There's a lot to be said about booking a tour as an indie-artist. How to stay sane and on track as a booker, manager, administrator, promoter, host, ..oh yes, and as the artist, for your own tour. You can listen to as many "how to book a successful tour"-podcasts as you may want. Yet, you got to do it and step in salad a few times, before you've learned.
6 months ago I decided to not put up any special events this summer. 5 months ago….I changed my mind. I figured that with a little economical support I would be able to pay the flight for my favorite musicians and have them tour with me. I applied for the money, bought the flight tickets, and did not receive scholarship from any of the foundations I applied to. Shit. It was like I grabbed the key to failure, unlocked the door and jumped in. You kidding me? Alright, what do I do? ....I make it through. I had already failed anyhow, it could only go one way.
So I kept booking, planning, getting a few sponsors and partners. The prep-period was nerve-racking and draining, it always is Yet, I have to say that I truly enjoy it. From coming up with the idea, planning, booking, and preparing, till doing, is a journey of growth and achievements. Humans seek results, and regardless of the outcome(economical failure), a tour is a result of one's art and creative expression. The good side with "do it yourself" approach is that I'm in control and responsible. The bad side is that the music tend to get the least focus.
Luckily I had a band which I knew would give 100%, or at least fake it 100%(yet leg turned out to be harder to deal with then expected). They lifted my music to a new level and helped me connect and entertain the audience in a way which I wouldn’t be able to do alone.
Yet, I am a songwriter by heart. What many songwriters have in common, is a need to communicate and inform. We want the lyrics to create pictures, and the melody to color it. We want to connect, to change people's way of thinking, through our music. If a listener arrive and leave my concert without (at least subconsciously) feel richer on life, more aware of his/her own thoughts, or more in touch with the emotions. If none of these happen, I have failed on my art.
So when you ask me if I am happy with my tour, I say I'm happy that I made it though. I'm happy for all the shows, thankful for everyone who came out to my shows (some more then once), people who supported with buying my vinyl, and those who wanted to come but didn’t make. Any kind of support, even in words, are support.
As an artist and communicator, I can't say myself satisfied. I feel like a child who has so much to say, but haven't learned to speak yet. I have my songs, ideas, melodies, but I can't truly put them together, so that they communicate clearly. I'm still looking for the key to real connection.
Now I've stared a new blog post(What is connection?)… so I'll stop it here. Point is, we learn everyday, often by failing. I know my tour was not a failure, I just know I will do it quite different and hopefully better next time!
Shout out to
Justin Nash Fisher
La Fiesta Restaurant
Marken Gjesthus Hostel