Sustaining a career in the music touring business.
The Touring Career Workshop is a free event created by Chris Lisle and Erik Parker designed to serve and educate their colleagues in the touring music industry. The inaugural TCW was held in November 2011 at Belmont University, and was attended by over fifty industry professionals.
As trends in the music industry show a steep decline in recorded music sales over the past decade, the necessity for Artist to tour/perform live to gain income is at an all time high. Even in a down economy, people need to be entertained. Although ticket sales aren’t as great in some markets as they used to be, and though many touring productions have tightened their budgets, the touring world is still very much alive and kicking.
It wasn’t long ago that the term “roadie” brought to mind a few different visions of “sex, drugs, and rock and roll”. The carefree, wandering, and “party” lifestyle of past days has now become a viable and profitable career path for many. As Chris reached his twentieth year in the touring business, he took a hard look at the state of the industry. One of the most disturbing things that was recognized is that many of the early generation of “roadies” had not prepared very well for their latter years. Financial and health troubles appear to be some of the most common problems that are faced. Chris thought to himself, “what could have been done to prevent this”?
The bottom line of it is, that unless you work for one of the major vendors and are blessed to have a great benefits package, you must fend for yourself to provide the tools needed to get by in life: health insurance, retirement plans, and the general skills to run your own business. Make no mistake about it, if you are a freelance technician in the touring business – you ARE your own business. This is where the vision of the Touring Career Workshop comes to life: a simple workshop where a lot of the success tools needed are presented by experts in each of their respective fields. There is NO admission fee to the TCW, and there is NO pressure to purchase any of the services that are presented during the workshop. Attendees will listen to brief overviews on a variety of topics, and at the end will have the opportunity to set up meetings with the vendors if desired. Chris Lisle and Erik Parker receive no commission or fees in any way from any of the vendors. We are organizing this to give back to our industry, with the hope that several people can walk away from the workshop motivated with the tools needed to have the best career that they can!