We’ve all had the dream of becoming famous artists or performers at one point in our lives. But I bet not many people have dreamt of being the person behind the scenes that makes all of this happen.
A Tour manager is a person who does the unglamorous job for the glamorous moments. They are the people who make it possible for artists to take their art beyond borders and impact a lot of people.
But what is this job about and how do you get there? Let us give you a bit of insight!
Artist’s Manager vs Tour Manager
A lot of people are familiar with the term “Band manager”. Some of us have heard about good ones, and some of us have heard about not so good ones. But what is the difference between these two?
An artist’s manager is the person who legally represents the performer they work for. They are the people in charge of financially and strategically planning the development of the artist’s work. They are in charge of managing album recordings, local concerts and deals.
Managers ensure that the artist they work for thrives in their job. They are not only about money, like some people think, but instead they work hard to make sure an artist’s career remains sustainable and successful.
On the other hand, Tour managers are temporary workers. You could be a tour manager for different artist’s at the same time as long as their touring dates don’t collide. Or you can be working for a specific team or artist and work throughout the whole year during tour seasons.
A Tour manager is the one that ensures that artists has everything they need in order to have a successful and enjoyable tour. While band managers ensure tickets are sold and profit is made, Tour managers work alongside them to ensure venues are booked and that they have all the needed equipment available.
Seeing beyond the needs
A Tour manager’s job is pretty interesting. It involves quite a large range of tasks, but it can be resumed in “Seeing beyond the needs”. Tour managers usually are people who have previously worked in the creative industry to some degree, whether as musicians, performers or production crew. So they would know by experience what an artist usually needs when they have to perform.
Starting with transportation for the artist, a band if needed, equipment, and production crew of the band. Tour managers will ensure transportation is made easy and comfortable for the whole team. They would arrange accommodation and make sure food, beverages accessible clothing and other needs are covered.
It is always good as a T.M to study your client first, find their likes and dislikes and if they have a specific need like medicine or food allergies.
When it comes to performing days, T.M ensure that dressing rooms are equipped and comfortable for performers to rest in between sessions. People usually make the mistake of thinking that an artist’s life is easy. They think it is all about the glam of the show but have no idea of the amount of preparation that happens before hand.
Artist’s just like any other workers’ deserve good working conditions and specially when they are traveling, which can take a toll on their loved ones, their minds and bodies. So as a tour manager, you will work closely with the band manager to ensure both the audience and the performers have the absolute best experience.
How can I become a Tour Manager?
There is no such thing as studying a Tour manager career, but most mangers of this type have studied event management to some degree. Not because the job requires it, but because the skills you learn are absolutely applicable to this job profile.
Learning what producing an event involves, how to book venues, how to book flights and manage a schedule is something you will need to become a tour manager. Also learning about hospitality and guest relations is never too much.
You will need to have an eye for detail and hopefully genuinely care about people.
Also, you will need to learn or be used to plan ahead, and have very high organisational skills. Like I mentioned before, most tour managers have worked as performers themselves or have at least starter somewhere in the bottom. This means that they worked their way up through experience, by working with great other managers, artists and crews who showed them what a great show can involve.
Be ready to manage stressful situations but also be ready to enjoy your job. Not many people get to do this and it will always be an honour to help creative artists share their work across geographical borders. So remember you will be a vital part of that.
So why do you want to become a tour manager? Let us know what you think!