Is becoming a road manager right for me?

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How to become a Road Manager

Becoming a road manager involves a combination of education, relevant experience, networking, and a passion for the music industry. Here are steps to guide you on how to become a road manager:

  • Educational Background: While there isn't a specific educational requirement, having a background in music, music business, music management, or a related field can be advantageous.
  • Understand the Music Industry: Develop a comprehensive understanding of the music industry, including its structure, key players, and the logistics involved in organizing live performances and tours. Familiarize yourself with industry trends, venues, and the roles of different professionals within the music business.
  • Gain Practical Experience: Gain hands-on experience by working in roles related to event coordination, artist management, or the live music sector. Internships or entry-level positions with music venues, event management companies, or artist management agencies can provide valuable insights and skills.
  • Networking: Build a network within the music industry by attending concerts, industry events, and conferences. Connect with professionals such as artists, managers, promoters, and other road managers. Networking can open doors to opportunities and provide valuable insights into the industry.
  • Learn About Tour Logistics: Familiarize yourself with the intricacies of tour logistics, including travel arrangements, accommodations, equipment transportation, and venue coordination. Understand the challenges and responsibilities associated with organizing tours of varying scales.
  • Take Relevant Courses or Workshops: Consider enrolling in courses or workshops that specifically focus on tour management, event logistics, or music business. Organizations like the Tour Management Bootcamp or industry conferences may offer such educational opportunities.
  • Volunteer or Work with Local Acts: Offer your services as a volunteer or work with local bands or artists to gain hands-on experience in tour management. This can provide practical insights and help you build a portfolio of successful projects.
  • Seek Mentorship: Seek guidance from experienced road managers or professionals in the music industry. A mentor can provide valuable advice, share insights, and help you navigate the complexities of the industry.
  • Create a Portfolio: Assemble a portfolio that showcases your experience, skills, and successful projects. Include details about the tours or events you have been involved in, emphasizing your ability to handle logistics and solve problems.
  • Apply for Entry-Level Positions: Look for entry-level positions in artist management agencies, event management companies, or with touring artists. These roles may include tour assistant, production assistant, or similar positions that provide exposure to the world of tour management.

Helpful Resources
Road managers can benefit from various resources that provide industry insights, professional development opportunities, and networking platforms. Here are some helpful resources for road managers:

  • POLLSTAR: POLLSTAR is a leading publication covering the live entertainment industry, including concert tours, festivals, and events. It offers news, industry analysis, and a directory of professionals that can be valuable for road managers.
  • Touring Career Workshop: This workshop focuses on providing practical knowledge and skills for those pursuing careers in live entertainment, including tour management. It often features experienced professionals as instructors.
  • Event Safety Alliance (ESA): ESA provides resources and guidelines for event safety, which can be crucial for road managers dealing with various aspects of live performances, including crowd management and venue safety.
  • Music Business Association (Music Biz): Music Biz is a national association that covers various aspects of the music industry. It offers networking opportunities, events, and resources that can be beneficial for road managers looking to stay informed and connected.
  • Production Safety for Film, Television, and Events (PSFTE): PSFTE provides safety training and resources for professionals in the live events industry. This can be valuable for road managers concerned with the safety of artists, crew, and audiences during tours.
  • Live Nation Entertainment: Live Nation is a major player in the live entertainment industry. Exploring their resources, including industry insights, can provide road managers with a broader understanding of the market.
  • Tour Link Conference: This annual conference brings together professionals from the touring and live event industry. It offers networking opportunities, workshops, and panels covering various aspects of tour management.
  • Music Managers Forum (MMF): MMF is a trade association for music managers. It provides resources, events, and networking opportunities that can be beneficial for road managers working closely with artist management teams.
  • The Booking Agents Directory: This directory can be a useful resource for road managers looking to connect with booking agents, talent buyers, and other industry professionals involved in the booking process.
  • Roadie Crew: Roadie Crew is an online platform that connects professionals in the live entertainment industry. It offers a space for networking, job postings, and discussions relevant to road managers.
  • Tour Management 101 by The Merch Collective: This online course provides insights into tour management, covering various aspects of the job. It can be a valuable resource for those looking to deepen their knowledge and skills.