Posted: Feb 4, 2019
**Guest post written by Brandon Stoner of Thieves & Lovers.
"Winter is in full swing and it’s been a particularly brutal one due to the polar vortex that swept across the United States this past week. While sub-zero conditions like this might be fairly common to touring musicians in other countries, this was a bad one for us.
I wanted to write an article with some tips for touring during winter, as I’ve done so numerous times both as a performer and as a part of a tour crew and wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned along the way.
If possible, try to work around locations that get slammed by bad winter weather. The mid-western (Chicago...) and northeastern (talking about YOU, Boston!) United States have exceptionally bad weather from January through March (and sometimes even into April!), so if you can consider trying to hit markets that don't feel winter's icy grip as much. Climate is definitely changing, but the southern states are a good starting point.
Winter is perhaps the most unpredictable of all the seasons, and when planning a tour months in advance it is impossible to know what type of weather to expect. But when tour time rolls around, it's critical to stay on top of whatever is happening with the weather. Technology makes this easier than ever before, so download a weather app and enable push notifications.
Don’t be afraid to have to bow out of a show if you can’t get there safely, the promoter and venue will understand. At least you and your gear will live to rock another day.
Tour is war, so keep a road kit of everything you'll need to battle winter. This includes ice scrapers, spray de-icer, kitty litter or something similar (for traction), a shovel, jumper cables, flashlight, and blankets. Make sure your vehicle is serviced and keep an eye on the fluid levels. Speaking of fluids, consider putting in winter blends and fluids that are meant for freezing temperatures.
Winter weather can affect any vehicle in a number of inconvenient and sometimes dangerous ways like...
It’s a fair misconception that cold in itself damages gear, because it’s really the drastic change in temperatures from moving gear inside and outside that does the real damage. Here are some tips to keep your gear on the stage and out of the shop.
Cold and flu season is no joke, and you want your performance to be fire, not your body temperature. Don’t neglect your health. Eat well, sleep well, and don’t overdo it with the partying as it compromises the immune system.
We all love to tour, no matter the time of year. The show must go on, and with some preparation and a little bit of luck not even old man winter can stop that. Stay safe out there! "
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