A version of this article originally appeared on the DIY Musician.
One of the biggest questions I get asked from fellow artists is about playing Europe. I have been traveling in mainly western Europe and doing music tours there once or twice a year since 2007 (12 tours altogether, anywhere from two to six weeks long).
It's such a big topic (and I'm still learning), and because it's one that's going to be a bit different for everyone that gets to experience it anyway, I seldom know where to start. If we were real-life friends, you'd buy me a few drinks, and I'd tell you everything I can think of. But if we're virtual friends swapping advice back and forth (which I am always open to), it's too big of a subject and too long of an email. I never know where to start with folks.
But we have to start somewhere, so let me begin by saying that much of my specific advice about clubs and promoters would be limited to my genre of music: Americana and roots music. If you're a hip-hop, pop, hardcore, or soul artist – or any other of the thousands of subgenres of music – we aren't going to be using the same agents or promoters. Oftentimes, even the venues, towns, and countries can differ according to genre, too. There are, however, a few universal suggestions.