This is Part 3 our tour guidance: whilst you’re away. You’ve done all the preparation and careful planning, and all the right people and passports are in the right place at the right time; now it’s time to actually go, and make the trip itself as enjoyable as possible for everyone.
If you’d like some professional advice from a tour company then a good place to start is with our Premium Corporate Members; Rayburn Tours, ACFEA Tour Consultants and One Stage, and our Corporate Supporters, Club Europe.
There are bound to be a few unexpected challenges along the way but here are a few suggestions of things you can do to be as prepared as possible and make your time away all the more rewarding.
Carefully laid plans
By the time you get to the tour itself your itinerary may well be a carefully crafted feat of logistical magic but make sure it includes enough space for rest, spending time as a group, and allowing people time of their own.
- Once you get to your destination there will most likely be sights and attractions people want to see. Having some space in your plans to allow individuals to make the most of their time away will contribute to a happy tour group.
- Some organised group activities for people to take part in are a good idea, perhaps a tour of the local area and group meals. A group meal at the end of the tour is a great way for everyone to celebrate together.
- There will of course be times when people need to be in certain places at certain times – make sure they know when and where these are.
- Above all know your plans inside out and be ready for the unexpected.
Tour etiquette can be a tricky thing. With lots of people going it is inevitable that some of them will want different things out of the tour and different groups may develop.
In our experience it is not very often a problem and there is no reason people can’t enjoy the tour in different ways. The key thing is that it doesn’t encroach on other people’s enjoyment of the tour or the success of the tour itself.
Some ground rules can be useful, as can establishing what people can expect and what is expected of them. There are some practical things you can do too – booking rooms in separate areas of hotels is an option – one for late night people and one for early risers. You can do a similar thing in terms of coach seating too.
Making the music
Every member of any music group will understand what a difference a bit of rehearsing can make. There are a few different approaches to rehearsing on tour;
- Some Musical Directors will want to rehearse in every spare moment they get in an effort to prepare for the most polished performance possible,
- Others will choose to rehearse only as much as is absolutely necessary for the group to be confident,
- And others will trust in the rehearsing you’ve done at home and simply top and tail the pieces in the tour venue prior to the concert.
- Whichever approach your MD and group takes it’s important that everyone is on the same page, make sure whatever time you do spend rehearsing on tour is spent wisely.
Take an audience
If you are worried about getting an audience, have members who are unwilling to leave their family and friends behind, or just need a few extra helpers who will not have to worry about performing, then why not open the invitation up to more than just your membership?
You could invite friends and family to come along with you which would give you a team of people willing to help with everything from providing an audience to getting in and out of new venues efficiently. Offering the opportunity to come along with you on tour is also a sure fire way of securing ongoing support for your group and building up even more excitement around the tour itself.
Settling back in
One big advantage of going on tour is that it gives your group a chance to play together much more than they usually would. There will be many shared experiences and hopefully a lot of musical development over the course of the tour, so when you get home don’t just forget about it. You could send a summary of the tour to the whole group which would serve to keep them up to date on anything that went on and hopefully encourage new people to come on tour in the future. Consider including your tour music in future concerts once you are home, it’s music that you will know far better than works you only perform once so make the most of it!
We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.