booking a green tour
Green touring meets the market.
Many think of the music business as a kind of paradise. You just travel around and play the music that you love, and even make a little money out of it. Some even get stinking rich.
The truth is, as Cd sales now drops, and streaming revenue is next to nothing, all musicians look to the live market for income. Which results in very tight competition. This is especially so for music with a more narrow audience, like jazz or progressive fusions of different kinds. In this climate, booking a green tour, where we have to fit the concerts along trainlines in a sequence that makes sense in travel distances and economy, we encounter some serious issues:
1.Very few (Julia´s Bicycle being an exception ) cares or stretches out to help with the green travel concept. Which is understandable because for the audience, a good concert is what matters, not how the band got there.
2.The modus operandi of touring is now totally based on the dates set by the organizers: If Bremen organzies on a tuesday and Roma on wednesday, the tour is organized accordingly. If you have a concert in Istanbul on friday and start looking for the next in Sofia on saturday, it is so much harder to actually get your gigs.
3.The habit of air travelling is so deeply rooted in the music business now that nobody actually considers the distance Oslo Istanbul. Its just 4 hours on the plane. Once you need to get from, lets say Beograd to Parma in Italy by train , the distance gets physical, and the possibilities of playing that same night withers away as you study the time tables.1 day extra for travelling affects the budget, even if we sit in our train seats all night instead of sleeping in hotel beds.
So, as we see that we end up with a tour plan full of holes, and subsequently have days of expenses and no income, the travel costs in total are low , compared to air travel. With a train pass on 1 class for 30 days, we are now, with 10 concerts down on something like 250 euros per concerts for three persons. Whatever comes in of confirmed concerts now as we close the booking, is just bonus. Add to this the joy of travelling from city centre to city centre, no lines. Lots of time to think, move around even work as we travel.
In the next bog post we will look at how electric or diesel-driven trains affect our co2 accounting, especially going from Austria to Turkey.