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So, your band just booked their first tour. After years of hard work and persistence toward your passion, it is finally starting to pay off, and you are set on the path toward your dream. 

However, before hitting the road, you must prepare yourself. Going on tour is about connecting with your fans, playing good music, and defining your band’s brand. Your merchandise and stage setup can contribute to that, and the backdrop is integral to creating the ideal aesthetic for your performance. Thus, this article highlights 4 tips for picking a backdrop for your band’s tour.

Defining Your Brand

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of our favorite alternative rock band, Paramore’s style? Perhaps it’s their bold, punk style. Did you know they established that during their first headlining tour in 2006? 

Things such as the clothes you wear, how you style your hair, and even your choice of instruments will go a long way in establishing your brand. However, As mentioned above, your backdrop is vital to defining your band’s aesthetics and image.

Picking the Right Backdrop

While the audience may love your music, they may also remember the stage and the entire spectacle of your show. Hence, the backdrop you use will become a part of your band’s identity. To ensure you get the right message across, you must pick the perfect fit from various band backdrops. So, follow these tips to find one that suits your band and tour.

  1. Use an Original Design

Since the backdrop for your tour should reflect your band’s aesthetics, we’ll start with the backdrop design. Talk to your band members to determine what design language is ideal for your band. Consider the color choices, text fonts, logo design, and other elements contributing to your band aesthetic. You can also add your newest album’s art to the backdrop. 

Once you’ve decided on what you want for the theme of the design, it’s time to bring your ideas into reality. If you think you’re up to the challenge, you can try designing the artwork yourself. However, we recommend hiring a freelance graphic designer to give it a more finessed touch. 

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to check out the theme of the venues you will be performing at before finalizing a design because if your backdrop doesn’t pop against the stage, it will hardly have an impact. Choose bold and bright colors to be safe and ensure your backdrop can draw attention.

  1. Pick the Correct Size

The next thing you must consider is the size of the backdrop. Backdrops are available in a range of sizes from 5’ x 3’ to 30’ x 20’! You need to consider a few things before deciding the best dimensions of your backdrop. These include:

  1. The size of the venues you will be performing at;
  2. The placement of the backdrop on the stage at each venue; 
  3. Whether the venue is indoors or outdoors.

The size of a backdrop is essential as you must choose a size that works as a background for you and your band to play against and fits and suits each stage. If you choose a size that is too small, the backdrop can get lost on the stage. Similarly, if you choose a size that is too large, the backdrop can take over the stage and look messy. Therefore, do your homework and choose the perfect dimensions for your backdrop.

Pro Tip: If you’re going on tour, you’re likely to be playing at considerably large venues, so at the very least, opt for a backdrop that’s at least 12’ by 12’ or larger.

  1. Choose the Right Material

It may come as a surprise, but the material is a critical factor when picking a backdrop. Several materials are used for backdrops, the most popular of which are vinyl and polyester. Each has specific qualities which work for different types of backdrops. To choose the right fabric, consider this short guide:

MaterialProsConsUse for
Solid VinylBest Image ResultsDurableHard to transport due to weightSmall backdrops (< 7’ x 3’)
Vinyl MeshLightweightAffordableReflective – not suited for flash photographyLarge backdrops (> 7’ x 3’)
Dyed ClothMachine-washableCompactNeed more support due to being very lightweightAll sizes – must be used on stages where the backdrop can be secured properly

Using the above table, you can choose a backdrop that will meet your requirements and give you the best results!

Pro Tip: Our top pick for bands on tour is a dyed cloth backdrop, preferably polyester. Despite the extra support the material requires, it is firstly very easy to transport and can easily be cleaned with a simple tumble in the washing machine. This may not seem important to you now, but trust us, your backdrop will get dirty on tour.

  1. Keep Your Budget in Mind

The excitement of your first tour can make concerns like money matters seem irrelevant. However, you must remain level-headed and make reasonable and practical decisions. A tour is expensive, and managing your budget can be increasingly challenging if you’re a new band that hasn’t earned much money from your music career. 

Also, your wardrobe, your styling, travel costs, and even paying the designer for your backdrop will put a dent in your wallet, so you must think about the cost when making your backdrop. Varying materials and designs have different costs, so keep this in mind as well. Further, larger backdrops of the same material are more expensive than smaller ones, ranging from a little over $100 to well in the range of thousands.

Pro Tip: Many companies allow you to pay for your backdrop through interest-free installment plans. That means you can opt for that expensive backdrop and slowly pay the price in easy monthly installments. Consider this option if you believe your band will benefit from the expensive backdrop.

Final Thoughts

Going on tour is a dream of most musicians as you finally get to travel and share your music centerstage with your fans. However, you must plan your tour well to ensure everything goes smoothly. With the right backdrop supporting you on stage as you and your band create fantastic music, you can make a lasting impression on your audiences.