Kat and Kayleigh are two Stone Sour fans who opted to travel around the UK for multiple shows on the bands recent co-headlining tour with Avenged Sevenfold. Check out their video blog and Kat’s top tour tips!
My best friend Kayleigh and I went to multiple shows on the Stone Sour/Avenged Sevenfold UK tour back in October/November 2010.
We travelled from Stevenage in Hertfordshire to Birmingham on October 28th, then went to London, then up to Newcastle and Leeds, and finally tied it up in Brighton on November 7th. We did most of it by train and by driving ourselves so we didn’t have to rely on anybody else and we knew our limitations with where we could go and what we could afford.
Here are some tips and important pieces of information you should definitely consider if you’re thinking of going to multiple shows or doing your own idea of ‘touring’!
1) First of all, make sure you can afford it! As fun as it is, there’s also a need to be serious about it. It is a huge commitment as hotels, taxies, food, and travel costs (flights or trains) add up surprisingly quickly and can double or triple the cost of going to a regular gig. We used the most economical hotels we could and split taxi fares all the time so nobody felt like they were paying for everything. Think seriously about what you can afford, and travel to, and don’t try to go to every single show.
2) Secondly, make sure you can make your own way to and from a venue or hotel. Don’t accept or ask for lifts from total strangers. Consider your own safety above any convenience and just because someone you met at a show may seem nice, don’t hop in the car with them – even if your hotel is just around the corner. Be sensible. If you’re going to rely on local taxies, ensure you get legit ones from designated areas. Train stations or airports are a great central point, or ask the hotel you’re staying at to phone and book them for you, or even the venue themselves. These taxies are more likely to be fairly priced and affordable, and split the costs between whoever is with you.
3) Don’t be put off by anybody who tries to tell you not to do it. I found a lot of naysayers are just jealous because they haven’t the time or funds to commit to it themselves. It is possible to go to multiple shows, you just need to be organised and plan.
4) Don’t forget your concert ticket, especially if you are travelling long distances! A lot of ticket sellers will not duplicate your ticket (especially if they’re standing ones!) and you may have to return home for it. Pack your luggage sensibly and take all booking reference numbers with you for travel – and if you’re going abroad, even to Europe, ensure your passport is in date and don’t forget it!
5) Only ever go with a friend you trust and know very well. Travelling is stressful and expensive, and you don’t want someone unreliable with you when you’re doing it. Ask yourself if the person is likely to back out at the last minute, or let you down at any time during the tour. Going with your boyfriend/girlfriend might seem a good idea at the time but tours are announced sometimes six months ahead of the actual dates and you don’t want to be losing out if the relationship breaks up. If you can’t work as a team and trust the other person then it’s not going to work and you don’t want to find out 200 miles away from home that you’re not really such great friends.
6) Make sure someone back home always knows where you are and who you’re with. It’s sensible to check in with parents or friends back home when you arrive and leave destinations, especially if you’re not going to be at home for a few days.
7) Be courteous at all times to security and venue personnel. They’re just doing their job and don’t need the grief of people being immature or silly. Don’t be afraid to approach venue staff if you feel unsafe or unwell at any time for any reason, they are there purely to help you.
8) If you are lucky enough to meet a band member, be respectful at all times! They’ve travelled a very long way to be in your town and may be tired or hungry or even not very well – although they will be as pleased to meet their fans as you are to meet them, they are people after all and some band members have family or partners with them. Do not go on a tour or to multiple shows JUST to meet band members because you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Band members always do their best to greet their fans when they can but please keep in mind they have strict schedules to adhere to and can’t hang around until midnight just to speak to you. Just because you really like a band does not mean you have to scream at them or throw yourself at them. Most of them won’t like it and you will be left feeling (and looking) ridiculous. Instead, just be yourself – even if you are so excited!
9) Make sure you really like the band/s you’re going to see. It sounds silly but it’s vitally important because the setlist will be the same (more or less…) at every show, and you may get bored after two shows. Don’t expect a different show every night, just expect a great one.
10) If you make new friends at a gig, use social networking sites to get to know them. Don’t give total strangers your personal number or home address; most people have email addresses these days so use them instead. It allows you both the chance to get to keep things casual because you never really know who people are.
11) Do your research. Find out hotel prices before you arrive so it’s not a shock. Travelodge are brilliantly located around UK cities and most are very convenient to the venues themselves. Use Googlemaps to get an idea of journey time and distance. Don’t commit to something that is impossible to get to. Know your limits, both financially and realistically. The bands have a tour bus just for them and although it might look easy to go to every show, it’s not.
12) Have fun. Enjoy yourself and make the most of what you’re doing because the chance may not be there again. Because travelling and everything can be stressful, do something silly (but legal!) to keep your spirits up. Standing in cold weather for hours on end can get boring…We invented really stupid games to keep ourselves entertained!
Essential packing has to be clean clothes, mobile phone and charger, some kind of music player for the journeys, digital camera and chargers. We always went prepared with emails of confirmation and booking references for everything we had and always had our ID with us because you just never know what might happen and it’s best to take too much than not enough. Most importantly though is to just enjoy it. Cities are wonderful places to visit and there’s always things to do so see as much as you can whilst you’re there. Don’t make everything about the band or the people in it because there’s much more to life than that. Talk to people in the queue in front and behind you, help someone out if they seem to be in difficulty and be polite to everybody you meet. The crowd make the show and getting to know some of them will really add to the whole experience.
For the day to day blog, please go to http://stonesouruktourdiary.tumblr.com/ for more!