Alright, you have what you need; Drive, ambition, supplies, etc.. Now you're going to use these things.
You want to plan your tour at least 5-6 months in advance. You will need to do this because getting in touch and getting commitments from other artists is hectic. You plan your lineup, and then one or two of the acts fall out. THIS ALWAYS HAPPENS. You will not end this tour without a "last minute" cancellation from somebody you have spent months communicating with, and they always want to wait until the day of the show to do it. ALWAYS!!! WHY???
People have their reasons, I guess.
So, you will compile a list of ten acts you want to perform with for any particular town. You want to have 4-5 acts on the bill, unless you are performing with a local live band then go 3-4 acts. I like to go to a couple different sites for this, one is the powerhouse:
and another is Facebook hip hop networking groups, most states have these groups, some are official and some are started by a guy and he doesn't have many friends.
It is important to remember that most venues want you to link up with an established local act, so that it's not a waste of their time to book you, so finding the best acts with the best draws is imperative, or at least ideal. Finding those acts you will be most compatible and be the most successful with is tricky.
Sure you could message the top 10 artists on reverbnation charts for any city. But keep in mind that since hip hop act doesn't get to go perform live shows as much as a rock band, they rely heavily on the online path to greatness.
So just because an artist is number one online doesn't mean that it adds worth to their stock in real life.
Many bands I know have one song put online, they have 200 fans, but they're touring in Germany and making some decent livings, mostly because they focus on the real world aspect of their careers. And the opportunities have been cemented in that genre, most genres... Except Hip Hop/Rap You can get those opportunities too, it just takes a little time and a lot of diligence. When looking for these bands look to see who is doing shows and look around their profile for pictures of their shows.
Ask yourself this: 1. Are there a lot of people in this show? 2. What did the stage look like? 3. What did the crowd look like? 4. Do they have a facebook link back to their profile or band page?
If they do, use it. They will respond quicker than on reverbnation.
Something else to remember, you should dig their music, if you can't, and they are still a hard-worker for their craft, swallow your pride and work with them. Like I said, if you have looked for the right artists to link up with, they are not checking their online stuff as much as the other guy you didn't pick.
So hit them up on facebook and find out if they want to speak further on the issue of booking the date in their city with you. You have to make sure also that this act is a working act, they don't sit around and record music and post it online, that is NOT a career in music. That is a hobby.
It will be harder to find a healthy number of acts in really small towns or largely underpopulated states like Wyoming for instance (much love to you all out there, still). Once you know who will be on your super, prestigious, exclusive list. Now get them all the same message and wait for them to get back with you.
One week is long enough, before you should move on to other options, like the guys you didn't pick (hey, no one said it will be perfect)
Whoever commits to this project, get a picture of them from their profile (preferably in a performance or promotional setting) and place it in a new folder for your promo pics. Or ask them, they may have an image they like to use.
But again, no matter WHO drags their feet, you are ultimately responsible for YOUR tour. Got it?
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