For musicians starting out or even veterans of the scene, the thought of touring can be a financially intimidating, especially in light of Pompamoose’s recently published piece detailing how much they lost from touring.

However in direct response to this, a rising US punk rock outfit as well as an artist manager have penned own open-letters, claiming no matter what size band is, “you don’t have to lose money on tour”, highlight their best methods of survival.

Direct Hit, a four-piece hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have written an opinion piece for the guys at Noisey, taking a productive approach and recounting how they survived a 37-day tour of the US despite sometimes performing to only 15 people.

Providing perfect lucrative lucidity they’ve included a financial breakdown of how they earned $1171.11, not losing money. In addition to this, senior vice president of The Artery Foundation Will Stevenson too provided his professional insight on successful touring via Alternative Press.

Let’s first take a look at Direct Hit’s financial tour breakdown:

Days on the road: 37 (June 20, 2013 to July 28, 2013)


Total cost of gas: $3,488.45

Van repairs: $494.15

Bank costs: $92.00

Parking: $26.00

Hotels: $122.00

Tolls: $148.05

Cost Of Goods Sold: $3,096.24

= Total: $7426.89


Door Money/Ticket Sales: $4,225.00

Merchandise Sales: $4,373.00

= Total: $8598.00


+ $1171.11

Direct Hit make it emphatically clear that to walk away from a tour with cash in your hand requires planning and budgeting.

The punk-rockers note that petrol costs are impossible to avoid, so why ignore them before you hit the road? “You know the cities you want to visit. You know how quick your vehicle of choice eats up gas. So just go to Mapques – Google Maps if you’re making 10 stops or less, and enter in every city (specific addresses if you have them already) on your whole route, making sure you’re starting and ending point is your own address.”

On this, they suggest keeping your transport small, “If you’re a two-piece band, tour in a Ford Escort. If you’re a 4-piece, tour in a minivan. If you think you’re gonna sell a bunch of merch, upgrade to a 12-passenger van. In all cases, do your very best to clear extra space in your ride by setting yourself up to share speaker cabinets and a drum set at every show. The smaller you can keep things, the more cost you’ll be able to cut.”

In terms of accommodation, Will Stevenson lays some truth on Pomplamoose for wasting a staggering $11,200.00 on hotels, “being on the road isn’t easy, and when you are on the road, you have to make sacrifices knowing you won’t be in the most comfortable position each night.”

Weighing-in on this, Direct Hit detailed, “Hotels are fucking expensive—there’s no easier way to blow a budget than getting a room even a night or two a week. If you get stuck without a floor to crash on, suck it up and sleep in your van. Or pull into a campground and sleep on the grass.”

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Don’t throw your cash away on quick and easy foods, go to the supermarket, not Maccas. “By stopping at a grocery store and buying a bunch of cheap nutrition ahead of time, you’ll spend less than half of what you would on fast food. If you take a multivitamin every day, you won’t even be losing out on the nutrients all that bullshit iceberg lettuce and mealy-ass tomatoes your Subway would provide you with anyway” writes Direct Hit.

These tips may seem pretty obvious for many artists touring right now, but if you do find that your costs are slipping a little out of control, take a step back and remember that touring is about having a great time spreading your music as far as you can.

By blowing all your funds, there’s going to be a great distance between your tours, and as Anderson warns, “If you are killing yourself financially, eventually it could lead to the end of your band.”