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Common Existence
DIY 'Til I Die: Support The Tour
01/21/12 at 09:13 AM by Christian Wagner
Do It Yourself - it's a term thrown around a lot in today's "scene." Bands that practice and preach this mentality wear it as a badge of honor. The only question, what does DIY truly mean? What does it mean to fully embrace the DIY ethos? In this new feature, we will be speaking with people in the industry that run the spectrum of what it means to be DIY and their advice to people wanting to learn more about what is available to them. This can range from booking your first tours, setting up a press kit, or recording on a budget. The topics are nearly endless.

Today, we are proud to present our first entry for DIY 'Til I Die, Support The Tour run by Sara Stile.

BlogHey there Absolute Punk,

Sara from Support the Tour here! I’ve always had a passion for helping artists. I spent a lot of time in high school assisting on street teams, then went on to work in artist management and spent a year with The Bamboozle Music Festival. After all these experiences, it grew hard to see my favorite acts and friends struggle. Recently, there has been a surge in artists trying to do everything on their own, from production to recording to distribution and more. I wanted to think up a new way to help these DIY acts when they hit the road. Enter Support The Tour…

Support the Tour (STT) is our way of enabling fans to support their favorite bands and help ease the costs of the touring process. Here’s how it works: bands join STT at no cost. Fans sign up for the online community and have the opportunity to donate pre-purchased items (including socks, deodorant, boxers, sanitizer, toothpaste, snacks, gas, etc.) to bands before they head out on the road. Fans over 18 are able to sign up to host a Couch Crashing session, in which they can offer their home as a place for artists to stay when they are passing through town. Couch Crashing hosts are catalogued “directory-style” so traveling bands can search for a host based on details such as lifestyle, sleeping accommodations, closest venues and more.

Participating fans get more than just the gratification of helping their favorite acts. In exchange for their generosity, fans are rewarded with points, which they can accumulate and cash in for everything from band merch to show tickets. Bands are given the chance not only to interact directly with their audience, but also to venture out on tour with sufficient supplies and affordable accommodations. It’s not only “Do It Yourself,” but “Do It Together.”

The DIY community is holding itself back with the current definition of “Do It Yourself”. I feel that in the future of the music industry, this definition needs to, and will, change. With thousands of acts trying to make it on their own, DIY has proven to be ineffective for many. The underlying reason is that people don’t realize that DIY doesn’t have to mean “do it completely on your own”. Support the Tour was created to acknowledge and promote this belief. Anyone who wants to truly break in the music industry has to accept that they will almost surely need to seek some outside help. By no means does this mean artists need the traditional record label, but instead, a solid team that can help them gain momentum as musicians or businesses. Ultimately, people are going to have to accept a looser and broader definition of DIY in order for these initiatives to be successful.

Some advice for all those interested in starting their own DIY style project: GO FOR IT! We all encounter pessimists and doubters along the road, but if you believe strongly enough in your idea than it is possible to succeed. But, keep in mind that you can’t half-ass the process; it’s all or nothing. There are a lot of passionate people out there and nothing will stop them. In order to stand out in this arena you have to give it everything you have and work extremely hard. There will be times where you feel defeated - I’ve been there a lot - but you’ve got to push through it. You will come out a stronger, more confident person in the end.

This all might sound a bit cliché, but it’s true. Starting a business isn’t easy, but getting the chance to work with bands and make a difference in their careers is more than worth it for me.

Sara Stile
Support The Tour
www.supportthetournow.com
@SupportTheTour
Tags: DIY till I die, support the tour, DIY
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