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  • Writer's pictureCatelyn Picco

Your Guide to Planning a Mini Tour

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Hey musicians! Interested in playing in different states? This was my first year doing some mini tours and here are a few tips I recommend to make your first few weekends of out-of-state shows a blast! Also, for those just looking for fun travel spots, us musicians know how to find them!

Start with one weekend

Most of the time you see bands out for a month just on the road moving from city to city, but if you have other commitments, that could be tough! Just because you can’t take a full month off work, doesn’t mean you can do traveling shows! Give yourself a weekend in a new city!

When planning the tour, I recommend starting at the furthest point and working your way back. The ride down feels way shorter than the ride home, when you are tired from your busy weekend!

In one weekend, I usually play two shows (Friday and Saturday). If you can fit in a Saturday morning and Saturday night show to make it three gigs in a weekend, go for it! Just be ready for a long and fun weekend!

Choose a place with family nearby

During my first mini tour trip, I purposely chose Iowa because I have family that lives there. This gave me the opportunity to see them and for them to see my performance which is something that is not in their typical radius! If you are close enough with them, stay with them overnight instead of booking a hotel room!

Plan out your weekend

When planning a trip, you usually have an itinerary, do the same thing, but make sure to have set times for set up and your shows. Give yourself time for downtime and site seeing, but really have the weekend planned out. When I travel, I know that plans can change, but having a rough idea of spots to eat and sightseeing is always a good idea. It is also important to plan some downtime to give yourself a break before your shows!

Pack Food

When you are on a trip like this where you are always working, but in a fun way. It would be wise to take a PackIt with sandwiches and other healthy snacks. Plan some meals to be pre packed healthy meals so you are not constantly eating out. Especially if you are driving! There are so many times I was glad to just have a PB&J on the road!

Pack ALL your equipment and back ups!

Keep in mind, you are in a completely different state, in a place that is unknown. If you forget something or your need a new 9 volt battery, you don’t want to rush to the store. This is a place that trusts you will travel all the way to their venue, be there and be prepared. Have multiple cables and equipment packed for your mini tour. Be professional and ready for anything to come your way.

Have Merch

Want people to remember your name? Have merch. Have free merch like stickers and wristbands, but also t-shirts available for purchase. Have your name everywhere so that people can remember you. I cannot express enough how important it is to have merch when traveling to shows. The more items audience members can take home with them, the better! Get your name out there!

Be proud of yourself!

This is a huge accomplishment!!! You are playing out of state! Seriously, enjoy the trip because there is nothing like it! When I had my first mini tour in Des Moines and Dubuque, IA and I was exhausted, but smiling throughout the whole weekend! Performing at venues that trust your ability to perform even though they can’t see you live until that day is a crazy and amazing thought. The feeling of performing out of state is really like no other!

Musicians! What are some of your tour tips? Share in the comments! Stay up to date on where I’m performing here!


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