Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Home is Where You Park the Van

~ The easiest way to make money is not to spend it. When you are starting out it is essential that you cut corners and sacrifice as much as possible so that you can hopefully turn a profit. Thanks to the DIY Musician blog for these helpful links. I wish we had these tools when we were touring and couch surfing in the mid 80's! http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/2010/09/tour-smart-dummy-couchsurf-and-save-money/

Touring: an extended period of physical exertion, grueling drives, bad nutritional choices, and little rest, where breaking even is often regarded as a smashing success. Sounds fun, right? It is! But don’t make it any harder on yourself by sleeping in the van every night. There are two great websites that can help link you up with some free, hospitable accommodations.

http://www.couchsurfing.org/- is “a worldwide network for making connections between travelers and the local communities they visit.” Basically, this is an online resource for those who want to travel cheap and then return the favor or pay it forward when someone else from the CouchSurfing community is headed through your neck of the woods. Home-stay experiences are rated so that both the host and the guest feel confident and safe.

http://betterthanthevan.com/- “free places to stay for bands on tour.” Essentially, this is like CouchSurfing geared specifically towards musicians and fans. You get a warm bed, soft couch, or a hard floor with a sleeping bag (either way, it is better than the van or paying your hard-earned gig money on motels every night). The host gets to show their appreciation and feel a stronger connection to you as an artist and potentially forge a lasting friendship that can be vital to your continued touring efforts.

Check both sites out and see which one works better for you. And remember, the key to using these kinds of services/communities successfully is to reciprocate the generosity. Don’t be a take-take-take/gimme-gimme-gimme kinda person. Go out there and tour and stay at peoples’ homes for free, but open up your house or apartment to other musicians when they’re on tour, too.

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