Updated: May 20, 2020
So your gig is booked, your marketing is done, your show is sold out and you are so stoked! You have your merch on hand and ready to sell, your bono glasses are squeeky clean and you are ready to rock, literally.
Hold up though, has everything been confirmed with the venue or your promoter? What time is load-in? Where are you staying for the night? Who will sell your merch? Will there be exotic beef jerky exported from Mexico awaiting your arrival (yep, this happens).
The best way to be completly organised for your show is to advance it with the venue, the promoter and their lead production tech. Advancing your your concert, your gig or your show can be fairly straight forward and as simple as confirming load in . It can also be a little difficult depending on who you are working with and if there's been any previous discretions or miscommunication during the contract phase of the planning.
Depending on the show/tour, advancing is usually done 3 days to 3 weeks out from your show depending on how big it is, it's usually done between the tour manager and the venue/promoter and their production lead (or sound guy as they've been known). It's the last confirmation of show details prior to the event. Tour managers advance shows as they are organising the tour details for the artist and need to be on top of everything to ensure the tour runs smoothly. Depending on how big your production is, sometimes a member of the band plays tour manager, sometimes they get a girlfriend or buddy to play tour manager, sometimes it's mum or dad and if so, get them to read this so that they will have a heads up on how to manage and work through a show advance. Promoters and venues need to know that their performing artists and their team are professional and on top of the management and execution of the show.
So, what's usually discussed during advancement of show you ask, well, depending on how big the show is it could be as little as load-in/load out and set times BUT, if it's a little bigger then that and if you have a full crew with you, expect to chat about and confirm:
1. Show Date, Location, Time and Directions: You would be surprised at how many artists turn up in another town or on the wrong day or wrong time. Although it's right up the top of the performance contract you MUST confirm: - Show Date - Show Location (venue/amphitheater/concert hall name and address)
- Directions to address and load-in directions as this may be on another road.
2. Logistics: Some stages of concert halls, stadiums, amphitheaters and venues have tricky access points. You'll need to advise the venue on what vehicles you have that will need access for load in as well as parking. Some tours have 1 x soccer mum's minivan towing a tailor of gear and some tours have several tour coaches, semi trucks and tailors in tow. It's your job to know the best route for your driver for load-in. Overhead maps are usually made available by any organised venue if it's a tricky access and if not, ask. Be sure to make sure that tour vehicles are parked in the best systematic way possible as it can be a game of tetris with several artist load-ins. Be sure to ask about parking too and request a closed off sign posted area for your vehicle(s).