Essentially, a tour manager has the job of making sure everything runs smoothly when a band or other act is on tour, including scheduling performances and arranging transportation. An individual interested in this career won’t necessarily need any formal training or education, but a business degree or management experience may help him to prepare. Besides that, a person who wants to become a tour manager typically works to gain experience in the music industry. Understanding how the industry works and all of the details of a successful tour is essential.
An individual who wants to become a tour manager may do well to gain some experience in the music industry before pursuing this career. For example, he may act as a band manager, setting up local gigs for his clients, before moving on to tour management. Additionally, he may work as an assistant or even an intern to another band or tour manager in order to get a feel for this job. Sometimes a person may even begin this career after working in a related field. For example, an individual may first operate sound equipment or work as a promoter before becoming a tour manager.
An individual who wants to become a tour manager will usually need contacts in the industry. Networking with others in the industry is an important part of preparing for and ensuring success in this career. It may not only help him to learn more about the business, but also help him to meet acts that need a tour manager. Sometimes an aspiring tour manager may even take a job with a music venue in order to meet bands and others in a position to hire him. Additionally, networking can turn into valuable word-of-mouth advertising that may help a budding tour manager secure his first contract as well as many others after it.
Once a person is ready to become a tour manager, he’ll need to approach bands or others in need of his services and convince them to hire him. He should have contracts drawn up and signed by his clients in order to protect himself and his business. Often, acts that have new albums or work to release in the near future plan tours for soon after their work is released. An aspiring tour manager may approach bands and other acts that meet this criterion and ask whether they have tour managers. Placing ads in entertainment publications and creating a marketing website may prove helpful as well.