My main priority as a road manager is to enable artists to tour in a manageable way that is viable both physically and mentally.
A career in music has never been for the fainthearted, but it is perhaps an industry that has relied for too long on the passion of those who’ve chosen to work in it without looking at how best to support them through whatever may be thrown at them.
Too many artists and crew members have quietly – and not so quietly – fallen by the wayside while trying to live up to the creeds of ‘sex, drugs and rock’n’roll’ and ‘the show must go on’, irrespective of the personal cost.
My aim as a tour manager is always to get the job done as efficiently and effectively as I can, but equally important to me is creating and maintaining a sustainable and positive environment for the artist and their crew. If the artist feels supported by their touring family, they are enabled – and perhaps inspired – to give their best performance, night after night.
I don’t endeavour to impose a restrictive regime on all personnel irrespective of their wishes, but to encourage and support those who are striving to maintain a constructive physical and/or mental health regime on the road, including those on a recovery programme. These needs are too often eroded, or ignored altogether, by the restrictions and temptations imposed by touring
My values may be a little different to ‘the old ways’, but I passionately believe in being an agent for change within the live music industry, and that as a lifestyle, it must be empowering and inclusive for everyone. Touring needn’t be hell.