A few month ago a good friend of mine announced she was getting married in my hometown, Marseille (France) at the end of September. We have been close since high school so it was imperative for me to attend!
Picking a Flight
Since I wanted to find good flight deals, I started to look for travel arrangement as soon as the date was locked.
I like to check out different website, when it comes to finding the most cost-effective tickets: my first stop is always Expedia. It usually gives me a good overall idea of where the prices trend at that time.
Although low cost airlines are a great option when travel domestically, I usually prefer flying on major carrier for international. From my past experiences, with that type of airlines, after adding the luggage and the taxes, it often ends up being the same cost – for less enjoyagble experience. My go-to when I travel to France are of course Air France and Delta.
This time I found a great deal on line with Air France – RT ticket for $515!
XL Airways did have a better deal $405, but the luggage allowance was only 20kg (as opposed to 23kg) and they are super strict when it comes to carry on. I am performing at the wedding and bringing my Ukulele so it was important for me to avoid any unnecessary discussions.
Trains are definitely my favorite way to travel within France: it is fast + cost efficient and takes you from city to city without having to go through airport security. Paris to Marseille is only 3 hours with the TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse aka high Speed Train), and if booked early enough, you can get ridiculously inexpensive deals through the SNCF. For instance I only paid 30 Euros for my one way trip from Paris to Marseille, and you can get even better deals or first class, depending on the date/time you are traveling to.
Fun + Work
Now that most of my travel plans had been arranged, I thought it would be great to use this opportunity to book one or several singing gigs while I was there. In June I had taken a bunch of free workshops organized by the city of on music business as part as New York Music Month and this was the perfect time to apply my newly found knowledge.
I called some friends so they could recommend intimate venues in different prospective cities (Paris, Marseille, Toulouse, Geneva and London). Once I had a list, I started to reach out to them with my dates.
I also applied to perform at SoFar Sound. For those who are not familiar with the concept here is their description: “Sofar transforms everyday spaces – like a living room or retail shop – and turns it into a captivating venue for secret, live shows, creating an immersive experience that brings guests and artists closer together. Each Sofar is small, and typically features three diverse acts, with no headliner.”
I was able to book a show in Paris for October 3rd at a restaurant/venue called l’Etage. I am very excited about it, as this will be my first French gig. Check here for more info!
I am also attempting to organize a private show for family and friends while in Marseille and working on the logistic right now.
Let’s see how this work…