Logistics, Logistics, Logistics: or, How A Tour Comes To Be
1 April, 2013
A major international tour is quite an undertaking. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be giving ten concerts for ten different promoters in ten different cities, leading three masterclasses and recording several performances for radio. We’ll be staying in nine different hotels, and once with host families; taking ten flights, two ferries and hiring three sets of cars. In the process, each of us will notch up a little over 14,500 miles. As you can imagine, it’s a major feat of organisation to bring this all together, and we’re very lucky to have a terrific team of people working on our behalf: our US agent, Craig Knudsen at Knudsen Productions; the brilliant people in London at Ikon Arts, and of course our friends at Harmonia Mundi USA.
Since we’re often asked why it is that we haven’t yet performed in a particular city, or why we’re not always able to visit a particular region, we thought it might be helpful to explain how our tours come about. The first step is for Stile Antico to identify a promising-looking patch of dates where our members are available to tour. We then offer these dates to our US agent, who works to secure invitations from concerts promoters. The financial realities are such that it is impossible for us to self-promote – so, much as we’d love to hand-pick our schedule, we are only perform where there is a promoter interested in presenting us. In fact, once the costs of accommodation, domestic and international transportation and visa fees are taken into account, there’s often not much money to spare! On this occasion, we’ve been hugely fortunate to receive support from the American Friends of Wigmore Hall, which has enabled us to present two different programmes. Needless to say, Craig works tirelessly to widen the list of destinations, and we’re excited to be visiting Minneapolis and Kansas City for the first time on this trip, to name but two. But if you wonder why Stile Antico has yet to perform in your own city, feel free to let your local concert presenter know!
Once the concert dates are in place, we can add masterclasses and media appearances to the schedule, and begin the painstaking task of comparing, pricing and booking accommodation and transport. Often our itinerary will find us criss-crossing the country, since particular promoters prefer to present on certain days. We’re certainly not short on Air Miles, but in fact we like to travel by road when the distances are practical – we can share out the driving between us, take things at our own pace, put together road-trip playlists, and generally see a bit more of the country. This also gives a certain members of the group plenty of chances to visit their beloved Cracker Barrel!
The printed itinerary for this tour is our longest-ever: a minor miracle of check-in times, booking references, hotel directions and subway routes. We could not be more prepared. But if it snows at Heathrow, all bets are off!