Petrol price cut good for touring bands

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A reduction in petrol prices has saved the live music industry millions in recent months.

Fuel prices reached a five-year low this month – with the average price per gallon in the US falling from $3.91 a year ago to $3.13. In the UK, the average price per litre of unleaded petrol is around £1.07 – down from £1.30 a year ago.

Fielding Logan, a manager at touring company Q Prime South, tells Billboard that one of his acts – Eric Church – is saving around $1000 (£661) on fuel costs every day.

Smaller acts, who tour in vans as opposed to tour buses, are seeing even bigger savings. Tour manager Ben Erickson reckons an act in a van towing a trailer is saving in the region of $20,000 (£13,241) a year.

But while the savings are welcome, Erickson says bands don’t plan tours based on petrol prices and adds that contingency plans are always in place to deal with unexpected increases.

He says: “Management would be revising budgets and taking a closer look at fuel costs, especially for larger arena and stadium tours, where there could be as many 10 buses and 25 trucks on the tour.

“Contingency expenses are built into tour budgets to help hedge against variable fuel costs.”