Interview & Photos by Yising Kao
Lucas is featured in our Music Industry issue!: www.galaxy-mag.com/issues
Lucas has worked as a freelance tour manager for 2 years and earns most of his jobs through managers or bands he has made connections with. He has had experience with working for Fearless Records for a couple years, doing tours and festivals. Some bands Lucas has worked with include Waterparks, Set It Off, I Don't Know How But They Found Me, and As It Is.
What experiences inspired you to want to become a tour manager?
I sort of just fell into it. I played in bands when I was younger and was always trying to promote and find unique ways to get my music out there. And through that, I got really into all the behind-the-scenes stuff that comes with music. Then when I moved to LA, I got an opportunity to intern at Fearless Records. I did well there and it was sort of just a domino effect from there that led to me being a tour manager.
How do you plan and organize tour itineraries? What factors do you take into consideration?
Advancing tours is always a tedious process. First, I will hit up the point of contact for each of the opening acts, explaining how the schedule will run each day, how many guest list comps they get, what their merch restrictions are, and various other subjects. I will also request their stage plot, input list, hospitality rider, W-9 and crew and vehicle info, so I can include all of this when I'm advancing info with the venues. Then I get an itinerary from the bands booking agent that has a production contact for each show. I then send them and email discussing parking, scheduling, hospitality, VIP, amount of local crew needed, settlement and whatever else I feel needs to be brought up to help make the show run smoothly. And I create a google sheet that has a tab for each show to put in the info for each show as I hear back from the venues, and then share that with the other bands tour manager so they know the schedule for each show, the day of show contact, parking, wifi, dressing room info, etc, so everyone on the tour knows what’s going on everyday. Being detailed when advancing always makes the day of the show easier.
You work in a fast-paced environment where unexpected events may happen. How do you cope with stress while simultaneously having to plan quick accommodations for these situations?
You just have to realize that it's a show and everyone is there to have a good time. If you just don't get flustered, stay positive and calmly think of a solution, it's easy to overcome unexpected situations.
What are some challenges you’ve faced while touring and how did you overcome them?
On Vans Warped Tour this past summer (2018), we had an insane amount of issues with our bus, from our trailer hitch snapping and our trailer falling off on the freeway, to our generator cutting out multiple times throughout the tour (which means no AC or power in the middle of the summer). The only thing you can really do is laugh at it and figure out a solution and move on from there.
Do you have any advice for aspiring tour managers?
Don't get discouraged when you mess up. A lot of what I've learned is from either watching someone else make a mistake or making a mistake myself, but it really helps drill that experience into your head.
Lucas with Waterparks & iDKHOW