deciding where artists tour is a collaborative effort that involves various key players in the music industry. Primarily, it’s the artist, their manager, agent, and tour promoter who work together to make these decisions. This process begins with the initial tour planning, during which the team establishes a general timeframe and drafts a rough outline of the tours possible route.

One crucial factor in determining the tour destinations is the priority shows. These are often major city performances or renowned music festivals that hold significant value for the artist. They serve as benchmarks around which the team can build the overall tour itinerary.

Ultimately, the decision-making power lies with the artist, as it’s their career and reputation on the line. Their team works diligently to present them with viable options, laying out the pros and cons of each potential tour destination. Together, they aim to strike a balance between the artists artistic vision, financial considerations, and fan engagement.

It comprises a series of steps, starting with establishing priority shows and then outlining the rest of the tour in broad strokes. Factors like popularity, fanbase, venue availability, and logistical considerations play a crucial role in shaping the tours itinerary. While the decision-making power ultimately rests with the artist, their teams collaboration helps create a balanced and successful touring experience.

The Role of the Fanbase in Determining Tour Destinations

The fanbase plays a significant role in determining tour destinations because their preferences and demand heavily influence where an artist or band decides to perform. By analyzing data, such as album sales, social media engagement, and ticket demand, artists can gauge the popularity and interest of their fanbase in different locations. This enables them to prioritize cities or countries where they’ve a strong fan following, ensuring successful and well-attended concerts. Ultimately, the fanbase’s enthusiasm and support determine where an artist takes their tour.

As musicians take to the stage, their performances not only captivate fans but also serve as a significant revenue source. In the world of touring, artists can expect to pocket around 85% of the overall income generated from each venue. The remaining 15% is designated for promoters, contributing to venue fees and ensuring the seamless progression of the tour. However, the financial dynamics of touring extend beyond these percentages, prompting a deeper exploration into the monetary aspects of the music industry.

Do Musicians Make Money From Touring?

Musicians, especially well-established ones, do indeed make money from touring. While album sales have seen a decline due to the rise of streaming services, touring has become a major income source for artists. However, it’s important to note that the revenue generated from touring can vary greatly depending on various factors such as the artists popularity, ticket prices, and overall tour expenses.

When it comes to touring, artists typically have a deal with promoters. This deal typically allows artists to take home around 85% of the money generated from each venue, while the remaining 15% goes to the promoters. This 15% usually covers various expenses like venue fees, production costs, transportation, accommodation, and other overheads that are necessary to keep the tour running smoothly.

For instance, more popular artists who can sell out large venues and command higher ticket prices have the potential to earn significantly more. On the other hand, emerging or independent artists may have smaller tour budgets and play in smaller venues, resulting in less revenue.

Aside from ticket sales, artists can also generate additional income through merchandise sales at their shows. Merchandise, such as t-shirts, CDs, vinyl records, and other branded items, can provide an extra revenue stream for artists while also promoting their brand.

Source: Is it true that musical artists make most of their money from …

Once the initial route is set out, the agent begins the process of booking the tour. This involves pitching the show to local promoters and festivals, starting with the priority shows and then filling in the details. As the tour route progresses, it gradually takes it’s final form through careful negotiation and planning.

How Does a Tour Get Booked?

The process of booking a tour begins once the initial route has been decided. At this stage, the agent takes on the task of securing bookings for the tour by approaching local promoters and festivals. First and foremost, the agent focuses on pitching the show to the most important and desirable venues on the tour route. These priority shows are crucial for establishing a strong foundation for the tour.

This involves determining performance dates, discussing financial arrangements, and ensuring that all parties are in agreement on the terms of the show.

Developing Relationships With Venues: Discussing the Importance of Building Strong Relationships With Venues to Secure Future Bookings and How Agents Go About Establishing These Connections.

  • Understanding the significance of building strong relationships with venues
  • Securing future bookings through venue connections
  • How agents establish relationships with venues

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Finding a tour manager can be a crucial step in ensuring the success of a music tour. While the cost of hiring a tour manager can vary depending on factors such as experience and the size of the artist, it’s important to note that talent managers who also serve as personal managers tend to charge higher fees. While some tour managers may charge around $2000 per week, those working with larger artists may command fees ranging from $5000 to $10000 per week. So where can one find a tour manager?

How Much Does a Tour Manager Cost?

The cost of hiring a tour manager can vary greatly depending on various factors such as the size of the artist or band and the scope of their tour. Generally, tour managers are hired on a weekly basis and their fees can range from $2000 to $10000 per week. However, it’s important to note that tour managers who work with bigger artists often charge higher fees due to the larger scale of their responsibilities.

Finding a tour manager can be done through various channels within the music industry. Established artists or bands might have existing relationships with experienced tour managers who they’ve worked with before. In this case, the tour manager is often someone who’s built a reputation and a network within the industry, and they may not actively advertise their services.

Artists or bands can seek recommendations from their peers, industry insiders, or music professionals such as booking agents or record label representatives. These individuals are often well-connected and can provide valuable insights and recommendations on tour managers who’ve demonstrated their expertise and professionalism in the field.

Additionally, there are also online platforms and resources specifically designed for connecting artists and music industry professionals.

It’s important to carefully consider the qualifications and capabilities of potential candidates to ensure a successful and rewarding partnership.

Tips for Finding and Selecting the Right Tour Manager for an Artist or Band

  • Look for experience in the music industry
  • Consider their previous clients and success stories
  • Check their connections in the industry
  • Make sure they understand the artist’s vision and goals
  • Discuss their knowledge of tour logistics and planning
  • Evaluate their communication and organizational skills
  • Ask about their problem-solving abilities
  • Consider their availability and willingness to travel
  • Discuss their budgeting and negotiation skills
  • Seek recommendations or references from other artists or industry professionals
  • Arrange for a trial period or interview to assess compatibility
  • Trust your instincts and choose someone you feel comfortable working with

Transition: Now let’s dive into the intricacies of a tour manager’s role and the essential tasks they handle in order to ensure the smooth execution of a musical group or artist’s tour.

What Is a Tour Manager?

Defines a tour manager as someone who oversees all logistical aspects of a concert tour, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and efficiently. This includes managing the travel arrangements, accommodations, and transportation for the entire touring party, which may consist of musicians, crew members, and support staff.

They’re responsible for coordinating with these parties to ensure that the necessary resources and personnel are in place for a successful show. This may involve negotiating contracts, dealing with production issues, and communicating any special requirements or requests.

One of the key responsibilities of a tour manager is to manage the tour budget. They must carefully plan and allocate funds for various expenses, such as venue rentals, crew salaries, equipment rentals, and merchandise. They also track expenses and reconcile financial records to ensure that the tour remains within budget.

They’re the behind-the-scenes heroes who work tirelessly to ensure that the artist or group can focus on delivering their best performance while everything else is taken care of.

Once an offer is made and accepted, the tour promoter then takes on the role of arranging the logistics and production of the tour, including booking venues, securing permits, coordinating travel and lodging, marketing and promoting the event, and overseeing ticket sales. Their main goal is to ensure a successful and profitable tour for both the artist and the promoter.

Who Sets Up Tours for Artists?

Once the offer is accepted, the tour promoter begins the process of setting up the tour. This involves securing suitable venues for the performances, negotiating contracts with the venues, and coordinating logistics such as travel, accommodations, and equipment rental. The tour promoter also handles the marketing and promotion of the tour, working closely with the artists team to ensure maximum exposure and ticket sales.

In some cases, larger entertainment companies or agencies have their own in-house tour promoters who handle the organization and management of tours for their roster of artists. These promoters work exclusively with the artists under the agencys umbrella and have extensive resources and expertise to ensure the success of the tours.

Overall, tour promoters play a crucial role in the live music industry. They’re skilled professionals who navigate the complexities of organizing and executing concert tours, ensuring that artists can showcase their talents to audiences around the world. Without tour promoters, it would be much more challenging for artists to tour and connect with their fans, making their impact on the music industry significantly smaller.

The Financial Aspects of Organizing Artist Tours and the Role of Tour Promoters in Budgeting and Financing

  • The importance of budgeting in artist tours
  • Factors to consider when creating a tour budget
  • The role of tour promoters in financing tours
  • Sources of funding for artist tours
  • Costs associated with organizing artist tours
  • Revenue streams in artist tours
  • The financial risks and challenges faced by tour promoters
  • The impact of ticket sales on tour finances
  • Negotiating contracts and deals with venues and vendors
  • Managing expenses and optimizing financial resources for tours


In conclusion, the process of determining where a band or artist should tour is a strategic one, driven by the desire to connect with their audience and maximize their reach. Rather than relying on guesswork or personal preferences, artists today leverage data and analytics to make informed decisions. By analyzing their social media following, streaming statistics, and other metrics, bands and their teams can identify geographic regions where their fan base is concentrated. This allows them to prioritize those areas and select cities where they’re likely to draw the biggest crowds and generate the most buzz. Ultimately, the goal is to create memorable live experiences for fans while also optimizing the touring strategy to ensure the artist's success.

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