Showcasing Professionals in Live Music: Interview with Tim Harding, Tour Manager and FOH Engineer

Tim’s journey is a great learning opportunity for young-guns and anyone wanting to break into touring and live shows.

In the early stages of his career, Tim started from the bottom working a warehouse job at a sound company. He was taught new skills and little by little, progressed to working live shows. Tim now tours internationally in a double role of a Tour Manager and Front of House Engineer with major bands.

Tim wants to do everything in his job to let the talent concentrate on what they know best, to create music and entertain. He has a great passion for live music and feeds from the collective energy right before the show starts.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has gotten great advice from Tim. He is supportive for newbies in the business and always ready to share his knowledge and network. Takeaway from this interview: be a sponge, do your best and learn everything you can, and somebody will notice and give you a chance.

This is Tim’s story.

Tour Manager and FOH Engineer Tim Harding. Picture credit: Tim Harding

Hi Tim! What do you do in the music industry? 

I am a tour manager and FOH engineer. Simply put, I heard cats and make stuff loud.

How did you end up working as a Tour Manager and FOH Engineer?

It essentially started by making bad choices (perhaps more details over coffee) … which lead to a warehouse job for a regional sound company.  During that time I slowly was taught new skills, like soldering, and after that, fixing cables … eventually I was helping with show prep and loading trucks. One day after being there for a long time, I was asked if I was interested in doing a show or two … that’s when it all started to roll in some positive directions.

What is the best thing about your work and on the other hand, the biggest challenge?

The ABSOLUTE best part of the job is right before the call to go black on the house lights and the first bit of the show, there is SO much excitement, anticipation and energy in the room. AND THEN the band starts and the fans typically lose their minds – flat out that is the best part.

Tour Manager and FOH Engineer Tim Harding. Photo credit: Tim Harding

Challenges – as the TM … at some point it all comes to me, the simple problems, the complicated problems, the really stupid problems. At the end of the day, I want my artist to only think about making music and being on time for bus call.

How is the Coronavirus affecting you and your work?

It has brought me to a complete STOP. The future is uncertain. The act I am with usually does around 90 to 100 shows a year, we will be lucky if we hit 40 by end of year … and we already did 29.

What’s your best survival tip for fellow people in the industry in this situation?

Try to live, you might have to get a “real job”… Be patient and remember your common sense. Something I rarely hear about is this is in fact a new virus, science has not caught up yet, it might not for a long time. That is the perspective that I think you don’t hear a lot about.

Feel free to promote yourself and your services, how people can find you on social media, how they can help, etc.

I am easily found on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Wanna read more interviews with live music professionals? Click here

Current news about the live music industry:

npr: America’s Independent Music Venues Could Close Soon Due To Coronavirus

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