Organizing and doing tours can be fun and a headache. I have been on many around the world, California, UK, Portugal, South Africa and Cyprus. And as much as I love travelling and writing about it, Cyprus still remains my favourite place to tour and promote music.

Our recent touring adventure began about a year ago, when Felix Russ Aburdine aka Dub Caravan approached me to record a couple of songs online. I guess to many people the act of making music online with a complete stranger can appear a little strange if not cold. But most times things work out. The two tunes became 5 and eventually we worked on a complete release called “Virtual Oasis”

Making a physical CD and trying to find distributors in different countries was also time-consuming. So by April 2010 we were set, CD’s being manufactured, distro in USA, Switzerland and Cyprus, oh and by the way, we still had not met physically, everything had been done online.

What next? I thought about touring the work in Cyprus and looked for sponsorship from The Ministry of Education & Culture, who eventually supported us in a limited way. The rest we had to find ourselves, as support in kind. Air tickets, hotels, promotion and hospitality. All of that took up most of the three months before the tour happened. Eventually I arranged a mixture of workshops at summer schools and performances at a number of venues around the island.

I still had not met let alone rehearsed with my cyber friend Dub Caravan. That all changed on 20th July 2010 when I awaited rather anxiously at Larnaca Airport. I knew from the first moment that I met Felix everything would be OK. He turned out to be one of the most fun and mellow people I have ever worked with. 7 gigs in 9 days around Cyprus was challenging but we did it and had a great time in the process.

One thing I want to question. It’s a real shame so many people making music cannot organise tours. There are a number of reasons for this including many artists and bands do not see the real value of promotional tours and lack the financial resources and backing.

Huge amounts of money is spent on music in Cyprus by the state and private sponsors. Most of this goes to pay international artists from abroad whose concert shows are over priced and as predictable as sliced bread. So many things have just become about money and nothing else. Local promoters who do such inflated promotion very rarely support any kind of local music or artists.

This is a shame because the local music scene cannot develop without that kind of support and respect. That’s why touring is so important. It’s not however all gloom and doom. I really believe there are some good people out there willing to support local music tours and finding people to network with on promotions is the key to success. One person in a local municipality, a radio DJ with a heart for independent music, and emerging promotion companies directly linked to your music scene. I was fortunate enough to do this tour with Dub Caravan because of such people. And last but by no means least, a huge thanks to all The Punters who came out to participate and have a good time. Without audiences we may as well all stay at home and sing in the shower!

Advertisements