Carolyn Snell

Carolyn Snell
Bands worked with: Reba, The Shadowboxers, John Mayer, Indigo Girls, Brandi Carlile, Kenny Chesney and more….
FEMMUSIC:  How did you become a tour manager?
CS: I wanted to be a Tour Manager since I was 15. At the time I didn’t know what it was called, but I wanted to combine my love of music, travel and spreadsheets. TMing was a perfect way to combine all of those.
FEMMUSIC: What are the biggest challenges of being a tour manager?
CS: On most pop & rock tours specifically, you are constantly traveling, which means you are not home very much and it’s hard to maintain regular connections with friends, partners, etc. That being said, you get to travel to places you never even dreamed of going and the bond you form with your road family, even though sometimes short lived, is extremely tight. So, what could be considered the biggest challenge is also the biggest blessing.
FEMMUSIC: What challenges does being a woman tour manager present?
CS: You deal with a lot of men who come from the old school way of thinking — which is, women can’t do a job as good as a man could on the road (also a shared sentiment in many other careers). So in addition to doing the absolute best you can in your chosen profession, you also have to work even harder to prove that you can do a good job, “even though you’re just a girl.”
FEMMUSIC: As a woman in the music industry, have you been discriminated against?
CS: Other than some fairly lame sexist/patronizing insults, I’ve been lucky enough to not only been able to thrive as a woman in the music industry – specifically as a Tour Manager – but I’ve also worked with some incredible women who have been role models to me as being THE BOSS — such as Reba, Indigo Girls and Brandi Carlile. My first tour ever was Lilith Fair, a women-fronted summer music festival where I saw women represented in every aspect of the tour, both on and off stage.
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music industry itself?
CS: Specifically regarding those who want to get into the music industry — because the culture has changed so much into an instant gratification mindset, a lot of people expect to get a job on the road, sometimes even in a higher position, when they first reach out to someone. When I get an unsolicited email from someone I don’t know who says they want to work with an artist I know, I am immediately turned off by their approach. They have done nothing to earn my trust in their skill set or even shown me how they are willing to work their asses off, simply for the experience. There’s a sense of entitlement that feels foreign to me. I think the music touring industry as a whole needs to teach those on the way up that “paying your dues” is part of the journey. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to work free forever, but it shows me that if you are willing to work hard and diligently for no money, just imagine what you’ll do when you start getting paid!
February 1st, 2016