Do you love travelling and music in equal measures? Do you want to work with talented artists and experience concerts across the world? Do you wish to have the reputation of having an eye for musical talent?
If yes, starting a career as a tour manager is something you should seriously consider. Although the main responsibility of a tour manager is to ensure that music tours run smoothly, the modern-day tour manager has to wear many more hats.
Let’s delve deeper into the life of a tour manager in the UK and learn how you can achieve a successful career in the industry.
Responsibilities of a tour manager
A major part of a tour manager’s job is to ensure that the planning and execution of music tours is a smooth process. This may involve getting the artists to venues and hotels safely, negotiating prices and contracts with vendors and promoters and planning for days spent on the road.
Tour manager jobs may involve moving your client from one city to another. You will have to look after all their travel arrangements including flights, hotels and transport. You will also be in charge of procuring any instruments or stage equipment that the artist needs for a show.
What kind of skills do you need to become a tour manager?
The role of a tour manager can be hectic as you juggle different responsibilities while looking out for the best interests of your clients. Therefore, you should have plenty of patience to deal with any unexpected problems.
In addition, having the following skills can also allow you to carry out your tour management responsibilities with ease.
- Interpersonal and communication skills
- Multitasking skills
- Negotiation skills
- Financial acumen
- Accounting knowledge
- Mediation skills
- Organisational skills
- Business management skills
- Flexibility and resourcefulness
Salary prospects of a tour manager
Starting salaries for tour managers in the UK can be around £20,000 annually, exclusive of boarding and lodging costs. This figure can go up to an excess of £30,000 as and when you gain more experience.
Career path as a tour manager
While the road to becoming a successful tour manager can seem arduous, these tips can make your journey easier:
- Hone your people management skills
- Have a strong sense of responsibility
- Learn everything you can about the music industry
- practise multitasking
- Focus on having a neutral stance in case of disputes
- Develop your business management skills
What kind of education do you need to become a music tour manager?
There is no specific degree out there that can train you to be a tour manager. However, a comprehensive music business management programme can show you the ropes.
A music business degree can help you learn different aspects of artist management, contract negotiation and dealing with vendors and venue managers. The coursework can also prepare you for other music management roles, such as record label executive or event organiser.
The London College of Creative Media (LCCM) offers a great BA (Hons) Music Business Management programme that can turn you into a top-notch tour manager.
The programme equips you with future-proof music expertise and business management skills required to be a successful tour manager. Additionally, you can develop your knowledge in relevant disciplines like live event management and royalty streams of music publishing.
Click here to enrol in this comprehensive music management programme at LCCM today.
Frequently asked questions
What is the top mistake that you should avoid as a new tour manager?
Most people assume that being a tour manager is a piece of cake and that all you need to do is talk to people to get things done.
This assumption can be dangerous while starting any kind of music management role. You need to make an effort to understand the industry and work on your interpersonal and diplomatic skills before you see some success.
What kind of people might you interact with on your music tours?
Your musical clients won’t be the only people that you will interact with on your music tours. You might have to work alongside other people such as production managers, roadies, tour bus drivers, guitar tech hands, lighting managers and background singers.
What is the single best suggestion that would be helpful in this career?
The best piece of advice to any tour manager starting their career would be to not dismiss any kind of experience. Tour management is an all-rounder job and might require you to be adept at all kinds of responsibilities.
Therefore, any kind of work experience within the industry can prove to be valuable for your career.
What is a question that people should ask about being a tour manager, but rarely do?
While most people focus on the salary aspect of the job, there are many other things that you can gain from the role. So, the real question that you should ask yourself is: “Does becoming a tour manager suit my personality?”