Ashley Smith-Hammond

Make the most of life on the road with a few technical tips and tricks.

To those of us that aren’t touring artists, life on the road sounds glamorous and exciting, but if it’s reality for you, we’ve no doubt you’re aware of just how exhausting some days can be. Travel arrangements, living out of a suitcase and organising your life from a van can take its toll.

Whether you work with a dance or theatre company, a band or musical organisation, or even with an art exhibition, life on the road doesn’t have to be all stress.

Here’s our top tools to make the whole experience a little bit easier and more productive. It’s tech you just might want to look into next time you head on out.

Tourbook

First up, the brilliant Tourbook. This is a valuable tool for any performers or musicians planning a tour that includes the remote regions of Scotland.

Tourbook is an online platform that connects promoters and performers with venues.

It’s great for news about what else might be going on in the towns you’re visiting. But we’d recommend getting involved in order to promote your performance in advance and reach out to new audiences the Highlands and Islands.

Parking apps

Moving from the Outer Hebrides and back to the cities, our second recommendation is a parking app.

Driving round and round looking for a parking space when you’re on tour with van full of instruments, artwork, scenery and more, is a waste of time and a hassle you can’t afford – especially when it starts to eat into your setup time.

Apps like AppyParking are designed to counter this. They help you find a space before you’ve even reached your destination. They can also find your vehicle at the end of the night and allow you to pay on your phone. Handy stuff. Whilst it’s only in Edinburgh at the moment, for UK tours it covers 10 major cities.

Social media

Sites like Facebook and Twitter are not only great for staying in touch with friends and family. They can also be used to reach out and engage your audience as you go.

While it’s advisable to setup the events pages before you leave, you can take things a step further and reach new audiences while you’re actually on the road.

Take advantage of Facebook and Instagram’s live streaming options, for example, and give your audience a glimpse behind the scenes, creating a buzz while you’re on the road.

Claimexpenses.com

This tool has been developed especially for Scotland’s cultural sector. It helps you look after your finances and the environment at the same time.

The online tool from Creative Carbon Scotland allows you to get your expenses done while away, instead of facing an administrative headache on return.

Once you’ve added your data, you’ll be able to see a detailed breakdown of not only the costs of your travel and that of your team, but also its carbon impact. Very helpful if you’re balancing your organisation’s environmental impact.

 

Main image credit:  20130706-scotland-005 by Andrew Bunday (CC BY 2.0)