Artists are on the road a lot.  Their lives are hectic, they wake up in a different city every day, and rarely get to see their families.  But if you ask any artist what their favorite aspects of touring are –they’ll say meeting fans and engaging with their audience.  That’s why they do what they do.  I’ll be the first to admit that some artists are divas.  Some tour managers are even bigger divas.  However, if you start out every event with the mindset of treating the touring personnel like family, you will have a smoother day.   Here are ten ways you can treat artists like family:

1. SAY YES!  When the artist team asks for something, if it is possible – make it happen!  Yes, last minute requests can be a hassle, but fulfilling them can also make someone’s day.  

2. OFFER SUGGESTIONS FOR FUN.  Touring can get monotonous.  Spice it up by offering a list of suggestions to the touring personnel.  This can include suggesting unique local restaurants, options for working out, or local attractions that they can check out.  One of my clients has held a barbeque, called in friends to play a softball game, found a trained instructor to facilitate a yoga class, and even booked tours at a local tourist attraction for various artists.    

3. BE HOSPITABLE.  Be friendly and welcoming!  Greet the tour when they arrive with enthusiasm (and coffee!), smile, and be ready to take direction.  Tired touring personnel may not respond with the same enthusiasm, but give them a bit of time to wake up and they’ll come around.

4. MAKE SUGGESTIONS.  You may not be able to accommodate every request, or every item listed on the rider.  Don’t just say “no,” offer alternatives.  Get to the root of their problem and offer realistic solutions.

5. DELEGATE.  You, as an event coordinator, cannot be everywhere at once.  Touring personnel should not have to chase you down.  If you can, delegate so others are in charge of hospitality, tech, runners, volunteers, security, and media.  As the lead person, you will be pulled in many directions; trust your colleagues to take on leadership roles.

6. DECORATE.  Hang up welcome signs in the dressing rooms!  If it is the birthday of someone on the tour, hang up “Happy Birthday” banners!  Show the tour you are celebrating their presence.

7. SAY THANK YOU.  Even if it is not reciprocated, say thank you.  Thank you for coming, thank you for performing here, and thank you for this experience.  Express gratitude in all you do.

8. R.E.S.P.E.C.T.  Show the artist and the touring personnel respect, and expect it in return.  One of my clients had the unfortunate experience of a bus driver screaming at a volunteer runner.  The organizer pulled the tour manager to the side, discussed the situation, and the tour manager diffused the bus driver’s anger.  Often, negative energy can be fixed with a calm conversation.  

9. STAY CALM.  See above.  No matter what, keep your cool.  To quote Michelle Obama, “when they go low, we go high.”  

10. TAG THE ARTIST IN EVERY SOCIAL MEDIA POST.  What better way to gather recognition for your programs than to post about them on social media?  If the artist re-posts, re-tweets, or shares your post – what a kudos to you.  And it may even gather more followers for your own social media pages.  Celebrate your program, the artist, and the event!

Jolene Chevalier

Founder & Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jolene has been a middle buyer for over a decade, helping colleges and others with their concerts, comedians, and speakers. (And, yes, she is named after the Dolly Parton song.) She would love to talk with you about helping to book, plan, and prepare for your event.

920.764.1200   |   [email protected]

Jolene Chevalier

Founder & Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jolene has been a middle buyer for over a decade, helping colleges and others with their concerts, comedians, and speakers. (And, yes, she is named after the Dolly Parton song.) She would love to talk with you about helping to book, plan, and prepare for your event.

920.764.1200   |   [email protected]