I got a question today "i'd be interested to know exactly what resources you are using for such a large endevour." So I thought I'd answer on the blog.
I applied for grants. They said it was too much work for one person, so no funding. Fortunately I've been saving for 3 years to do this trip. It's been a long time dream of mine. I managed to convince my work to let me have the time off. Without grants, I'm forced to do all the planning myself... But I've been performing for 8 years now, so I've also built up a lot of contacts across the country.
My preference is for radio shows because we've all dealt with shady promoters or shows where only 20 people show up. At the same, I love performing, so I'm gonna invest in two items that'll let me easily go busking, do private parties, in stores, etc:
1. Roland Micro Cube-W Portable Battery/AC Amp
2. SM 58 Microphone
3. An Ipod I can plug into the above.
Here are my steps for preparing for tour:
1. Expect to lose money, but aim to make a profit.
2. Put out a CD and promote it a bit to generate some buzz.
3. Apply for grants and get rejected so that when you do the tour you can say "In your face!" haha.
4. Find a vehicle and insure it and get roadside assist.
5. Be prepared to sleep in your vehicle (so bring tent, sleeping bag, foam padding, water jug, Stackable plastic tote containers, propane stove, mugs)
6. Find a good tool to store contacts & bookings: www.indiebandmanager.com
6(b) (Optional) Write a script to automatically generate an html listing of shows.
7. Plot a trek with dates (mine includes as many National Parks as possible).
8. Contact all hip-hop radio shows that match with those days/cities to try and get something poppin.
9. Contact folks I know in each city for places to crash.
10. For each location (radio show, place to crash), I google the map and copy it to a word document, so it'll be handy when I'm on the road.
11. Lookup information for each National Park, along with maps.
12. Lookup information for ferrys, etc.
13. Generate a skeleton plan of the trek including radio shows. This can be used to attract sponsors.
14. Write a Press Release.
15. Write a Proposal to entice sponsors
16. Write a rider for booking shows.
17. Reach out to all those grants agencies (See step 2), and re-iterate that you're going on tour and inquire if there are any grants that might apply to you.
18. Reach out to sponsors for cash / product for the tour in exchange for promotions.
19. Reach out to folks in different cities to put on live shows to fill in gaps (using the skeleton plan generated in Step 13)
20. Send Posters, Stickers, T-shirts, Cds, Banner to the printers.
21. I recommend you get a laptop with wireless, Rogers has portable internet for $50/month, a decent digital camera is nice too.
22. Take out advertising in a national monthly publication (e.g. Exclaim)
23. 3-4 weeks before each show, reach out to local media for coverage.
24. Handy trinkets: Solar laptop charger, AC to Cigarette lighter adapter, FM Tuner for your iPod, tire pressure gauge.
25. Don't forget: Flashlight, candles & matches, toilet paper, cutlery...
26. Don't be afraid to do some busking. Make a sign that says "Will rap for food" and stand outside a wendys. Little things can save you money.
K, that's all I can think of right now...