While the financial and practical difficulties surrounding touring (particularly for those bands just starting out) have long been established, less often considered are the legal complexities involved with taking your band out on the road.
In this recent piece on MusicThinkTank, Robert Lanterman sets down the guitar and picks up the gavel to take us through the legal considerations involved with taking a band on tour.
“Different states have different laws. And police officers love to go after out-of-state visitors, so tread carefully. Educate yourself on traffic and vehicle laws, as well as alcohol and drug laws. For instance, marijuana isn’t legal in all 50 states right now, and if you’re caught smoking it in the wrong place, you can be fined heavily or sent to jail.
Similarly, if you’re playing house shows and other DIY spaces, you may find yourself dealing with sound ordinance laws and curfews. Be aware of such things, as, again: If you’re out of state, you’re kind of a cop magnet (especially with a sketchy van). Also, be aware of the danger in the places you’re playing. Some places attract instrument and gear thiefs more than others, and as far as the law goes, they don’t really do much for touring musicians very often.”