The World Tour In A Day events were designed to both showcase the incredible means of performing in virtual worlds, as well as a platform to promote green touring. Like the first four, this tour took place in the virtual world of Second Life, and people could also tune in on Facebook, the band’s website, plus on WorldTourInADay.com. After five times, the band was still as excited as ever to be on the journey. The tour begins two or three months earlier with the booking of the venues. This is handled by Jenna Dirval of Dirval Music Associates in Second Life. We look for SIMs that host venues owned by someone in the targeted country along with a majority of the venue’s patrons speaking the native language. This year found the band in Australia, France, South Africa, Ireland, and the U.S.A.
The night before the tour began was hectic, as usual. We were setting up the band equipment on the Woodcrest Auditorium stage, plus setting up cameras, tweaking lights, and connecting the video feed to the internet stream equipment. Plus, we chose images and videos to display on upstage screens, we located flags of the perspective countries to feature during the broadcasts, and we worked on last minute guitar sounds and other instrument tweaks. We never seem to get enough sleep!
Australia was at 8am for us in the Central US time zone. It’s always a bit weird for me to be drinking coffee while playing drums. Troy was taking care of his voice with lots of water. It lasted until about three songs into the fifth gig….and 12+ servings of water, ha! All in all, his voice was amazingly strong for singing so much. After the gig in Oz, we still had some Second Life venues to set up, which went pretty good. Then Troy and I were able to catch a bit of sleep. AJ went to work for a few hours….pretty standard for her on World Tour days.
We took the virtual jet to France for the second gig and tried our hardest to say a couple French phrases. I hope the French are filled with some grace because we struggled. The next couple gigs were pretty much back to back. South Africa, the bands first time there, and then Ireland which had almost 100 people in attendance. After rocking in the home country of one of our biggest inspirations U2, the band took our customary dinner break at Taco Bell before hitting the final stop in the U.S.A.
I was pretty tweaked after the tear down and clean up, so got to bed pretty late even though I was exhausted. I slept quite a bit and woke up extremely sore to find an email from Dirval Music executive Doran who crunched the names from all the show attendees so I’d have them prepped for the prize party that evening. Doran is also the designer and builder of our virtual stages. He and Jenna are partners with me in Dirval Music Associates who book and manage The Follow’s virtual escapades. It’s not an easy job for them!
We had a wonderful prize party that I’m hoping someone took some photos of because I forgot. We gave away prizes to a winner from each show, plus others that attended the tour in three or more countries got special gifts. All tour ticket holders were eligible to win an acoustic performance from Troy, plus one prize party attender won a chance to pick a set list and see some of the behind-the-scenes stuff at an upcoming gig.
Thanks to everyone who came to the shows, thanks to Patti, Scott, and JP for running the video tech during the concerts, and thanks to Woodcrest for providing an amazing space for us to broadcast to the world! The DMA crew including Jenna, Doran, Thea, Skye, Kate, and the rest of the gang never cease to amaze! The next gig is Tuesday in France for a special Halloween event. Check the GIGS page for details.