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Cost Of Touring For Rock Groups Is Fairly Steep

By Cornelius Nunev

Some people may think that the life of a touring musician is glamorous and also profitable, but it's anything but. The price of touring for a rock band or whatever is really fairly high and very few trips really make enormous amounts of cash, except for the very top tier of artists.

Paying way too much for a tour

Not everyone can just get on an elegant tour bus and start touring their band. In fact, most band or artist tours do not consist of groupies, partying and a lot of cash as you might assume.

It is quite interesting whenever you consider what The Dresden Dolls, a Boston group, made on their tour, according to a 2007 NPR interview. The two in the group, Brian Viglione and Amanda Palmer, only made $1,500 a month from the tour each. That is not a ton of cash for spending time in a record deal and touring. They even opened from some pretty large gigs.

They will only be getting $18,000 a year, which is not a lot and only really happens if they tour year round.

CD sales might bring them a little bit more cash considering they get $1 off every CD sale.

Might get better with more enthusiasts

A mid-level group such as the band Oh, Sleeper, which is a metalcore band that has been around for a while, gets paid about $600 per night of playing, $300 for tickets and $300 for merchandise. Usually, groups only make money depending on what they get paid for playing there and depending on merchandise sales. Usually they have to pay the location still. The typical costs of tour were published by the band's member Shane Blay.

The cost of traveling is $10 per day for food and $150 in fuel between gigs. The band also has to pay 15 percent to the manager and 10 percent to the booking agent out of the $300 location cash. Of the merchandise cash, the manger gets $15 percent and the location takes a 25 percent commission. On top of that, the band has to pay about $7.50 per t-shirt that they sell at $15, which already cuts that cost in half. Total per night, the band ends up with $78.75 after all the expenses come out.

Then there are extra emergency costs not calculated out. Without the emergencies, each band member will get $13.12 a night to play, which is not a lot of cash.

Only greatest ones get paid

The Daily Mail explained that the best way to make cash while touring is to be large enough that enough tickets will sell to make the additional cash. Roger Waters toured in 2010 which made about $90 million. The costs were only $60 million, which means he made a lot of extra cash.

NBC News explained that most groups were close to having to end tours and quit because of gas prices in 2008. Most young groups struggle more than you would know.

Whenever you download music for free, the band ends up losing money there too.

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