Taking your live show on the road can be one of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of your music career… and it can also be the most costly. First Date Touring's Gil Carroll and Miesha & The Spanks's Miesha Louie will be joining is for our next DIY Series session: Touring Without Breaking the Bank on September 19. Join us to learn about booking and managing a tour without breaking the bank, including tips on when to start, where to go, who to contact, what it takes to get people to your show, and much more. This workshop will address all the nitty gritty details, and tips and tricks you can use to ensure the most successful DIY tour without going broke.
Gil Carroll is a Winnipeg-born musician, booking agent, concert promoter, composer, and community organizer. Carroll is a founding member and guitarist of Winnipeg-based bands Living Hour and Palm Trees and is the co-founder of Real Love Winnipeg, Real Love Summer Fest, and Slow Shine Records. Carroll is vice president of the Winnipeg-based boutique booking agency, First Date Touring - he has booked tours for bands and solo artists all over Canada, the US, and the UK. He has toured extensively in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe with Living Hour. He is also the editor of Manitoba’s only music magazine, Stylus Magazine, and has been a volunteer DJ for the show Space Cadet and staff member with CKUW 95.9 FM for the past five years. Carroll was the 2018 recipient of the Kevin Walter’s Legacy Award presented by Manitoba Music.
Best known as the front-woman for Miesha & The Spanks, Miesha Louie has been involved in the Canadian music industry since 1999, starting out as a teenager throwing shows for touring bands in her small town community hall. Building on that network of touring artists (new friends), she moved to Calgary and began her own career in music. Louie's background in punk rock invoked a DIY approach with a heavy focus on taking that music on the road. For the last 10 years she has played her parts as manager, booking agent, grant writer, publicist, radio tracker, and of course, artist.
Get to know them better with our little Q+A...
Q: If you could spend a day with anyone in music, who would it be, and what would you do?
Gil: David Berman of the band Silver Jews. He is one of my all time favourite songwriters and I would just listen to him talk about anything he wanted to. He is a truly brilliant poet!
Miesha: Unfortunately this will never become a reality, but I've always wanted to hang out with Stompin' Tom Connors and hear his millions of stories from the road. He's one of Canada's best story-tellers and has played everywhere, man.
Q: What item, that you don't have already, would you most like to own?
Gil: A vibraphone.
Miesha: I feel pretty lucky to (currently) not be wanting for much, so the only thing I'm really on the hunt for a black fringe leather jacket.
Q: Biggest pet peeve?
Gil: Crowdsurfing / people talking loudly during concerts / people clapping off beat and loudly at concerts.
Miesha: Showing up at a venue where the promoter/sound person/bar staff/manager assumes they should be talking business with my male counterpart instead of me. It's 2018, but it still happens.
Q: What is one place you’ve toured to that surprised you, and what made it stand out?
Gil: Rock Island, IL. Seemingly a nowhere small town but it was one of the most welcoming and exciting art communities I have experienced. The venue Rozz Tox is a haven for weird art, music, and food!
Miesha: I'm always taken with the hospitality of the Maritimes. We've played packed shows, empty shows, middle of the road shows over there, but always without fail the people really take care of you. More home cooked meals than anywhere in Canada, that's for sure. You get a greater sense of appreciation for the travelling musician there more than anywhere else in Canada, in my experience.
Q: Besides instruments and the obvious necessities, is there anything you just can’t live without on the road?
Gil: Takis - Fuego Tortilla Chips.
Miesha: We live in our van, Jean Claud Van-Van, almost every night of tour. While our bunks are pretty cozy, it nice to have some comfort from home to help you nod off. For me, that's my fur/fleece blanket and my stuffed Pooh Bear. Whatever keeps you happy in a Walmart parking lot, right?