🎤 The challenges of touring for indie artists

The Daily Reader

For the newest Reader cover story, I spoke with more than a dozen Chicago indie musicians about the challenges of touring.

I’d been thinking about those challenges—high gas prices, expensive van rentals, unpredictable ticket sales, health and safety concerns—long before I started interviewing musicians for the story. And I’ve been thinking more about those issues as countless bands hit the road to Austin for the music portion of SXSW, which kicked off Monday. 

And, closer to home, I’m thinking about it as this city’s phalanx of summer festivals begin to announce their lineups; Lollapalooza, one of three corporate events blocking accessibility to Grant Park for 84 days this summer, will announce its slate of acts Tuesday. I’m no fan of Lolla, a festival that’s tailored to highlight bands like Måneskin (if they’re not on this year’s lineup, I’ve just got more questions about Lolla’s identity) and whoever Perry Farrell is jamming with right now. I also know a festival of the size and magnitude of Lolla can offer emerging bands a rare guarantee they can build a tour around, which generally makes me more anxious about the power Lolla’s organizers have. 

I suspect I’ll have more thoughts on this in future newsletters. Meanwhile, if you haven’t read my touring story and have time to read several thousand words about the challenges musicians face on the road now, dive in. 


 Hotline Miami and the Rise of Techno in Ultra-Violent Video Games,” by Nina Corcoran (Pitchfork)
 Return of the Swag: Getting silly with Soundcloud’s up-and-comers,” by Jude Noel (No Bells)
The Dark Are a Lost Light From Cleveland’s Punk Scene,” by Tony Rettman (Bandcamp Daily)

 Lonnie Holley, Oh Me Oh My
 B.R.O.K.E., See You In Hell 
 Phiik / Lungs, Another Planet 4

🌤 Leor’s “spring forward” playlist

Gossip Wolf: Chicago Afro-soul singer Nola Adé releases her long-awaited second EP, Royal
Plus: Local noise artist Helena Ford drops a bounty of new music, and rapper Philmore Greene teams up with Detroit producer Apollo Brown to celebrate their collaborative record, Cost of Living.
by J.R. Nelson and Leor Galil
 | Read more 

Kora master Sona Jobarteh channels traditional Gambian music through a modern mindset
by Monica Kendrick | Read more

Ibeyi continue their search for magic on Spell 31
by Tasha Viets-VanLearRead more

Stockholm trad-metal fiends Century give Chicago a taste of their upcoming The Conquest of Time
by Jamie Ludwig Read more

Issue of
Mar. 9,– Mar. 22 2023
Vol. 52, No. 11

View/Download Issue [PDF]

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