you're an unknown with no label, no nothing, you
can't really expect to get the guarantee that you get
in your hometown or other markets where you already
do well. Beggars can't be choosers. You'll probably
have to settle for a percentage of the door receipts.
Try to get at least enough of a guarantee to cover
petrol. Also try to get a free meal, water on stage,
and some juice. And remember that it takes the
promoter time and money to put on shows, especially
for really small touring bands. So be appreciative of
whatever it is they're willing to do for you.
Keep track of all your confirmed dates. The best
thing to do is put a tour folder together with your
show dates, info about each venue (address and phone
numbers), info about each promoter (address and phone
numbers), the type of show (punk, club, warehouse,
21+, etc.), the terms you agreed on (percentage deal,
guarantee, etc.), important times (load in, check in,
doors, show, stage) and any extra info (deals on
food, water, whatever).
Send a simple agreement sheet to each promoter that
details all of this info, and thank them for setting
up your show. Be sure to get directions to the venues
before you leave. It's a pain to have to track down
people when you're on the road.
Whether or not you get a formal contract depends on
who you're dealing with and what you feel comfortable
with. I don't suggest a full blown contract for
really small touring bands. Perhaps an agreement
sheet detailing show information -- date, venue,
promoter, type of show, terms, times, and a few
reasonable requests like meals, water. If it's a
collective, warehouse, punk show, people generally
take offence to contracts, and prefer to deal on
word. If it's a promoter or a club, a contract or
agreement sheet would be appropriate.
Reconfirm your shows before you leave. You need to
make sure everything's in order before you go on your