Touring can be one of the most exciting things to take part in as a musician, but it can also be a very demanding and exhausting experience. It’s important to have a solid team that can support and look out for you, which is why I spoke with one of Australia’s best tour managers to get insight into the touring lifestyle, as well as some tips about how to take care of yourself on the road.
Stacey Queffert is the icon behind The S Collective; a multi-faceted company that offers artist services on both an International and Domestic scale with a dynamic focus on Touring and Events and everything in between. Stacey, who has 8 years’ experience within the Music and Events Industry and is also a certified Yoga & Pilates Teacher, has a mission: combining the two worlds of music and wellness as a holistic approach to caring for artists on tour.
Stacey has worked with artists like BENEE, Young Franco, MAY-A, Memphis LK, and Alice Ivy to name a few, and her approach to tour management has been shaped and refined over years of training in Sequencing, Yoga Philosophy and Injury Management. It was great to sit down with her and get an exclusive look into what the S Collective are all about, and how wellness is something we should all be incorporating into our journey.
Do you have a favourite artist you’ve worked with, or are they all your favourites?
The ones on my roster are ALL my favourite, musically and as humans. Very lucky to be in the position to work with such talented musicians.
What’s an unexpected skill that comes in handy when on tour?
Speaking a second language for sure! Spanish was spoken in my home growing up.
Oh that would be so helpful! Is there a moment that comes to mind when speaking Spanish really helped while on tour?
Overseas definitely, even in LA lots of people speak Spanish. In Australia, unless the artist speaks it then I haven’t used it.
What does an artist need to look for in a tour manager?
I’m very passionate about music and am extremely organised and I think anyone that shares the same qualities is a great tour manager. Also someone that can keep cool, calm and collected when things hit the fan haha.
Do you get to add your own requests to the rider? Do you have something you can’t live without when on tour?
The artist will have lots of extra stuff on their riders so I don’t really add my own but my go-to is Kombucha and herbal teas.
That’s very on brand for you as a wellness advocate! What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness is multidimensional, there’s the physical, mental, environmental, emotional etc. So for me, it means making informed choices about my own health and where I’m currently at in life and how I can look after my body better.
Do you feel like the culture of the music industry supports an artist’s well-being?
The industry does to a certain extent, there are resources available for artists and some great initiatives, such as Support Act etc. I have seen the shift in some festivals as they are starting to make more mindful choices and adding in more sustainability, which is always positive. I think we definitely need more awareness around touring culture in general but at the moment I have currently seen it more within artist teams and the environments that are being created by their respected teams.
How did you come to merge your passion for wellness and movement into your career as a tour manager?
I decided to merge the two worlds and start my own company and work the way I wanted to work. I kept getting burnt out when I was working full time, I found it really hard to find that balance especially because I was doing lots of other things too. It was hard to prioritise. On tour, it’s such a quick-moving environment, the wellness would help break up the travelling and I would ground myself a lot better.
It must be so rewarding to see how much an artist can benefit from a tour manager who has wellness at the forefront of their mind, do you think this is likely to become a standard practice for emerging tour managers or do we have a long way to go before there are yoga mats in every green room?
Great question. It would be great if it would be standard practice but also my Yoga teacher says don’t go shoving yoga down people’s throats, so if you want to be about it, awesome if not, no worries, each to their own. But for now, it’s a start to get the conversation going. But also, if I work with an artist that needs that extra little discipline with wellness, whether it’s cleaner eating on tour, not really wanting to hang around after their sets to party etc, then I am happy to be that person to help and assist them.
What’s one thing tour managers and artists should incorporate into their routine to promote wellness and movement?
I have two, Meditation is a start as you can practise mindfulness in any space, either it’s in a green room or a hotel room. My second exercise is definitely a big thing, it’s finding what works for you. You might prefer walking, gym (most hotels have gyms) and or stretching, whether it’s 5 or 10 minutes it still counts. It all helps with all the flying and driving around when doing shows.
Emily Ann @stikkypeach
What’s the worst thing about touring?
For me, it’s only when I haven’t slept enough consecutively over a few days. We’ve all been there.
What’s the best thing about touring?
Everything, it’s all happening.
Head to the S Collective’s website for more details on Stacey and her mission, and join her at the Launch Party in Sydney and Melbourne!