European tours - suggestions/advice sought

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by woolly, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. woolly

    woolly Member

    I am interested in organising a tour to Mainland Europe in 2009 or 2010.

    As a player I have been on many tours, some good, some not so ( but all memorable!), and the main thing I am looking for is a location or festival with good concert venues (i.e.audiences).

    Sounds obvious but I once attended a trip organised by a so called "professional tour company" where we played in a pub to 4 drunken customers (who promptly told us to **** off) followed the nexy day by a concert in a completely empty auditorium!" ( the tour co had neglected to anyone we were coming!)

    Recommendations/suggestions/contacts would be really welcome, I have no doubt there is a wealth of expereince out there who may potentially save us a lot of pain!

  2. woolly

    woolly Member


    I forgot to add we are an adult band
  3. brut33

    brut33 Member

    Hi Dave

    I am actually in the process of organising a tour for my band: We're heading to Holland and Germany this summer...

    One of the things that has always made things easier for me has been to have 'a reason' for touring: This year is our 30th Anniversary, so I have made a big deal of this (we would have been touring this year whether it was our 29th, 31st or whatever anyway!)... When we get to Germany we are staying in Perth's twin city: the good thing being that there are already strong links between our 2 cities to the point where I am doing all the organising of concerts through 'Friends of Perth'. All I have done is book hotels, coach and ferries and more or less left it to them to sort the concerts. As for Holland, my best move has been to reply to a post on here from a Dutchman and got talking to him, and we are now sorting a joint concert with his band. I'm still waiting for replies from other bands over there who I have asked if they'd like to host us... Again, booking the hotel was the biggest job, but I knew where I wanted to go so it was fairly straightforward.

    The bottom line for me has been to get the foundations booked well in advance: Transport, Accomodation, and confirmed numbers... Then it's a case of trying to get a good person over there to assist in concert arrangements. In terms of choosing a destination, again I think it's about finding a link or reason... get yourself 'invited' and it helps justify the trip when you go looking for financial assistance!

    Good Luck, touring is my favourite part of banding.
  4. woolly

    woolly Member


    Thanks George

    I wish you and the band well,

    Thanks for the posting
  5. Come to Norway :)
  6. brut33

    brut33 Member

    We came over to Norway in 1996, to play in the Jaeren Festival in Bryne... I wasn't sober for a single moment! Good weekend though, the nightclubs were pretty mental, particularly for those of us lucky enough to be wearing kilts!! :D
  7. We've got a festival in the beginning of June each year, the Tysnes Festival. Located on the beautiful island Tysnes, which lies just one hour south of Bergen, on the western coast of Norway.

    The festival has got two parts, a British style march contest, and a entertainment contest.

    Beaumaris band visited us a couple of years ago, and I think they enjoyed themselves here:)
  8. Masterblaster jnr

    Masterblaster jnr Active Member

    I've heard that Volkenburg is a good place to go on tour in holland
  9. tubagod

    tubagod Member

    how about Denmark?

    or even further away the baltics
  10. Bones

    Bones Member

    Speak to Roy Varney at Rayburn Tours in Derby. I can't vouch for how good it could be but Roy is a Bander and knows the pitfalls.


  11. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

    Or you could find out if your town has a twin town and get involved that way. I've done a few tours that involved twinning and we found that it was more fun cos we went with other groups (like a football team and some dancers). Often these things are in the pipeline already and they are glad of more support (also less organising as the twinning commitees are usually expert at this). Might as well reinforce existing ties as u can get more local support from both sides! :D
  12. Robhibberd29

    Robhibberd29 Active Member

    Not a bad idea from DM, although there's not as many local councils nowadays willing to put hand in pocket for this kind of thing as there used to be. I've done a few twinned tours myself and the other thing to take into consideration is that the "hosts" will probably want a return tour so you will have to host them! Having said that I have been on these and they've all been succesful tours.

    I would summarise my European tours as follows:

    Holland: Some cracking venues, not too far by coach, friendly people but relatively expensive
    Belgium: Similar to Holland with good venues and relatively close by but also rather pricey while you're there and not always as hospitable with regards to local councils and police, wardens etc.
    France: Close by but some poor venues and not always very hospitable or as warm a welcome as Holland for example
    Germany: Fabulous venues and very hospitable people, beautiful countryside, a little more reasonable on price, always a winner but you can do it to death
    Switzerland/Austria: As per Germany but more expensive and not always as hospitable
    Czech Republic/Prague: Some great/atmospheric venues with fantastic architecture and very reasonably priced depending on how you get there as it's quite a trek by coach and flying makes it more expensive. People aren't very hospitable though
    Italy: Fabulous venues if you can get a decent audience, good weather, reasonably priced but a fair old trek and hard to organise with local authorities
    Poland/Crakow: Fantastic venues, very friendly people a lot of whom speak English, very very cheap while you're there, as long as you can get there for a decent price.

    Hope this helps.

    Please bear in mind that these are my own views!
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008
  13. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

    Not so much an issue about the councils paying for it, but often they let you tag along and its less expensive. Some admin fairy does a lot of the work for u too! :clap:
  14. woolly

    woolly Member

    Thanks very much ... are the details of the festival available on the net

    I visited southern Norway including Bergen many years ago, (do you know Siv hogtun? that probably wont be her name now it was 20 years ago) we stayed on Askoy.....Great place and yes I love Norway and I have played a lot in the past in Denmark. This sounds interesting but I do remember Norway being a very exensive (all be it Beautiful) place to visit.
  15. The details are found at
    but its only in Norwegian:( (I could translate if you are very interrested)

    No, I don't know any Siv Hogtun.. Askøy is a nice place as well, and the local bands from there usually come to the Tysnes festival.

    Norway is expensive, but its worth it:)
  16. brut33

    brut33 Member

    We used Rayburn tours to go to the Czech Republic and it was brilliant... Hotels were pretty **** but they gave us really good concerts and a brilliant guide who was with us every day. It was more expensive than usual but it was the only way to go to a country where we had no contacts and no knowledge... I would rate it as one of my favourite tours, although to be fair I had the ideal holiday: Stag weekend in Prague with 13 lads, then 6 of us stayed on a few nights recovering and sightseeing, before joining the band at the prague airport arrivals for a 12 day tour... Brilliant!
  17. Rob

    Rob Member

    The Baltics would be an excellent area to do a tour in, the countries are still quite cheap and would be really nice to travel around to do some concerts in - especially Estonia, where there are lots of musical activites and events on all the time, and which has some really nice towns and cities to hold concerts in - as well as having still reasonably cheap beer and food.

    The Tallinn Lauluväljak, kind of song 'park' or 'grounds', would be really cool for a concert, I think the most people ever there were about 300,000 - not bad if a band could get that kind of crowd! :)
  18. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    We had an excellent "twinning" visit to Caens in Normandy with Coventry Festival Band in the '70s. In addition to the band, we had a basketball team and a school Morris Dancing troupe, so it was quite a mixed group!

    We had a couple of joint concerts with a local fanfare band, a prestigious university engagement, as well as an appearance by a quartet on the French equivalent of "Nationwide" to publicise the visit. Also time set aside for sight-seeing, including a visit to the Bayeux Tapestry, which I missed having overslept :mad: :oops: