So summer is here in full force, and with summer comes Warped Tour, which kicked off this weekend in Ventura, California. Apparently it has been a bit of a wild ride for some of the artists so far. Dying Scene reported that Sum 41 had a scary trip back from the show after discovering that their bus driver apparently was drunk. In a series of tweets, the band described the experience:
The band has obviously fired the driver, glad no one was hurt in the incident. This incident not only illustrates how dangerous drinking and driving is, but also how important it is to make sure whoever is driving you and your gear around is safe to do so. This includes not only being sober, but also rested. If you’re hiring someone to drive a tour bus, make sure they are properly licensed, and a background check might not be a bad idea. This goes for whether you have a driver or not. If you have a tour manager, he or she is responsible for making sure your transportation on the road goes smoothly, and should be held accountable for those duties. Of course, flights get delayed, vehicles get stuck in traffic, sometimes there’s nothing anyone can do. But it’s a good idea to discuss with a tour manager what your expectations are of him or her for the tour, and then put it in writing so everyone is clear from the start. This will help matters if problems do occur down the road, pardon the pun. And they can happen, like when King Khan and BBQ were arrested in Kentucky on drug charges, and their tour manager was charged with driving with a suspended license in addition to possession. The arrest not only resulted in cancelled shows, but reportedly also put their work visas in jeopardy. So be careful out there.
In other Warped news, it was tweeted today that the Bouncing Souls would not be playing today’s date in New Mexico as their trailer may have been stolen:
Old Shoe Records was advising via Twitter for people in Phoenix to look out for Bouncing Souls merchandise to hopefully catch the culprit:
I think it’s getting scary out there for touring bands. As I previously posted, Protagonist recently had their gear stolen, and Alternative Press has reported on the seeming rash of thefts of gear and trailers from bands. I discussed in a previous post some tips for keeping your gear safe on the road, but it seems to be getting harder to outsmart the crooks. Above all, keep records of your gear with the make, model, serial numbers, and any identifying features. Take pictures of it, as well as your vehicle. Get insurance for both, and understand what is and is not covered in your policy. Keep a copy of your policy with you, as well as the number of your agent or company. Make sure to always lock the vehicle/trailer. Unfortunately, it seems lately that even if you do everything you can think of, it still won’t stop a determined thief with tools to cut through chains or locks. If something does happen to your gear, get a police report, and if you have insurance call the company to start the claims process. This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list, and I’d like to hear from bands, venues, etc that have dealt with theft and may have tips. Look for more on this topic in the future, as well as an update from Protagonist. Check out their videos from their recording session with Stephen Egerton over at Punknews.