File Under: Booking and Performing Live

All of music business can be boiled down to one formula: the money you make minus the money you spend equals the money you keep. The goal is to make as much as you can while minimizing your costs. When it comes to touring, one way to amplify your take is to keep your costs -- like hotels -- as low as possible. Although accommodation costs are a business write-off, there are ways you can go on a tour without paying for a single hotel.

You can always use inexpensive non-hotel options such as Airbnb but they still cost money. Fortunately there are accommodation-sharing resources that exist that will help you find places to stay for free. Each of these services work by matching travellers with hosts in a particular area because some hosts seek out interesting people. As a touring musician, you're already interesting. You have stories to tell and music to share. Because of this, these services are a perfect fit for musicians.

Try exploring the following:

  • Couchsurfing matches travelers with locals, many of whom are verified by the site and community. Each year they support 400,000 hosts and 4 million visits.
  • Global Freeloaders is a site run by an avid traveler who helps match travelers with locals. The only caveat is if you use the service to stay somewhere, you must also host within 6 months.
  • Hospitality Club is one of the oldest and largest online hospitality exchanges. It's free to sign up and there are no obligations such as having to host anyone at your home.
  • BeWelcome was started by a group of volunteers from Hospitality Club. It's free to sign up, there's no obligations to host.

Of course, when you stay in people's homes safety comes to mind so to assist both sides in the matching service, build trust, and promote safety, all these sites require age limits (you must be over 18 for many of the services) as well as detailed profiles to be filled out. Travellers and hosts then review each others’ profiles so they can get an idea about who they are, what they're like, and what they do. Most of the services allow references or ratings (much like ride-sharing services do like Uber and Lyft) and a way to report abuse.

Matching is as simple as researching the hosts in a particular area and messaging them through the service as to their availability. If you plan out the trip ahead of time, you can invite your hosts to your shows and put them on the guest list to give them something in return.

Of course, these are not the only free options. In fact, what if you could find places to stay for free and get paid to do it?

Tune in next week and learn how...


#accomodations #free #resources #playinglive #touring #services

Photo credit: DieselDemon