IndieOnTheMove.com is the music industry’s destination for show and tour booking. Venues, festivals, and college booking contacts all use it to show availabilities, plus you'll also find gig swaps, and radio/press directories. IOTM is a hub of information for artists, venues, agents, labels, promoters, and managers to find relevant, up-to-date booking info. Simply put, it's show and tour booking made easy.
We interviewed IOTM co-founder and Vice President Bryan Weber to get his advice on touring and find out more about this great resource for artists.
SP: How has touring changed since 2008 when you started IOTM?
IOTM: Whereas a lot of things in the music industry have changed over the last 7 years, the tactics and strategies of touring really haven’t changed that much in my opinion. Sure, music venues are less willing to offer substantial guarantees (even in smaller markets) and “scene” cities have come and gone, but the core approach to touring really is the same as it ever was on the independent level. Trial and error, network with other bands, go where your fans are, and hustle hustle hustle.
SP: What should a musician consider when picking where to go (cities/regions) on a tour?
IOTM: There are certainly a number of factors to consider when mapping out a tour (i.e. distance between cities, oversaturating the same market(s), spreading yourself too thin), but I always tell people to stick with what they know, especially in the beginning. Try and route a tour that includes cities where you already have friends and family ready to attend and help promote the show, places where you have a guaranteed place to crash and support troops on the ground. Don’t go too far from home right away. Build your hometown first, and radiate outwards from there in growing circles. This way you can find regional markets that really work for you and build your fanbase organically by frequenting those markets every 6-8 weeks. This approach also saves on gas money. ;)
SP: What are the biggest challenges that independent musicians face today when planning a tour?
IOTM: In simplest terms…delusions of grandeur and naiveté. No one goes out on their first couple tours and headlines sold out shows in 1,000 capacity rooms filled with groupies. You’d be surprised how many young artists still buy into that myth and are then disappointed to realize that they actually have to get out there and WORK for their music, WORK to build a fanbase, and WORK to nurture it.
Related to that, I think that a lot of independent musicians get too wrapped up early on in finding a manager, agent, and/or label to do all the heavy lifting for them. These people, at least the ones worth having, come in much later in the game, after you’ve proven marketability of your music and shown that you are thriving on your own.
SP: Does IOTM help musicians overcome these challenges and how?
IOTM: We do our best! Specifically through our DIT tour booking and consulting services we really try and teach the artist how to build a sustainable music career from the ground up, how to be able to tour full-time on your own terms and introduce your music to people all over the world without the assistance of a manager, agent or label. And if any of those people join the team in the long run than that’s just icing on the cake.
SP: How does IOTM work?
IOTM: Very simply. We are a free website (www.indieonthemove.com) that can be accessed by anyone with a computer, smart phone, iPad, or the like. So if you’re looking for information on music venues (booking contacts, ratings, reviews…), festivals/conferences to apply for, show availabilities, other bands to play with, colleges/universities to book (the list goes on and on) just stop on by.
There are additional perks for users that opt to register for a free account, and we provide tour booking and consultation services for artists/bands looking for counsel and advice on how to hit the road in an effective and efficient manner.
SP: What are the benefits of booking a tour/shows with IOTM over doing it completely independently or working with an agent?
IOTM: Good question. IOTM really bridges the gap between having an agent and booking completely DIY. So for artists (without an agent) trying to break into larger local venues, expand their performance radius into other cities as weekend warriors, or even hit the road full-time, we offer many of the same resources/services that you would get with a typical agent – barring anything involving negotiations and formal representation.
So we can help optimize your online presence to secure more shows, perfect your booking pitch (you’d be shocked how many artists don’t get booked because of a simple one-liner missing from their pitch), find the right music venues / markets for your style of music, and strategize and launch your tour booking campaign. We do much of the heavy lifting and the artist seals the deal without owing anyone a commission at the end of the day.
SP: What other tools or resources are useful for musicians in planning their tours?
IOTM: Google maps is huge as you can imagine, but beyond the booking process which is covered by Indie on the Move, I would recommend checking out sites like GetBandPosters.com, MusicSubmit.com, and TinderboxMusic.com. All of these cover the promotional aspects (radio, press, etc.) that must be tackled once the shows are secured.
SP: What advice would you give to a young artist about to go on (and plan) their first tour?
IOTM: Call/Email Indie on the Move, of course ;) - www.indieonthemove.com/contact