Everything you need to know about advancing tours, speaking events, and gigs in the United States for non-US Residents.
Congratulations! You’ve booked your tour in the US. As a performer, band, speaker, and/or all around artist, it's time to prepare for your arrival. If you are an international or non-US based artist, this might be your first time interacting with local venues and promoters. Don’t be worried! By taking the right steps to prepare prior to your event, you will have no issues the day of.
A general practice in the US industry is to “advance” your show. What does it mean to advance the show? Advance is an easy way to say “in advance of.” Therefore, to advance your show simply means to go over the details of your contract with the contracted party before the contract date.
Why is this a standard practice? Simply put, communication is key. It is better to double and triple check the details of your contract are in place before arrival. This way, both you and the venue (or the vice versa) are able to reiterate details that are important to your show. Venues have performers, artists, and events booked constantly. You need to make sure that the factors which are important to you have the attention of the venue prior to your arrival and have not been lost in the whirlwind of the other venue bookings. If you wait until the day of the show to fix any issue that has been forgotten by either the venue or you, it could be too late to rectify.
Advancing your event might just be the easiest part of the entire gig. (And it will end up saving you time and money!) The only thing you need is your contact individual for the venue/event, a list of the information you want to confirm, and five minutes of time. If you don’t already have a US based phone number, now is the time to invest. (As an alternative, open a Google voice account for a free US number that you can access any time.) If you are unable to get a number in time, copy all of the information into an email, NOT a separate attachment, for your contact to review.
Let’s talk about what information you need to advance. You already have all of this information on hand. We are just confirming everything you should already know. Take a look at the list below for an idea of information you should have for a smooth event:
Venue contact details
Day & night of show point of contact
Promotion (who is promoting, you or venue)
Tech needs (rider)
Front of house engineer contact information
Merch (table and furniture needs)
Number in band/artist party
Food & drink
Of course you can include any additional information you want to verify with your point of contact. This is the opportunity for both you and your venue to iron out any details.
How should you go about confirming your details? Keep it simple! Give your point of contact a call about ONE WEEK in advance. Any later and you could risk not being able to fix any issues you run across in this phone call. Greet your contact and ask if they have time to quickly advance your show with you. Once they are ready, read each of the confirmed details back to your contact. You should pause after every few points to confirm that no information has changed so far.
After you have confirmed all of your previous information, you might want to ask if there have been any additional changes you and your crew need to be aware of. These types of changes could be anything from road delays in the area to other large events in the vicinity. While these are not a part of your contract, it might be useful information to you at a later time.
If there are any changes, send an email with the new updates. As a general rule, if it's not in writing, it never happened! Keeping the changes in writing will keep both you and the other party accountable.
And that’s it! The whole process should take less than 5 minutes, but it will save you so much heartache in the long run. You are off to a great start! Keeping your gig details organized and accessible gives you the best chance of running a smooth show here in the US. Now off to test your advancing skills. Good luck!
Questions, comments, or concerns about shows or events in the US? Let us know! We can be reached on Facebook, Instagram, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to hear from you!
Looking for a local tour manager? EnterWorld provides short-term management and crew for your creative needs. Contact us today to learn more!