Sponsors Hop Aboard The BritBus For U.S. Tour
Starting next summer, the road show will perform 20 concerts in 10 markets and universities. Marketing includes outdoor media exposure, local events across key tour cities, and on-site promotions at universities.
Virgin Atlantic, which pays for air transport for the tour, will run a program with BritBus through UK-based Enemy Radio, which broadcasts onto Virgin Atlantic flights. That program will integrate the music of BritBus bands within Virgin's flight entertainment system, and give BritBus opportunities for bands to perform at frequent-flyer events, according to James Craven, managing director of All Terrain Music. BritBus sponsors also have included Bass Ale, Land Rover, and MySpace. Gibson Guitars provides all equipment and does promotional events at concert venues.
Craven says the bands for the tours are chosen not by popular demand but through a vetting process by university music-business students. In the U.S., BritBus has such an arrangement with New York University, wherein students select the touring bands from among the thousands of applicants who enter on the BritBus site, www.TheBritBusTour.com. Choices are based on a record-label vetting process.
"In 2010, we will expand to universities in each market, so there will be 10 universities involved," says Craven. He said 2,500 UK bands applied for the U.S. tour. The company does similar programs with universities in China, Australia and, soon, India. As part of their course work, students are graded on the quality of their vetting analysis. "We get the top ten lists from all students, and that boils down to the short list," he says.
The U.S. bands vying to join the UK tour will perform at gigs alongside the British bands in markets like Seattle, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Washington D.C., Boston and New York, per Craven.
At the end of the tour, one act will be chosen by a judging panel to fly back to the UK for a series of gigs that include a summer festival in Loch Ness that brings some 90,000 attendees, per Craven.