When you picture what it’s like for your favorite musician to head out on tour, you probably picture:
A massive, plush bus with couches, televisions, fridges filled with snacks galore, a full bar and comfy beds. You probably think that this is the most glamour way to travel. Never have to stop, can eat, drink and sleep on the bus and get to your next destination from the comfort of your ride.
This might be the case for some high-rollin’, well established acts, but it was most certainly NOT the case for the Antennas Direct bus tour.
When I was asked to go on the road with Antennas Direct for their 2016 TV Liberation Bus Tour, I was pretty pumped. I knew it would be a lot of work with some early call times, but was excited for the opportunity to travel and see the bus tour from the ground. Here are some of my expectations of the bus tour vs. the reality of being on the road.
EXPECTATIONS: You can sleep while traveling to the next city
REALITY: This might be true for some folks, but not for us. We would get up each morning between 3:00am and 4:00am to either head to a news station for interviews or to set up that cities giveaway. The giveaways were at 6:00am and we would normally be finished, packed up and headed out of town by 9:00am at the latest. At this point, we were all exhausted, but exhilarated from the successful, but hectic, event. As much as we would have LOVED to take a nap, we had work to get done while we had a few moments to breathe. Dan Duffy was on the road with us filming each giveaway, and the moment he got on the bus, he was uploading footage, sorting through interviews and editing the video to have it completed same day. I was writing a recap blog of the giveaway, posting pictures from the event on social media and coordinating the giveaway and interviews with the next city. Good ol’ Cowboy (our bus driver extraordinaire) was focused on driving us to the next city. By the time we finished everything, we were arriving in town, grabbed a quick bite of dinner and headed to bed (between 10 :00pm and 1:00am). Next morning, we wake up at 3:00am and start all over again.
EXPECTATIONS: Riding on a tour bus is the most luxurious way to travel.
REALITY: I mean, it is pretty dang comfy and I prefer it to sitting in a cramped car or plane, but it’s far from luxurious or a breeze. Yes, it’s nice having a bathroom… in theory. But the smell? Yeah, you would rather have a full, uncomfortable bladder. The fridge was broken, so we had a cooler filled with drinks, which became Dan’s editing chair. He will de-friend me for telling you this, but yes, there is a butt shaped dent on the lid of the cooler. The shower was also filled with boxes and papers to keep them out of the way and semi-organized. Who knew that a shower could work so well for storage? Doesn’t this all sound glamorous?
EXPECTATIONS: Party On, Garth. Party on, Wayne.
REALITY: Yeah… not so much. My idea of a party was the luxury of getting to the hotel and crawling into bed by midnight. The closest we got to partying, or Wayne’s World for that matter, was taking the train through Delaware.
Even though we weren’t rollin’ around on a party bus, I had a great time on the TV Liberation Bus Tour and would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you to Antennas Direct for the opportunity to go out on the road and travel around the United States giving away free TV antennas. What was my highlight of the trip? The people coming up to us and thanking us, wholeheartedly, for the antennas, and telling us how much it means to them to have access to broadcast television. Months later, we still receive emails and phone calls from people asking about the bus tour and thanking us for the antenna and telling us how much money they’re saving per month by cutting the cord on cable. It makes the lack of sleep and exhaustion 100% worth it.