This band made $136,000 on a 28-day tour and still lost money

November 25, 2014 by Matt Crane

This band made $136,000 on a 28-day tour and still lost money

In an interesting display of transparency, indie musical duo Pomplamoose wrote a detailed article, describing what it took financially to go on a 28-day tour.

To sum it up, the band made $135,983 in revenue and incurred $147,802 in expenses. So they lost $11,819. Ouch.

“Being in an indie band is running a never-ending, rewarding, scary, low-margin small business,” writes Jack Conte, one half of Pomplamoose. "In order to plan and execute our Fall tour, we had to prepare for months, slowly gathering risk and debt before selling a single ticket. We had to rent lights. And book hotel rooms. And rent a van. And assemble a crew. And buy road cases for our instruments. And rent a trailer. And….”

Perhaps the most interesting part of Conte’s piece is where he gives a detailed breakdown of the band’s expenses. For instance, they spent $16,463 on commissions, $17,589 on hotels and food and $26,450 on “production expenses: equipment rental, lights, lighting board, van rental, trailer rental, road cases, backline.”

He also dissects their tour income, which was mostly from ticket sales (72 percent) and merch (22 percent). The remainder came from a sponsorship by Lenovo.

“But this isn’t a sob story,” Conte writes. “We knew it would be an expensive endeavor, and we still chose to make the investment. We could have played a duo show instead of hiring six people to tour with us. That would have saved us over $50,000, but it was important at this stage in Pomplamoose’s career to put on a wild and crazy rock show. We wanted to be invited back to every venue, and we wanted our fans to bring their friends next time. The loss was an investment in future tours.”

Read the full article on Medium, and let us know your thoughts.

Photo via the Pomplamoose Facebook page

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