I am from Austria and been on Tour around 240 Days/Year for the last 6 years.(except pandemic ofc)

I drove for customers from all around the globe on their musical journeys through Europe. With Big Names on Headliner and Stadium Tours with up to 10 Busses, but also alone with trailer (for the equipment) with not so big names on their small club Tours.

I have nearly been everywhere in Europe so far and have seen Musicians and Fans from all genres.

Ask me anything, I just can't drop any Names. But I can tell stories from an Anonymous perspective.

And last but not least, please forgive my English. I speak it better than I write it. :)

Comments: 282 • Responses: 40  • Date: 

LoloTheSecond165 karma

Hi I’m also a Lorenz. How’s your Lorenz experience as a whole been?

KolibriFX1173 karma

wtf is your nickname Lolo ?my nickname is LoloAllmost everyone calls me that.even my mother

Edit: Being a Lorenz is really nice. Most English speaking people still think I am a Lawrence. But I haven't met a person who thinks bad about that name
Being a Lolo is the best ever

halffast137 karma

Have you ever had to stop and do a "I'm gonna turn this car around" moment with unruly passengers?

KolibriFX1150 karma

I haven't done that with customers, but I once had the permission from my Boss to do so if I can't stand the customers any longer. It was a really awful tour and the people were very disrespectful. I still finished it though

Arpikarhu105 karma

on a tour with multiple buses which dept do you prefer to drive and which do you try to avoid? Band, Lampies, Backline, Sound, Production, Carpenters, Caterers? I bet you prefer the caterers cause they always leave good food and booze on the bus.

KolibriFX1148 karma

You are right, caterers are everyones favorite.

Band is alright. Sometimes the hotel pickups mess up my driving and sleeping schedule tho.

Production is often very strict but that's ok. Just not so much fun to drive.

From the other crew guys it doesn't makes that much difference for me what department they are in.

Arpikarhu27 karma

But lampies are depraved animals!!!

KolibriFX137 karma

Are you in the Sound Department ?

PocoChanel84 karma

What's the weirdest habit any of your clients has exhibited? Or the single weirdest thing they did?

KolibriFX1236 karma

Phew tough question. I had parents who shower with their adult children. Old dudes who try to hook up with teens. Got offered the weirdest drugs while I was actively driving. Famous musicians who sit next to me while driving and talk with me about their depression.

Truth_Assassin33 karma

Do you think the parents showering with their adult children were trying to conserve water?

KolibriFX190 karma

I am Shure the water conserving part was the least important for them.

skweeky17 karma

talk with me about their depression.

I understand you cant name names, But were any of those people ones that would surprise us to find out they are depressed?

KolibriFX126 karma

Actually more artist trouble from depression than you think. Most just don’t share their problems in public.

Elevenst82 karma

What genre of music, if you've driven multiple, has the messiest musicians?

KolibriFX1216 karma

Overall I would say HipHop. A lot of Rap Artists don't care too much about the Bus and that I have to clean it. But it gets better when they get older. Young people who just started their career are way more messy then old veterans.

ananischwell80 karma

Are groupies still a thing?

KolibriFX1157 karma

Mostly no.
Some small bands Still tolerate it, but big tours are way to professional to allow that. Especially in the Bus where a view people live together on tight space it got very seldom.

SilverBeaver2159 karma

If you drove any musicians you admired, did you fangirl all over or is that unprofessional? If you held back, did you ask for autographs etc?

KolibriFX1167 karma

I drove with multiple musicians who I admired all my life. I am still not a fan of anyone. This word is very badly associated in the Industry and also I can't do my work properly when I have those feelings about a customer.

And I never do any Photograph or autograph stuff with any artist I meet even if I don't have them in my bus. For me that's very unprofessional and doesn't fit in that job.

PoorlyAttired59 karma

Which country has the best or worst drivers?

KolibriFX1154 karma

Harder to answer than you may think. French in the big cities just don’t care. English people drive mostly slow and always in the middle lane. Germans want to race everything and Romanians are always stressed. No county is perfect.

Arpikarhu52 karma

Roadie here. So when we park at a festival you guys usually crawl into the under stairs bunk for sleep. How annoying is it when we are in and out of the bus during the day? I feel 2 ways about it. I know you guys drove all night and need some sleep but its also our home and its nice to be able to come in and relax after load in. I do try to be quiet though.

KolibriFX189 karma

I personally have a really good sleep. I don't care at all how many times a day you open and close the Backdoor and get around the bus. When you stay reasonably quiet and don't fool around you should be able to stay in the bus the whole day.

Also what fucks our sleep the most during the day is parking too close to the stage. Then you only sleep in the gaps between the sounchecks.

Arpikarhu54 karma

Or drum techs who decide they need to spend 2 hours tuning a snare. Fucking drama queens.its a drum , it works. Move on!

KolibriFX160 karma

or musicians who think soundcheck is the perfect time for some practice sessions....

LilMeatBigYeet47 karma

What/are the accomodations on the bus ?

I assume there’s beds, toilet. Are there TVs, small kitchen, like an RV type thing ?

Do you drive the same or does it vary ? How is your relationship with your colleagues? Do you guys hang out during concerts to watch your clients play ?

KolibriFX190 karma

It’s basically like a hotel room I got bunk beds and 1 big room with a double bed (named starroom), toilet and shower, small kitchen with the basics, multiple TVs and consoles, dining area and couches, WiFi and a hard drive with 2TB of movies.

There are 2 types of drivers. Maindrivers as me carry one customer during their whole tour. I have my own Bus who I always drive and I have my regular customers who drive allways with me when on tour. And doubledrivers fly from tour to tour and live out the bag and allways are there when a maindriver needs help with his distances.

And the relationships with my colleagues vary like in every job. With some I am friends and we walk to city together or watch the show and with others we are just colleagues. We help each other but we don’t hang out together when the work is done.

FunDeckHermit37 karma

What's the best metal festival in Europe?

KolibriFX1100 karma

Wacken Open Air

KolibriFX150 karma

Hellfest is also nice

KingF72136 karma

How did you get that job? I'm also austrian and currently not too happy with my career choice so I'm generally interested in how people get interesting jobs

KolibriFX171 karma

Long story short. Connections.

I knew my company for years cause I lived in a flat with the younger brother of my boss. Didn’t like my old job anymore and made the driving licence. Started at my company and worked my ass of.

The normal way in the business is driving public or tourist bus for years. Get good connections and recommendations and work very hard and concentrated in the first year. When you survive the first year you are mostly safe.

xampl929 karma

Who decides who gets what bunk?

KolibriFX158 karma

Sometimes tourmanagment declares the bunks. Sometimes its first come first serve.
Most of the times the people travel together so much that everyone has their distinctive place in the bus.

Monstromi26 karma

What was the nicest thing a customer did for you?

KolibriFX1112 karma

I once watched the show of a band I was with from the side of the stage and inbetween 2 songs the singer said:“ we might don’t play the best but at least we have the best nightliner driver.“ and then they forced me on stage. 5000 people in front of me applauding was a amazing experience. I will never forget that moment cause normally I never ever stand on a stage.

Free-Hall-Less22 karma

Have you ever been involved in any type of accident while on tour?

KolibriFX150 karma

Luckily I haven’t been involved in an accident. Also when your responsible for an big accident no one will trust you anymore and you have to leave the job. Drivers tend to become truck drivers in the live music industry if that happens.

I had multiple breakdowns tho but that happens when you drive so big distances.

ThatMeasurement341121 karma

Do the musicians sleep while you drive, party, just chill, or a mix? Do they tip you or buy you a thank you gift?

KolibriFX139 karma

They mostly sleep. When I start driving some are still awake an chill but go to bed soon aswell. After 4,5 hours when I have my first short brake everyone is in bed. Party mostly only when the next day is an offday with no show to play.

prakosts20 karma

How do you manage your sleep schedule on longer drives? Do you have a buddy to switch with or the whole bus stops for you to rest?

KolibriFX159 karma

Sometimes when the drive is more than 800km the night I get a buddy. But otherwise I do everything alone. I sleep like a nightshift worker. My worktime is mainly from midnight till 09:00 am with a little extras to do during the day (cleaning etc) But my driving times are strictly regulated the same as truck drivers driving times.

tagh-beatha19 karma

This is off topic I’ll admit, but did you go on holiday to Cuba in the summer of 2018? If so, were you with a guy called Thomas? You look so like a guy I met there

KolibriFX126 karma

Sorry I never been to Cuba

5thDimensionBookcase18 karma

What’s the worst stretch of road that you’ve experienced?

KolibriFX163 karma

quality wise Bulgaria and Serbia is bad.
sizewise I am very blunted. a deal with very narrow situations not made for a bus my size on a daily basis.

but the road up to Vals in Switzerland mountains is crazy. especially with a double-decker.


What is your favorite city that you have visited in Europe?

KolibriFX182 karma

Personally I like Hamburg, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Tallinn

With the bus Warsaw is the perfect city. The nazis bombed that thing so much that they build it new from scratch. Everything is wide and square.

pieandablowie17 karma

Can you do a video tour of the bus and it's facilities? If it's not too much to ask

KolibriFX156 karma That’s a promo video from my bus, so it won’t get better

SmoochTalk14 karma

One of my favorite musicians is TV Smith, a folk / punk singer songwriter who was also in the punk band the Adverts. He tours all the time across Europe, but never seems to come to the USA. So my first question is a request: build a magic tour bus that is also a plane or submarine and bring him across the pond! And my other, more realistic questions are: have you ever toured with any cool punk bands? Any fun stories? And what are some of the maybe hidden barriers (apart from cost, unfamiliarity) that might make it hard for a European act to tour in the USA?

KolibriFX121 karma

Well I don’t know why he won’t come to the us. Maybe you have to come to Europe to see him.

I toured with a couple of punk bands Big ones but also very small ones Like „more people on the stage than in the audience“-small

I guess so I Gott a lot of story About fails on tour, Partys in the Bus, stuff that Happens on the Road… etc…

There are not that much hidden barriers for touring as an EU act in the US. I mean some don’t like to fly. And also you only can make a tour when you sell tickets. So you have to be known just at least a little so people visit your concert. Equipment it a small Problem. Shipping is extremely expensive, renting is ok. Its just really expensive and you need people to pay for that.

ClutchAndChuuch12 karma

Has any fan ever try to sneak onto the bus?

KolibriFX118 karma

I had that a few times yes, but the doors only open with a code or are locked all the time so getting on the bus is pretty hard.

Effective-Daikon-53310 karma

would you recommend this kind of job to people? and similarly, would you say this was a good thing for you overall? and what were some of the largest struggles to you personally while doing this? thanks i’m advance!

KolibriFX154 karma

I would recommend it tho everyone who brings the following things.

Likes to drive, especially at night, especially long distances with big busses. Has a deep sleep. Can handle stressy situations in traffic and is not aggressive. Can handle being away from home the major part of the year especially during summer season. Can handle bossy, egocentric often drunk or drugged people calmly while always being completely sober.

The hardest part personally is being away in my relationship while loving to do this job.

judNtonic10 karma

Assuming you’re getting some sort of briefing before a job starts, are there any requests in a brief that’s a red flag for you? Like you know that means trouble?

KolibriFX125 karma

When they ask for hotel pickups and drops during the day. I have Sharp resting times and I am not an Uber who can get you around town.

When I see there isn’t much plan. That happens only on small tours.

When the tourmanager doesn’t know how many people will come with us.

When you got friends or family of the artists on the bus. When people don’t have something to do on tour and are just here for holidays and party it’s always crap.

diggity_dunks10 karma

Do the musicians/their company usually tip you at the end of their tour?

KolibriFX124 karma

Tips are sadly not very common. I get a lot of compliments about my work but still the people don’t tip me. Main reason for that is that the people I drive don’t pay me. Some Tour management company pays my company and those people never join the people in the bus. So they don’t care about my work as they stay in their Office.

When I get a tip it’s mostly privat money from the Crew and i appreciate that a lot.

Edgefish9 karma

What kind of music do you enjoy en general? Have you had problems for wanting to hear a song and the group said a big "no" during the travel?

KolibriFX130 karma

I listen mostly to oldschool hiphop, Funk, Jazz, Rock and Pop from the 80 till 2000.

And I never requested a song from a customer if that is what you mean. I am not in the position to request anything on their setlist. Also even If I Love music and do this Job a Little also for listening to live music I generally don’t care what music my customer makes. Other things are way more important to me to have a good time.

Edgefish12 karma

No, I asked more if you wanted to listen to old folk music and the group ask you to change the damn music lol

KolibriFX144 karma

The good thing is that I have a wall and a door between my own area where I drive and the back where the customers are at. So they can listen to their music and I can listen to mine

Noire_Raven7 karma

How does sitting down for that long for 6 years not drive you insane?

KolibriFX111 karma

Well I have a really ergonomic seat but it is still a problem. I try to keep my back healthy with staying active during the times I don’t drive. I worked in an office before and there the sitting was worse.

outer_space_agent6 karma

Servus aus Wien, thanks for the AMA.

1) What festival and or venue is the most difficult and easiest to get to?

2) Are you watching the shows of the bands you are driving around?

3) what musical style do you like the most?

4) Do you always get AAA passes at the venues/ festivals?

I REALLY hope your are on the road again soon, I am dying to see live music again….

KolibriFX13 karma

Festivals are often very easy. There are a couple of really hard ones in Europe. But melkweg in Amsterdam is a very famous example and a lot of drivers hate it.

And of course I watch the shows. Not ever show but I try to see every customer at least once on a tour

I listen to oldschool hiphop, funk, Jazz, Rock and Pop from 80-2000

Yes I allways get an AAA pass. Only on the real big festivals you just get access to the stage your band plays. But you still can walk around the festival and watch all shows. And backstage is still accessible

nickssss93 karma

This is a fun AMA to read, thanks! Since I have to ask a question - with no major tours happening over the past two years, what have you been doing during the pandemic?

KolibriFX13 karma

I drove school buses in my hometown in the long gaps between tours.

CobraGTXNoS2 karma

What's your opinion on the crash that killed Cliff Burton?

KolibriFX12 karma

Phew hard topic. I know the place where it happend. In my opinion the only way to crash there is being drunk or tired. But I don’t want to assume anything. No one of us was there when it happend.

ParsleyFun2 karma

Able to share some photos of the bus?

KolibriFX13 karma

A Little Bit up I Shared a YouTube Video of my bus.

Laffenor1 karma

I may be too late for the party, but I'll try anyways, since I do have a few questions for someone like you.

I've always been curious about the driver's sleeping compartment in tour buses (just nok curious enough to look it up myself). How spacious or cramped is it? Can you sit upright, or is it literally slide into bed and sleep? How wide is the bed? And do you have any other facilities, like fridge, bedside table, floor space etc, or is it just a bunk?

You say you've been to most European countries? Have you been to Iceland by ferry, or do they use plane / boat and their own local buses once there?

And finally, do you always drive with your pants around your knees, or was the photo taken at a special occasion? (sorry, I couldn't hold myself)

KolibriFX16 karma

I as the driver got the most privacy and personal space except the starroom By bunk is right behind my driver seat and really comfi. I even can sit upright but I know that this is not the standard in the industry But our busses are really carefully Bild also for the drivers not just the customers. I got 80cmx240cm bed space. A fridge. Driver seat and passenger seat with a small table and a closet for personal stuff.

I have been to Iceland. But it makes not that much sense. It’s a lot of money and time wasted for just 1 show most of the time. When artist play there they go by plan 99% of the time.

It’s just that pair of pants which looks like this. I wear them normal, I swear.

[deleted]-1 karma


KolibriFX121 karma

well I won't share any secrets and I won't tell you any names who I drive with

and I have signed NDA, even when they aren't the standard.