If you’ve ever planned a tour, you know how time-consuming it can be. You’ll spend time looking at venues, creating lists, and checking to see who plays there. Even before you start emailing or calling people, you need to do your homework. But what if you could accomplish all this in a matter of minutes?
I have been experimenting with ChatGPT, creating fictitious tour itineraries. I tested various scenarios and things a band might want while they set up an itinerary, seeing how well AI handles the requests. In all honesty, the results have been quite impressive… mind-blowing when you consider how quickly the information is gathered and how much data is being processed.
An Example Tour Itinerary by ChatGPT
To give you an idea of what planning a tour using ChatGPT might look like, here’s a screen capture.
This is what I requested of ChatGPT:
I am in a dream pop band. We are based in Bloomington, Indiana. We have 3 members. We have a $3000 budget. We want to plan a 10-day tour, playing mostly in college towns. Could you help us plan our itinerary? And could you give us 3 venue suggestions for each city? Could you give us the estimated distance between cities? We would like to travel south, then toward the east coast before heading north. We would like to limit our travel between cities to 300 miles if possible. If there are any college radio stations or community radio stations in a city on the itinerary, could you provide the name of the station? Also, provide the estimated size of each city metropolis. Thank you!
This was the response:
Certainly! Here’s a possible itinerary for your 10-day tour:
Day 1: Bloomington, IN
- Venue suggestions: The Bishop, The Bluebird, The Blockhouse
- Estimated distance to next city: 160 miles
- College radio station: WFHB 91.3 FM
- Metropolis size: 117,000
Day 2: Louisville, KY
- Venue suggestions: Zanzabar, Headliners Music Hall, Mercury Ballroom
- Estimated distance to next city: 150 miles
- College radio station: WCHQ 100.9 FM
- Metropolis size: 620,000
Day 3: Nashville, TN
- Venue suggestions: The Basement East, Mercy Lounge, The High Watt
- Estimated distance to next city: 220 miles
- College radio station: WRVU 91.1 FM
- Metropolis size: 2 million
Day 4: Birmingham, AL
- Venue suggestions: Saturn, Zydeco, Iron City
- Estimated distance to next city: 150 miles
- College radio station: WBHM 90.3 FM
- Metropolis size: 1.1 million
Day 5: Atlanta, GA
- Venue suggestions: The Masquerade, Terminal West, Aisle 5
- Estimated distance to next city: 250 miles
- College radio station: Album 88 (WRAS) 88.5 FM
- Metropolis size: 6 million
Day 6: Athens, GA
- Venue suggestions: 40 Watt Club, Georgia Theatre, Caledonia Lounge
- Estimated distance to next city: 90 miles
- College radio station: WUOG 90.5 FM
- Metropolis size: 200,000
Day 7: Greenville, SC
- Venue suggestions: The Radio Room, The Spinning Jenny, The Firmament
- Estimated distance to next city: 130 miles
- College radio station: WSBF 88.1 FM
- Metropolis size: 950,000
Day 8: Asheville, NC
- Venue suggestions: The Orange Peel, Grey Eagle, The Mothlight
- Estimated distance to next city: 140 miles
- College radio station: WCQS 88.1 FM
- Metropolis size: 450,000
Day 9: Richmond, VA
- Venue suggestions: The Broadberry, The National, Strange Matter
- Estimated distance to next city: 140 miles
- College radio station: WDCE 90.1 FM
- Metropolis size: 1.3 million
Day 10: Washington, DC
- Venue suggestions: Black Cat, DC9, 9:30 Club
- College radio station: WGTB 92.3 FM
- Metropolis size: 6.2 million
Note: The estimated distances between cities are based on the most direct route and may vary depending on your actual travel route. Also, the venue suggestions are just a starting point, and you should research and reach out to other potential venues in each city to see if they would be interested in hosting your band. Good luck on your tour!
Making your main request
- Figure out the information you want ChatGPT to consider when creating your itinerary.
- Describe in specific detail what you want (Set the parameters.).
- Write all of this in the opening New Chat request.
- Be sure to include, “Could you create a tour itinerary?”
- If you don’t get what you want, regenerate the response, or edit the initial request.
Requesting Additional Information
- Ask for additional lists
- additional number of venues
- college radio stations
- food options.
- Ask for venue phone numbers.
- Ask for marketing suggestions.
- Ask for tips on how to plan your tour.
Here are a few suggested formulas I found to be effective. Just plug your information in and test this out! All of these formulas will give you three venue suggestions, but you can increase or decrease the request.
Basic Tour Itinerary
I am in a [genre] band. We are based in [home city]. We have [number] members. We have a [budget size] budget. We want to plan a [number] day tour. Could you help us plan our itinerary? And could you give us 3 venue suggestions for each city?
College Town Tour with College Radio Stations Information
I am in a [genre] band. We are based in [home city]. We have [number] members. We have a [budget size] budget. We want to plan a [number] day tour. Could you help us plan our itinerary? And could you give us 3 venue suggestions for each city? Could you give us the estimated distance between cities traveling by highways? We would like to travel [describe where you want to tour]. We would like to limit our travel between cities to [number] miles if possible.
Tour Itinerary with Radio Station Information
I am in a [genre] band. We are based in [home city]. We have [number] members. We have a [budget size] budget. We want to plan a [number] day tour. Could you help us plan our itinerary? And could you give us 3 venue suggestions for each city? Could you give us the estimated distance between cities traveling by highways? We would like to travel [describe where you want to tour]. We would like to limit our travel between cities to [number] miles if possible. If there are any college radio stations or community radio stations in a city on the itinerary, could you provide the name of the station?
Tour Itinerary with Venue Details
I am in a [genre] band. We are based in [home city]. We have [number] members. We have a [budget size] budget. We want to plan a [number] day tour. Could you help us plan our itinerary? And could you give us 3 venue suggestions for each city? Could you provide details on each venue? Could you give us the estimated distance between cities traveling by highways? We would like to travel [describe where you want to tour]. We would like to limit our travel between cities to [number] miles if possible.
Two Basic Tour Itineraries
I am in a [genre] band. We are based in [home city]. We have [number] members. We have a [budget size] budget. We want to plan a [number] day tour. Could you help us plan our itinerary? And could you give us 3 venue suggestions for each city? Give us an additional itinerary for us to consider.
Things to Consider
ChatGPT Has Limitations
ChatGPT is an AI language model by OpenAI. It’s essentially a massive experiment. The team at OpenAI improving it, but we’re still in the early stages of this massive tool. As amazing as it is, it does have limitations.
ChatGPT has a limit of 2048 characters for each response. I’ve found this to be roughly 650 words. You can ask as many questions as you want (up to 60 per minute), but each response has a limit. So keep this in mind while you ask it to provide a tour itinerary.
Currently, ChatGPT is an experiment. September 2021 is the cutoff date of its knowledge. In other words, anything that has happened since then isn’t in its mind. So when it suggests venues or other specific suggestions, always check to make they’re still in existence.
AI has this thing where it can hallucinate answers when it doesn’t know the answer. Typically, ChatGPT will tell you when it can’t help you, but there are times when it simply makes things up! OpenAI is working on improving this, but do keep this in mind.
An example of hallucinations that I found was when I asked ChatGPT to provide an estimated city metropolis size. It must not know the city metro sizes because it provided different numbers every time, instead of telling that it didn’t know.
Be Specific With Requested Parameters
The less detail you provide ChatGPT, the more generalized the response will be. It will give you pointers on factors to consider, like selecting a city, determining logistics, having a budget, how to book your shows, safety, and communication. All of that is nice information, but you want something more concrete… you want a plan. To get what you want, you have to be specific.
When I first asked ChatGPT if it could help me plan a tour, it responded by asking questions. And as I experimented more, I found that the details it wanted to know are critical for ChatGPT to adequately plan your next tour. The following are details you’ll want to provide.
Introduce yourself as “I’m in a band called Wooly Socks.” (Sorry, these fake band names are so bad.) Doing so will personalize its responses and make your tour itinerary more personal and detailed. This comes into play if you’re touring with another band.
If you’re meeting another band at a show in Philadelphia, for example, who will then tour with you for several dates, you may want to specify this.
Here’s a fictitious request I made (band names are fictitious), which I got a great response:
I’m in a dream pop band called Wooly Socks. We’re planning a tour with another band called Jetsons. My band is located in Raleigh, North Carolina. We would like to tour for 3 days. Our 3rd day needs to be in Philadelphia (we’ll play a show with Jetsons in Philadelphia). After this, we want to tour for 5 days with Jetsons in the North East. We don’t want to take any days off for rest. Could you help us plan our tour?
This also shows that you can present a complex request where you need to route your tour to locations, integrate other bands into your plan. I’ll warn you that it takes a lot of tweaking to get the request right.
ChatGPT is capable of suggesting venues where other bands of your genre(s) have performed. So when you introduce your band with a genre, “I’m in a shoegaze band….” AI will potentially keep this in mind when it provides venue possibilities.
You can ask it to find venues where other bands of your genre have performed. For example, you can ask, “Suggest 3 venues in each of these cities where shoegaze bands have performed.” ChatGPT not only made venue suggestions but also listed several bands of the genre who have performed there and it was accurate. (Note that it won’t be aware of any performances in these venues since September 2021.)
Budget for the Tour
When I first began this experiment, ChatGPT wanted to know what my budget was. I intentionally gave it a small budget, and it provided smaller venues as a result. It also made suggestions about staying at Hostels, AirBnB, or with friends. So providing it with budget information may be helpful to hone in on a great tour itinerary.
Tour Dates or Number of Days
You’ll want to tell it how many days you want to be on the road. When you do, it will provide a more specific response and break the itinerary into days. Providing dates, such as April 2 to April 20 will make the plan even more specific.
Keep in mind that you can also specify that you need to be in a certain city or location on a day or date of the tour. “We need to perform in San Diego on April 11 with Jetsons.” Or “We need to perform in San Diego on day 10 with Jetsons.”
If you’re planning a short weekend tour, you still may want to specify the number of days. “We want to plan a 3-day weekend tour…” ChatGPT kept stretching the weekend beyond three days if I didn’t say this.
Note that the longer your tour is, the greater chances the ChatGPT response will hit the 2048 character limit.
If you’re planning a long tour, you may want to have time off to rest and relax. You’ll get a better response if you tell it how many days off you want during the tour. If you don’t, it might route you through Yellowstone for three days… when you wanted just one day off in Portland.
If you don’t want to take time off while on the road, be sure to say so. In general, once you ask for a tour that goes beyond a few days, ChatGPT will give you plenty of days off. But for many bands, taking time off translates into eating their revenue.
One thing about taking days off is ChatGPT will add these days on top of the days on the road. If you ask for a tour that stretches ten days, days off will be added as additional days. In other words, your ten days will be eleven or twelve days.
Where You’re Based
You may want to tell ChatGPT where home is for you and/or the band. If you do, it will assume you’re starting the tour from that location. “We are based in Bloomington, Indiana.”
I also found that when you’re requesting an itinerary for a month-long tour, ChatGPT routed the tour so that my imaginary band had a day off close to our home. (I live in Bloomington, Indiana, and it planned for a day off in Indianapolis, which is 45 minutes away, suggesting that we stay with friends.)
Starting Location and Ending Location
If your tour isn’t starting or ending in your hometown, or if you don’t want it to calculate the driving time to/from home, let it know where you want to start and where you want to end. “We want to start the tour in Phoenix and end it in Spokane.” This is very helpful if you’re performing at a festival and want to tour as you travel home.
Where You Want to Tour
You can ask it to tour a region, such as the East Coast, and it will suggest cities in that region. If you provide a starting location (or your home town), you can request things like, “We want to head South, then West before heading North.” Or, “We want to start in Los Angeles and head North along the coast.”
Types of Cities
ChatGPT will assume you want to tour larger cities. This might not be ideal for you and your band, given your situation (traveling distances, budget restraints, time).
But maybe you want to focus primarily on college towns? I added this detail and it knew what I was asking. “We want to perform mostly in college towns.”
Or you could ask it to find venues in cities with populations less than 250,000.
Driving Distance Preferences
When you’re on the road, driving long distances can be exhausting. So while you’re planning, you might limit the hours or miles between each venue. I found it effective if you state something like, “We would like to limit our travel between cities to 300 miles if possible.”
Distance Between Cities
Almost by default, ChatGPT will provide travel distances between cities. I’ve found that these distances don’t match with Google Maps. I am not sure if ChatGPT measures distances between coordinates (longitude/latitude), or if it finds the shortest route. It is usually within 50 miles. I added “Travel by highway.”
First, you may ask it to provide more than one venue in each city. I found that asking for three provided the most ideal response without using up the character response limit. ChatGPT can comfortably provide up to 30 venue suggestions in large cities (unless you ask it for highly specific venue types). When I asked for more than 30 venue suggestions, it simply told me it wasn’t possible. Three to five seemed to perform the best.
I found that you can get very specific on the types of venues you want suggestions for. ChatGPT will automatically consider this if you tell it what your genre is and your budget. Also, if you tell it that your band is new, it will keep that in mind as well when it suggests venues.
You can ask it to find venues where other bands of your genre have performed. “Please suggest 3 venues in each of these cities where dream pop bands perform.” Sometimes it would even tell me what bands of those genres have performed in each venue (before September 2021).
Here’s a list of additional venue types that I successfully tested:
- Coffee Shops
- LGBTQ inclusive
- Genre specific
You can ask it to provide details of each venue. If you do, you might ask for specific details. Otherwise, the details will simply tell you what type of venue it is, or if there’s something it’s known for. Here are the suggested details:
- Phone Numbers
- “Provide phone numbers of each venue.”
- Bands who have performed there
- “Provide three bands who have performed there.”
- Bands of your genre who have performed there
- “Provide bands of similar genres who have performed there.”
- Maximum Capacity
- “Provide maximum capacity of each venue.”
I wouldn’t suggest asking for contacts at each venue. ChatGPT will likely hallucinate names (it will simply make the names up if it doesn’t know).
Two Itinerary Versions
If the details you’re asking for are few, you can ask it to provide two itineraries. I found that when I did this, it provided two unique routes. This is great when you’re exploring ideas.
To do this, I requested, “Could you provide two different itineraries that we could consider?”
More Requests to Consider
Each artist has specific needs or preferences. And every tour has different goals. Here are things you can ask for, either in the main request or later in the same conversation.
College and Community Radio Stations
College radio can be a great way to promote a show. If you plan your tour to involve college radio, you can send the stations your music at least a month in advance with details about your show. Consider talking to them about how you could promote the show. Or ask about doing an on-air performance while you’re in town.
After it has provided an itinerary with a list of cities and venues, you can ask it to provide College Radio or Community Radio Stations. I accomplished this by adding, “Provide college radio stations or community radio stations in these cities.” ChatGPT will then provide a list of this information in each city on the itinerary.
You can also make this request in your main request. I found that when I did this, it would create the itinerary in a nicely organized list that included the radio stations.
Your band might have members with specific diets or limitations. You can ask ChatGPT to provide a list of restaurants in each city on the itinerary.
For example, “Could you provide Vegan restaurant suggestions in each city?” This results in a list of two Vegan restaurants (as of September 2021) in each metro area. You can be specific with how many suggestions you want in each city.
I would ask for these suggestions after you’ve been given an itinerary. It will know what cities to find restaurants in. This way you can get as specific with your request as you want and get as much information as you want.
You or your bandmates might be coffee lovers, and generating a list of coffee shops or coffee roasters might be nice to have ahead of time. Or maybe you want to perform an acoustic set at a coffee shop in the afternoon to promote a plugged-in performance that night. “Could you provide a list of coffee roasters in each city?” might help you prevent a headache on the road.
Unless the coffee shop suggestions will be part of your marketing or performance plan, ask for this list after you have an itinerary.
You may be curious about record stores in the cities you’re considering. These stores sometimes host shows, which could be great exposure.
I found that if I asked for record stores, I would receive information about record labels. But I found this to be effective: “List music stores that sell vinyl.”
Speaking of record labels, you can ask for a list of labels too. “List record labels based in each city.”
You can ask ChatGPT to provide additional itineraries to consider. The new itinerary will likely route the tour quite differently, unless you were specific about the route in your original request.
Keep in mind that any new information that you inquired about, such as music stores, will be added to the additional itinerary. So you may want to ask for the additional itinerary early on. “Could you provide an additional itinerary?”
What if you live outside the US?
If you live in Europe, Canada, South America, or elsewhere, everything displayed here will work for you. I successfully made fictitious tours in South America, Europe, and across North America.
What about Bing Chat?
The advantage Bing Chat holds is that the information is current, and usually more accurate. Unfortunately, Bing will not help you plan a tour itinerary. But I did find that it’s a great tool for analyzing the accuracy of the tour itinerary.
When I tried to generate a tour itinerary with Bing Chat, I found that it wanted to be my friend. It began asking questions that might be relevant… but it never generated the itinerary. It
Ask Bing Chat, “Could you analyze my tour itinerary?” It will ask you to provide your itinerary. Copy the itinerary from ChatGPT and paste in Bing Chat’s prompt, and it will likely check the venues to see if they’re still in operation.
You can ask things like, “Check the distances between cities for accuracy.” Bing Chat can be very helpful with analysis!
Other things to ask Bing Chat:
“Check the phone numbers for accuracy.”
“Are the venues in operation? If so, what can you tell me about them?”
“Give me details about the radio stations.”
I realize this is highly technical, but I hope it is helpful and saves you time so you can focus on things that matter: creating music. Utilizing ChatGPT can save us hours of work when we learn how to communicate with it, and Bing Chat is perfect for analyzing with accurate and current information. Wielding the power of the two can streamline the process as you plan your next tour.
Please reach out to me if you have questions, or comment below.
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