If you have a job that requires your butt in front of a computer all day, it is possible to negotiate remote working. A great resource for doing this is Tim Ferriss’s The 4 Hour Work Week. If you have a laptop and a cell phone you can tether to, you can work from the road.
Or you could get a USB solution like I did with AT&T. I was able to write my blogs in the back seat while on the road for a few days. You could definitely do remote working. Just be careful of dead spots in your coverage.
If you have an iPhone, iPad, or an Android device, you can swipe people’s credit cards right at your shows. All you need to do is sign up to Square, and they will send you a little device that plugs into your phone. Just swipe someone’s card, and they do the work.
On Bob Lefsetz’s letter, people responded about how they doubled their sales at concerts due to Square. I highly doubt Warped Tour has a ton of ATMs handy.
There’s two cool sites you can use to find places to crash while on tour. The first is CouchSurfing.org and the second is BetterThanTheVan.com. Both services hook you up with people that are will to let you crash at their place. BetterThanTheVan is specifically set up for musicians while CouchSurfing is more generalized for international travellers and tourists.
That’s it for that one. Make sure to have clothes for both men and women.
Using last year’s Warped Tour as an example, you can plot out each city on the tour to get all the miles that you will travel. Now, consider your van gets 8 miles to the gallon, and gas costs $4.00 a gallon. You will know exactly how much you need to budget for gas.
You should add 10% to that for additional mileage. You most likely won’t be taking a straight path the whole time.
This isn’t an easy solution, and it definitely won’t help you quit your day job in the short term. However, creating a website that generates income could help you with some of your expenses while you are on the road.
Online income can be done using affiliate programs in combination with advertising (like Google Adsense). Doing this is well beyond the scope of this blog, but you can research the following three sites to learn how to do this for yourself.
One of the readers of my blog commented on how he runs a gay porn site on the side. It’s not making him rich, but it is generating thousands of dollars in additional income.
Whatever your point of view on Hot Topic, a few of the stores are allowing bands to have acoustic performances there. They will also allow bands to sell their merchandise at the store. I’m guessing a band on Warped Tour would be very welcome, and Hot Topics are nation wide. You could potentially have a parallel tour.
Instead of giving your CDs away, give away free download cards to people in the crowd. This card should easily fit into their pocket. Make it clear they can get the music right on their phone.
Here’s the twist. Underneath the free download, add a way for them to either buy more music or donate to your tour. Directly from their phone, they could help get you some cash to help you out.
Even if they don’t donate, you’ve saved money on giving away free CDs and got your band’s name out to a lot of potential new fans.
Save money on food costs. A can of beans and a can of tuna will fill you up. A less than $2 dollar meal. It’s not a feast, but it’s calories you will need. Just don’t forget the can opener like I did.
A cooler is a great band investment. Ice costs much less than eating out daily. Keep your perishable food cold in your van so you can eat something healthy and low cost. Well…we all know you’re going to keep your beer in there, so maybe not.
This one’s a bit more risky. Get a gas credit card that earns you either money back on gas refills or discounts on gas. Since you’re going to be buying a shit ton of gasoline on tour, a gas credit card could really help you save some cash.
However, you need to pay the full balance each month. Otherwise, you will get interest charges that will nullify any of the rewards you get. This is why this path is risky. If you’re losing your ass on the road and charging gas to this card, not paying in full each month could be an additional expense you can’t pay. Be careful. However, if you budget your gas costs before hitting the road, you can avoid this risk.
So, any more ideas you can think of to help this band out? Have you needed to be “creative” to fund a tour for a month or two?