“Touring looks so much fun!”
The band are full of energy performing on stage, the photographer is happily snapping away, the manager is nodding to the music as he proudly watches on and the merch guy is smiling away with a pint of beer as he sells another wristband. Everyone is having a great time and the fans can see how much they all enjoy it.
What they don’t see is everyone waking up after they only arrived at the hotel 5-6 hours beforehand (or worse, after 5 hours sleeping on someone’s floor), being limited to £5 a day for food and drink so they’re eating 3 day old bread with non-refrigerated butter and cooked meat plus carrying all the heavy equipment into the venue at 3 in the afternoon and then carry it all back out at 11pm. Of course, it’s also pouring with rain and they’re trying to organise it all into a small space in the back of the van.
The photographer spends 2-3 hours a day editing all the previous nights captures so they can update the social media pages while the merch guy/girl tries to set up a different display every night with the same items as he/she panics over the lack of medium sizes left in one of the t-shirts, praying that they don’t sell out before the end of the tour. Then you have the manager making sure everyone is in the right place at the right time and paying the correct amount to who’s owed what. There’s also the roadie who’s back is completely done in after the 5th day in a row of carrying heavy equipment twice a day mostly up and down tight, awkward stairs.
Don’t get me wrong, touring IS amazing. I wouldn’t swap it for the world and I 100% know that anyone else experiencing it feels the exact same. It’s a thing that billions of people all over the world dream of doing but only some are lucky enough to eventually live that dream.
But it’s so much more than just turning up and playing/taking photographs/ selling some shirts.
Every single person makes an effort for those who turn up and have paid their hard earned money to attend on the night. Regardless of how tired they are, under the weather they feel or how much someone has annoyed them, every part of the touring group from merch guy to lead singer will smile, say hello and make you feel like you’re the most important person in that room because they all appreciate you being there.
In the unlikely event that you think someone involved appeared moody, disinterested, or couldn’t be bothered, don’t take it to heart. It’s probably a one off and have most likely been away from their own bed for the 6th night in a row. Give them a wee break, enjoy the show and let them know what you thought. It might just make the difference to how they’re feeling.
Touring does look fun, yes. But spare a wee thought when you go home after the show to your own bed. The band and their crew that night probably haven’t seen theirs for a week.