You Are On Tour – What Is Promo?

Small-stage Promotional activity (‘promo’) includes anything non-show related such as interviews, live acoustic sessions or meet and greets. These activities are often arranged (by the artist management or record company) to take place at the venue on a show day as it is easier for all the journalists and film crews to be in the same place, at the same time, as the band or artist. However, some promo will also often arranged to take place at a separate venue, such as a local radio station.

Now, any promo organized for the band has to be a good thing as it is spreading the word regarding the band beyond the concert. However, promo can get in the way of preparations for your show. Getting to and from other venues or just having to be at the venue two hours earlier in order to fulfil interview requests implicates everyone in the touring party. Talking for four hours can cause immense strain to a singer’s voice, for instance.

In my experience, promo should be therefore be limited to no more than three activities per day, each one for a maximum of 20 minutes. Any activity that involves performing (acoustic radio sessions for instance) should be concluded at least one hour before allotted sound check time and, ideally, never after sound check. This is because the guitars and pedal boards that are needed for the promo may also need to be set-up and sound checked for the show. You can’t sound check a guitar if it is in a radio station located 5 miles away.