Tour Companies

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by stopher, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. stopher

    stopher Member

    Can anyone recomend a tour company to organise a tour with - possiblity of my band going next year and just wondering which companies can be recommended.

    Also, where have people been on tour, how much and for how long just so I an get rough idea


    Thanks
     
  2. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

  3. backrowbloke

    backrowbloke Member

    From past experience, Rayburn did a very good job. We went twice to Germany.

    Only criticism I would have though, is that the concert venues were a bit hit & miss - some were very good with good audience, while others were 'by side of road' gigs. Was good hol though with lots of :guiness

    Have you considered organising one yourself? hardest thing is organising the gigs, but there a quite a few ppl on tMP from overseas who may be able to help? transport is then easily arranged via local coach / tour company?
     
  4. jonford

    jonford Member

    I have never organised a tour but have been on very good tours organised with Gower tours and NST music All have been a reasonable price (Although New York was expensive!).

    Out of all the locations I have been to (Angers, Rhineland, Switzerland, Strasbourg, Holland, New York & Washington) my favourite has to be strassbourg. Nice city, visit to kronenbourg brewery, very good hotel with a choice of meals! :shock: the EU buildings and the fantastic europa park! Which has some very good rollercoasters. The concert venues we were given were also good, most having a reasonable sized audience.

    All tours have been between 5 and 7 days and for most we have travelled by coach, long journeys but they are a part of most tours, as long as you remember to take some good videos your'l be fine!
     
  5. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Tours

    I have been involved in the organisation of the last two tours at Killamarsh and have been on two previous (all self arranged).

    This year we are doing Holland for £290 inclusive of the cost of the coach and B&B in good quality hotels (Holiday Inn and Best Western) last year it was Belgium and was about £250.00 staying in IBIS and Tulip. Both based on 8 night stays so that we we get to play somewhere good on one Saturday.

    If you are organising your own its fairly easy to find contacts through the councils and tourist information on the tinternet. Just keep sending the emails. We usually arrange to play in towns with large open squares and play for a couple of hours - best venues have been Brugge, Brussels - Grand Place, Notre Dame Paris and we usually get plenty of locals and tourists listening. OK it's weather dependent but if it rains we get to the pub earlier.

    Keep travelling times to a minimum once at your location - we usually have two separate locations e.g. Brussels and Namur in Belgium, Rotterdam and Nijmegen in Holland. One to two hours on the bus is the maximum you should consider travelling to venues and do not underestimate the time to travel across Europe - it can take for ever on a coach.

    You should insist on a decent quality coach (air con a must) don't think cheapest is best, it's not. We used Fraser Eagle last year and their driver was the best we have ever had - he's taking us this year by special request. We would recommed them and if you're interested ask for Harry as driver (talks like Peter Kaye but can play back row cornet if needed).

    Don't take on all the organisation get a good team of people and delegate various bits - venues, coach and travel, hotel, collecting money from people who say they want to come.

    Once that's out of the way just sit back and enjoy the tour and if something goes wrong what the heck you're on holiday, playing in a band with your mates with plently of opportunity to meet new people and see the world.

    If you want any information about venues in Belgium or Holland when we get back after the 29 give me a pm.
     
  6. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I realise that as an SA band we may be larger than many, but we found having a trailer for the large instruments and equipment invaluable on our recent trip to Holland - made packing up each time so much easier.
     
  7. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Tours

    Oh yes forgot to mention that - we took a trailer last year and will do so again this year. Put all band equipment on coach, luggage in trailer and leave empty trailer at hotel whilst travelling to performances. Then when you come home go via Calais and fill trailer with cheap booze. Savings on booze cover part cost of trip. 8)
     
  8. IYOUNG

    IYOUNG Member

    Depending on whether you wish to go abroad or not, I would suggest you organise your own. See thread ''why we do it all' and see that doing it yourself is cheap and easy. There are masses of venues in this country that garauntee a good audience.

    Ian
     
  9. TuTuKu

    TuTuKu Active Member

    I've been with rayburn and NST, although we have had problems with NST this year the other two times i've been abroad with them they've been excellent. And from what can gather Rayburn are also good - well didn't hear anything to suggest the contrary - i was only young and with school. I think there's been a bit of trouble at NST with staff leaving, which is probably why they wern't terribly good with us this year.. next year may be totally different though and they should be back on top form again
     
  10. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    In fairness to all, I have been away with probably all but Gower, and they're all the same.

    Completely Pot Luck.

    I've had great and terrible tours with most companies, some in consecutive years, and the blame can't always be identified!

    In my experience (approx. 2 trips a year for the last 13-15 years, from youth bands to the top flight), a good driver and bus are THE most important things, and getting both at the same time is very rare and both are just subcontracted from the main company, so pot luck.

    Venues can be misleading. I'd rather play outdoors to a square full of passers by, with a gradual build to 3-400 people, than to a concert hall with 30-50 in (not unusual on a tour), but that's personal opinion.

    Also, what they do with the free time is important. Some tour companies seem to neglect some of their passengers, ie. nothing to do for youngsters on a youth band tour (no football, hotel with no gathering point or "common room") or, even worse, no bar or facilities for older ones.

    REALLY thoroughly check everything before you book, the accomodation, venues Bus, driver if possible and then pester the company 'til you leave the country!
     
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