Thank you 2013, hello 2014!

 January 8, 2014

Well, 2013 certainly ended on a positive! November and December were nicely packed with shows from The Unguided, Dead by April and Therion. The shows in Minsk and Kiev with Dead by April were a complete success with fantastic turnouts on both shows, and after finally escaping the Consulate at Minsk airport to authorise our visas the band were met by fans to welcome them to Belarus in the arrivals area. Thankfully there were no flash mobs…that came later at the show instead. Soon after getting back from the Ukraine I headed out with The Unguided for two shows in Sweden selling merchandise. This was great fun and it’s always refreshing to work with different bands, and especially bands who put on a truly great live show.

At the beginning of December I joined Therion on their Rock Opera Preview Tour as Assistant Tour Manager and Merchandiser. I thoroughly enjoyed this tour and valued the opportunity to work alongside another Tour Manager. The tour got off to an energetic start to say the least, what with me having to run like hell through Stockholm airport to join my connecting flight in time because of my first flight being delayed and only initially having 30 minutes lay over time anyway! Then there was the small factor of ensuring that the driver for our backline, who was also the second Merchandiser, got to Poland in one piece…let me explain. The plan was simple, transport the backline from Sweden to the nightliner company in Germany, join the tour, do the tour, and then transport the gear back to Sweden after the last show. All of this went according to plan for several hours until the clutch on the car decided to destroy itself resulting in a hire van having to be organised. This part of the journey happened before I had even left Gothenburg, so my first challenge once arriving in Germany and on my way to Poland was to ensure that the driver got back to Sweden ok to drop off the van, pickup the newly fixed car, drive back to Germany ready for the end of the tour, and then finally fly to Poland for one of the first shows. Once again, simple enough you may say. Of course, except the Mother of all hurricanes was about to hit Europe and our driver was going to end up smack bang in the middle of it!

After getting the last ferry from Germany back over to Denmark as the others were going to be cancelled for the day, being stranded in Denmark for the night because the bridges and ferries over to Sweden were closed, collecting the car and trailer the following afternoon, once again being stranded in Denmark for the night as the hurricane wanted Round 2, gaining a puncture in the trailer tyre, the driver FINALLY made it to Poland ready for the third show of the tour. It was a unique way to start the tour from my perspective as I had no control over the situation whatsoever, and all I could do was react to the updates I was receiving from the driver and plan accordingly with organising accommodation and flights. The plan changed frequently and sometimes within minutes of a previous update, but the only thing to do was to not be overly critical of time and create too much pressure on them as safety was top priority, and to also keep the band and Tour Manager updated. Once the driver finally arrived safely in Poland and got to grips with the merchandise setup, it meant that I was able to focus on assisting the Tour Manager a lot more. I thoroughly enjoyed this setup and I’d really like to work with this arrangement again in the near future whether it be with Therion or another band. In addition to new challenges and scenarios, a lot of laughs and hardwork, making new contacts with Merchandise companies and crew, there was also the fascinating three hour wait from the little trip to a Czech hospital for someone in the travel party to receive medication, and also staying at a hotel in Italy on the off day which closely reminded me of Faulty Towers…it’s never a dull day when you’re touring! Overall the tour was a success and a fantastic 2.5 weeks. As usual it was all over far too quickly for my liking, but I hope to work with Therion again in the future along with the truly great Crew they have. Therion, it was a pleasure!

The final show for 2013 was at Scorched Tundra in Gothenburg where I was selling merchandise for some of the bands performing. This was a great way to end the year, and 2014 swiftly got off to a good start by heading to Gothenburg Sound Festival. Although I wasn’t working this festival it was great to see so many people I’ve met over the past twelve months who are associated with the industry one way or another. 2013 saw me set up Purple Tour Management, launch this website, and work with several new bands. In 2014 I will continue to work towards my goals for Purple Tour Management, aim to work for more new bands, build upon the working relationships I already have, and keep driving the motivation and success of Purple Tour Management forward.

2013, you provided the platform for what is to come. 2014, let’s take it to the next level.

// Cat