You've seen it happen a million times – a band announces a tour and half the comments are "why aren't you coming to [insert city they live in here]?" And while some bands are simply never going to play your city in the middle of fuck-all nowhere, others are skipping some bigger markets. Why?
The Band Camino manager Jameson Roper weighed in on Twitter to explain the logic behind booking tours. The explanations goes into why some cities are skipped, why some seemingly random areas are included, and the rules of playing within a radius after a certain period of time. It's pretty interesting and a solid "go-to explanation" for people getting irritated with tours.
"Routing a tour is very hard, and this one in particular had to be completely trashed and started fresh 3 separate times. It took us well over 6 months to have a good idea, then even 48hrs before announce we had to swap 2 shows (redo the tour poster & marketing materials, etc).
"Here's how (most) acts approach routing. First, where do you ideally want to play? Is the market one an artist has history in? Was the last time in the market strong on the on-sale or sluggish? Are the streaming/social numbers growing in a particular market? Is there a festival/other radius that immediately prohibits including certain markets? (Radius is a very common issue with routing. 'Radius' meaning if you're agreed to play in a market there are rules about how close you can play within a certain period of time).
"Use these qualifying questions to create somewhat of a 'dream' tour, then go to the next level. Which markets do you want to 'take the step' in? (Meaning go up in room size).
"For instance, on the Louisville show for this tour, we're doing the same room as Tour Camino because a) it's a sick venue b) the only other option was seated. So we couldn't take the step, but Paristown was available and routed perfectly into the tour. How booked up is the room you want to play? Will the stage in the room you want to play fit the production/lighting package you're planning to carry? Does the venue have enough power? Is there enough bus/van/truck parking?
"Next comes the tricky part. Where are you going to start? Want to think about the fact the band/crew will start in the same city they need to get back to in the end. In this case, we knew we wanted to end in Nashville, & as always want the easiest/shortest drives for the crew.
"Then you run into radius issues, conflict checks, and the right room being available. In the case Ethan initially brought up 'why no NC' the answer is simple: there wasn't the 'right step' in Charlotte that was available. The band did Fillmore last time (2,000 capacity), so in that market we would ideally want something in the 3,000-4,500 range, but a) the perfect venue doesn't exist in the market and b) we did explore doing Fillmore again but the room was booked solid every potential day we would be around NC.
"Conflicts are an issue too- we initially had a routing, learned one of the show days was the same night Foo Fighters was playing around the corner, so we immediately changed it.
"There will always be other tours going out at the same time, but in this particular instance we knew Nightly and The 1975 were out at the exact same time and you want to avoid playing the same market on the same night as artists that have some similar/overlapping fans.
"Also, this band prefers playing to open floors rather than seats, so factor all this in as well as availabilities in venues being slim, and your tour starts to take shape. Every artist wants to play every market that wants to have them- The Band Camino definitely does, at least!
"A lot of times it's just a brain teaser of a situation and it's hard to make everything come together perfectly. We try so hard to hit every city that wants to see the band- believe me. This particular tour has been in the works since before Tour Camino was wrapped!"