Never Miss Bus Call

The next 11 episodes of Don’t Shit On The Bus’ theme is Never Miss Bus Call. Much like The Essential’s theme – Don’t Shit On The Bus – there is more to it than * just* never missing a bus call.

What is Bus Call?

Bus Call refers to the time you must be on the bus at the end of the night on tour. If you aren’t on the bus – the consequences can and will be severe. The result of someone missing is that everyone else has to wait for that person. Missing bus call has multiple implications for others and reflects poorly on the late to bus call person.

The person that missed the bus call did not plan their day well.  Planning & time management are everything on tour.  Everything runs on a schedule for a reason. If you are late to something – that means someone else is late to something else, and it has a domino effect that can be hard to make up time on.

If you are VERY late to bus call – may be more than 5-10 minutes, you are probably getting left behind. Chances are you will also get fired. There is no room for selfish people on tour, and the most significant sign that you are guilty of being these things is – you guessed it, being late to the bus call.

If you have not listened to The Essentials yet, we suggest you do. If you have toured before, it’ll be mostly a review for you – but if you are new to touring, you need to listen to The Essentials. It’ll teach you all the required necessary jargon to digest these next episodes. We highly recommend it, but then again – we are pretty biased.

Buses parked backstage at an outdoor festival  - hey Alex

Buses parked backstage at an outdoor festival – hey Alex

What We Will Focus On Over The Next 11 Episodes of Don’t Shit On The Bus

For the next few episodes, we will be learning from some of the best touring crew out there. We are going to navigate the first ten or so crew jobs that are added to a tour. These are considered the most crucial and essential jobs that exist on the road.

  1. Backline Tech – A backline technician travels with a band and sets up their instruments – such as drums, guitars etc.
  2. Front Of House – Front Of House is the Sound Engineer that sits at FOH and mixes the artist’s live sound during the show.
  3. Lighting Director – A Lighting Director is in charge of creating and running the live light show from a control board at Front Of House.
  4. Merchandise Manager – A Merchandise Manager handles everything involving the artist’s merch – accounting, stock management, and the physical sale of the merchandise itself.
  5. Monitor Tech – A Monitor Tech sets up and mixes the audio that the artist hears in their in-ears or wedges while performing on stage.
  6. Production Coordinator – A Production Coordinator is a glue that holds a tour together. If there is a task that needs to be completed to ensure that everyone else can do their job – they will do it.
  7. Production Manager – A Production Manager is in charge of overseeing the technical crew on tour and handling all the stage advancing before show day.
  8. Tour Manager –A Tour Manager is in charge of making sure everyone can do their job. They do this by organizing travel, the schedule for the day, and coordinating pretty much everything else that goes on, on tour.
  9. Tour Photographer –A Tour Photographer travels with the artist and captures daily photos and video content for the artist to use later.
  10. Video Operator – A Video Operator is in charge of creating and operating the custom live video graphics that appear on the screen during a show

The people we have picked out are all friends of Neil’s and mine. They all have at the very least 10 + years of tour experience. We feel fortunate to have them on our show. They share the same goal as us – to help educate and teach the next generation. Learning about touring short-term benefits for you, but it will benefit all of us in the long run. How nice is it going to be to know that everyone coming on tour already knows not to shit on the bus?

Now you might be thinking, “I’m working towards being a Music Photographer, I don’t care what a Tour Manager does” – and you know that might work for some. But we genuinely believe that the more you know what other people are going through daily, the more comfortable you will navigate the space. Heck, you might even find something you like more than what you are currently pursuing. Know a lot of people who have started as a photographer and then turned into tour managers. People change hats all the time – it is prevalent in the touring industry, and it will never hurt you – only make you better.

Touring Jobs Breakdown

Once you know all the jobs on the road – you will head in the direction you find most fitting. We don’t always see the path you are taking, and that is okay. But you will need to be aiming for a goal. We will help educate you on what it requires to do each job by going over the following with each guest.

How They Started Touring

There are so many viable paths – the possibilities are endless. That is a good thing. We want to show you the variety that exists out there. We hope we can help you relate and inspire you with these people’s stories.

tour manager multi tasking

Tour Manager skills required – pulling a pelican while holding three pizzas

The Skills Required For The Job

To identify what you might be naturally good at – you need to know what it is you need to be good at in the first place. In theory, being a Tour Manager might sound like a blast. But 10 hours of emails a day isn’t for everyone.

Their Daily Schedule On Tour

But of course, we don’t just want to tell you – we want to show you. We will walk through an average day on the road in each one of these job positions. Follow their thought process, responsibilities, and everything else in between from the moment they wake up to the time they fall asleep. Each job is so unique, and there is always something new to learn.

Trust me, I have been doing this for ten years, and even I have a lot to learn!

Crew becomes your family

Crew becomes your family

Get On The Bus!

As always, we would love it if you joined us on our Patreon. Of course, we appreciate the support in helping us pay for everything we need to run the show. But most importantly, it gives you access to our network on Discord. Join us, take the education past just the podcast.

See you Soon

Anyway, we hope you enjoy the next episodes. It will be a fun journey for everyone involved, and we can’t wait to learn with you. So buckle up, grab a drink, and don’t Miss Bus Call cause we have some learning to do. Damn, that was corny


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