Road Crew Key To Touring Success

CBS This Morning went behind the scenes of Eric Church’s tour recently. Reporting from Fresno and Los Angeles, Mark Strassmann showed what goes into the $19 million production: 170 tons of equipment, 100+ crew members, 18-hour days, 14 trucks, 12 buses, six-hour set up, and, as his stage manager put it, “100,000 pounds of rock your city.” Costs of the nine-month outing are $3 million for the stage, $3.9 million for vehicles, $2.5 million for lighting video and audio, and $2 million to pay the crew, which equals about “$250,000 to show up” at a venue.

Showing the manpower and money that goes into a tour, Eric Church’s run is a $19 million production, including about $2 million to pay the crew. Each date requires 170 tons of equipment, 100+ crew members, 18-hour days, 14 trucks, 12 buses, and six hours of set up (CBS News).

The touring industry continues to thrive, and road crews are a key part of any outing’s success. In 2014, Pollstar valued the North American concert industry at $6.2 billion.

This week The Wall Street Journal examined the world of roadies, or concert technicians. The article discusses their widely varying income ($200 to $1,500 a day), personal sacrifices (hard on relationships), lifestyle on tour (museums, anyone?), females on the road (8 in a crew of 60) and the technical proficiency required for the gig (reading 200-page manuals on guitar effects).

Among those featured in the article are Jimmy Davis, stage manager for Hank Williams Jr., who also works at Nashville event production company LogiCom. Davis told the paper he brings home almost six figures a year.

Also featured is guitar tech Tom Weber (Van Halen, Poison, Reba McEntire, Lyle Lovett) who earns about $200,000 in a good year. He says, “We’re the Marines of the music business.”

Read more here.


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Category: Artist, Featured, Touring

About the Author

Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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