What Do Musicians Get Up To On Tour?

There are many great legends in the history of world tours. Led Zeppelin and The Who seemed to be competing for the unofficial title of the most raucous and rowdy touring bands in rock n' roll in their heyday.

Touring is not all about extravagant parties and drunken debauchery though, a lot of work goes into getting everyone where they need to be at the right time. Staying focused and performing at your best is important too. What do musicians get up to on tour? Let's find out.

Killing Time
For all the glitz and glamour that comes with being a top-performing musician on tour, there is a lot of sitting around and waiting. They find themselves at airport terminals, hotels, and stadiums waiting for a bus or plane, or a car to take them to their next stop.

Then when they get on whichever mode of transport they need, they must sit and wait there. Time spent traveling eats up hours of a tour and keeping sane and entertained is a high priority.

Musicians and performing artists are the same as anyone else, just with more style and expense. Social media will take up a lot of the downtime, whether promoting the tour on official accounts or scrolling on an anonymous, low-key Instagram or Twitter profile. They play games too, often casino games.

These are a fun way to kill some time, and there are some great places to play online with tempting offers for new players. There's more information here about the free spin introductory offer at Jackpot Casino. With so many free spins on offer, even the top bands might open an account to spin some slots there while they are waiting for the tour bus.

Putting In The Work
Being on tour sounds fun, and it is, but touring is a lot of arduous work too. The gigs do not happen by accident, it takes planning, preparation, and promotion to make a tour successful.

When a tour arrives in town and checks in to its accommodation, the artists are already on their way to a local radio or TV station to promote the gig and the band. Meeting fans and signing autographs will take up some time too, but it is all good business and helps sell tickets.

Before the fans arrive, there is some practice and preparation to do. Every venue is different and has unique acoustics that the musicians and the technicians need to get used to. Soundchecks can take hours, though they are a chance to rehearse playing and singing.

The biggest tours will have choreography and pyrotechnics as a part of the stage show. These all need to be rehearsed and set up. Costume changes need to be practiced so that they can be done in a tight time frame. Big names like Beyonce or Lady Gaga might spend hours rehearsing dance steps and costume changes at each new venue to make sure they go right on the night.

The After Party
Things start looking up for the artists and musicians on tour when the show ends and the party starts. Performing for thousands of fans is an exhilarating experience, but requires an enormous amount of effort, concentration, and energy. Events can get a bit wild when people are blowing off steam after an exceptional performance.

Tour management will usually organize something special for the performers, like hiring out an entire bar for them and their entourage to enjoy. The tour will pick up the tab. The sound technicians and roadies will get their party too, but this is usually somewhere else and often later after some packing away or prep for the next night.

Parties can be wild and can become mobile'. After the after-party, comes the after-after party. If you are staying at the same hotel as a band on tour, expect some shenanigans to go on late into the night. Some of the most raucous and legendary touring stories come from hotel stays. There are bands and musicians that have been banned from entire international hotel chains. This was quite common during the height of the 60s and 70s rock n' roll era, but even today some of the big stars can be carried away and start a ruckus.

Quick Breaks Away From The Road
The big stars have a management team that looks after their best interests during the negotiation and planning stages of a tour. All work and no play can make any entertainer overstressed. Managers always make time on the tour for some rest and relaxation.

Taking a quick vacation is common among the major artists and big bands. This can be just a few days between dates in different states, or for a week or two off as the tour switches countries.

When a band gets a break for a few days, they will often separate for a while and relax with friends or family at a resort for a couple of nights. Management will plan the breaks and destinations as part of the tour itinerary. Tours might get a break in Florida, so the musicians take the family to all the theme parks for a few days or make a quick flight to a luxury resort in the Caribbean islands.

Longer breaks can mean getting further away from the relentless pressure of touring, and musicians can go anywhere they like. De-stressing and detoxing in a health and yoga retreat in India? Sure. Seek inspiration from exploring the culture of Tokyo and the rest of Japan? Why not. For the biggest stars, the entire world is available to them, and they can have any vacation experience they want.

Great tour management will put a big act in Europe during the summer months. There are a substantial number of festivals to perform at in between tour dates, making some extra money while they are passing through. Walking around Monaco, Saint-Tropez, and the Mediterranean islands in the summer can be like scrolling through a Spotify playlist, as the big names rest before their European tours begin.

Performing For The Fans
The reason for all the traveling, all the hotel stays, the parties, as well as the relaxation afterwards, is the performances. Tours can have to run like a machine, and the stage show is what powers that machine.

Even simple shows, without any dance numbers or the flash and bang of pyrotechnics, take a lot of work and practice. If the wow factor is not being provided by costume changes and a light show, it is going to have to come from the performance on stage by the musicians. Staying at the top of your game will take up some time on tour, and if you fail to be at your best, you can let the fans and everyone else on the tour down.

Guitarists and singers are lucky. They can bring their instruments onto the tour bus with them and carry them easily anywhere else they go. Take a moment to feel the pain of the drummers who have their instruments stuck on stages and need a rehearsal space organized to play a practice kit.

The relentless stress and upheaval of a world tour can drain the energy of the biggest bands in the world. Parties and vacations help make up for all the hard work though, and of course the huge amount of money a tour can make.

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