By Margaret Welsh
Pittsburgh Current Music Editor
Pittsburgh music is a great thing to be a part of, full it is of supportive people (see our story on the Lopez for more proof of that) and inspiring artists. But a conversation with rapper Mars Jackson earlier this year got us thinking about the sometimes insular nature of the local scene: as Jackson put it, “there’s nothing in the city of Pittsburgh that’s actually helping artists in the area of touring.”
So with the Current’s first-ever Music Issue, we’re hoping to encourage our city’s talented musicians to expand their reach. We called on some Pittsburghers who have spent time on the road to share their expertise. Within these pages, you’ll find a step-by step guide to putting together your own DIY tour, insider info on how to endear yourself to the front-of-house and thus sound your best at any club, and tried-and-true hints on how to stay healthy on the road.
We’ve also included an index of local venues to share with the friends you make in other cities, because the impact of hitting the road boomerangs back: Increased touring means more connections, more out-of-town bands adding Pittsburgh to their own itineraries, and ultimately a stronger, more exciting local scene. “When [Pittsburgh artists] tour, they’re repping Pittsburgh,” says Spirit General Manager Justin Strong, who talked to us about how audiences can support artists in a more material way. “They’re sowing the seeds of opportunity in these other places.”
Touring always involves a lot of trial and error, but we’re hoping this starter guide gets some wheels turning, literally and figuratively.
Check out the rest of our guide: