When on tour, your aren't magically transported from one venue or one city to the next. There is travel time. Also, no matter how efficient the schedulers can be there are a million reasons that there could be great distances between one stage you are playing and the next. This leads to: day stops.
Drivers of tour buses(or the trucks carrying your equipment) are limited by how far they can travel in a day. They have to stop to rest, which I am grateful for. Who wants a tired driver conveying them? So, if there are long distances between cities, they have to stop part way. For example, when traveling from Tupelo, MS to El Paso, TX, one might stop at Fort Worth, TX for the day(which reminds you how vast Texas is).
Now every tour is a little different, so I can only attest to my experience with my company. When we would have a day stop, it would most often occur on a Monday, after a weekend of shows. We would drive part way overnight to the next city, then, the drivers would all stop to get some sleep. Meanwhile, each bus would have access to a hotel room for the day to get cleaned up. Buses can hold up to twelve people, but the number actually living on them can fluctuate. It is up to the people on the bus to share the room for the day.
Twelve people can't stay in one room all day though, can they? No! Especially after working a crazy schedule together all weekend, absolutely not. So what do you do?
After grabbing a shower and passing the room key off to whomever is next in line, there are plenty of options for what to do on a day off. Some people like to take the opportunity to sleep in, read or catch up on tv shows in their bunk, utilize the hotel gym, or, my personal favorite, explore the town. You never know where you will be on a day stop and you know that it will only be for, you got it, one day, so you might as well go exploring.
Many take this opportunity to walk around and explore area shops, sites, and restaurants. You may want to stock up your snack and beverage stash for the next week. An option I always enjoyed was to take advantage of the fact that we were off on a Monday and have a nice relaxing meal out(Yes, this was during the time when T.G.I. Fridays was doing endless apps. Bring your iPad to play Monopoly, a couple of tour mates, and order a drink or two for a relaxing afternoon.). I have always appreciated getting into food and entertainment venues when there is no one else there and Mondays are one of the best days to do this. No waiting!
Day stops are great because you don't have your own hotel room to be comfy and complacent in so you are more likely to explore. If you know where you will be ahead of time and have a few minutes to research activities in the area of you stop, this can be a great money saver too. The best deals are almost always during the week. On a day stop, you could be sightseeing in Seattle, Good Willing in Glendale, beer tasting in Biloxi, or rock climbing in Rutherford. (Pics or it didn't happen. ;) ) Just remember, Cinderella, you have a curfew.
Bus call time is just before the drivers have to get on the road for the night. It is usually between 10pm and midnight, but again, can fluctuate. Make sure you are on the bus by then because if you miss it, you have to find your own way to the next city. Not a cheap mistake to make. So keep one eye on the clock and the other on a fun-filled day. Happy exploring!
Rayna Moore -
© 2021 by Rayna Moore