• Industry Insights

    We're passionate about the live music industry in general, and touring specifically. That's why we spend a good amount of time reading our way through a ton of websites about our industry. Some of them are just too good not to share, so we thought we'd add a little curated list here.

    Soundcharts "Mechanics of the music industry"

    Soundcharts' post titled "Mechanics of the Music Industry" provides an overview of how the music industry operates and generates revenue. It explains the different players involved, such as labels, publishers, and distributors, and their roles in the music business. The article also discusses the various sources of income for artists, including streaming, live performances, merchandise sales, and sync licensing. Additionally, it covers the importance of data and analytics in the industry and how artists and professionals can use them to make informed decisions and maximize revenue. Overall, the blog post offers a comprehensive overview of the music industry's mechanics and how it functions. It functions as an overview post, whetting your appetite for a deepdive post on each sub-topic.

    Posted on Jan 7, 2019, but still highly relevant!

    Soundcharts "Mechanics of touring"

    The article titled "Mechanics of Touring" on the Soundchart blog discusses all the logistics involved in planning and executing a successful music tour. It covers the different types of tours, such as promotional tours, headline tours, and festival tours, and the key elements that go into each one, including booking venues, transportation, and accommodations. It includes tips for maximizing revenue and minimizing costs, such as negotiating deals with promoters and sponsors, the importance of marketing and promoting a tour, and much more...

    Notably, the article has a whole section about tour budgeting; providing a full budget simulation of an average tour to show who pays for the tour and who makes money on it. The costs of the tour are broken down into fixed and variable costs, and the revenue structure is based on a guarantee per show and a bonus for sold-out shows. The tour budget simulation shows how the tour turns a profit and breaks even at certain points depending on the number of shows sold out. The article also explains how the profits are split among the agent, tour promoter, artist, and management, with examples of how much each party would make on a 100-show tour.

    A great overview for anyone who's taking first steps in touring and has asked themselves how do tour budgets work? more than once!


    Imagine someone tried to write "the book" on what at Tour Manager's job actually is and how to do it well.


    That person would have to write about a day in the life of a Tour Manager, give you tips and tricks about things like backline riders, go deep on advancing a show, talk about all the steps in tour accounting (we have a feeling The Pack might be a helpful addition to that process!) and talk through the entire terminology of show settlements (from drop counts to NBOR over settlement sheets towards witholdings).


    We've got news for you; the book has been written and it can be found in it's entirety on tourmanager.info!

    Backstage Culture's "Roadie Dictionary"

    This page on the pretty awesome Backstage Culture website provides an extensive list of common terms used in the live event and touring industry. The terms are categorized into sections such as "Production", "Audio", "Lighting", "Video", "Staging", "Transportation", and "General". Each term is defined briefly and often includes an example of how the term is used in the industry. The article aims to provide a resource for those new to the industry or those looking to expand their knowledge of common terms used in live event production and touring.

    Some notable terms we like the short explanation from - focused on the budgeting side of things:

    • Advance – The art of negotiating details prior to the day of show.
    • Pre-Settlement – This is an updatable version of the settlement delivered to the tour manager from the promoter rep during the day of show. This gives you a good idea of where you’re at with expenses vs tickets sold before the box office closes and you can make informed money decisions based on that.
    • Settlement – The art of sorting financials. “TM: Hey, when can you settle up? PR: Gimme 15, the box office just closed”
    • Show Cost – A pre-approved allotment of money categorized to facilitate the show. i.e. labor, hospitality, security, etc. All of the amounts go into the settlement at the end of the night when calculating overages. see overages.
    • Overages – This is kinda a broad overview but, overages are the remaining amount of money left from show revenue (ticket sales) after all over the expenses (show costs) are paid. The amount of money to split are called the overages. i.e. The show brings in 50k, but costs $40k to produce, $10k are the overages to be split amongst the artist and the promoter. (Amounts and % are based on the contract)

    The Back Lounge's entire page

    The Back Lounge is an online community. Their page says it best:


    The Back Lounge community primarily encompasses music touring crew and artists, but is open to anyone working in the wider events industry including management, booking agents, venue staff, security and so on. It’s a peer support group with the aim of pooling resources and supporting each other in maintaining good physical and mental health within what sometimes feels like a crazy industry.


    They host regular zoom meets, but they also have a wealth of resources on their page.

    2 personal favourites:

    • The Roadmap To Sustainable Touring
    • MITC ‘Better Mental & Physical Health on Tour’

    No direct links, because we think you should visit their page and get inspired by the other stuff on there!