‘We Can’t Build ’Em Fast Enough’: Beat The Street Arrives In The U.S.

A look at the Beat The Street double deckers
Courtesy of Beat The Street
– A look at the Beat The Street double deckers
The buses will be on U.S. roads in January 2020
Austrian band and crew bussing company Beat The Street is launching a fleet of double- and single-decker buses in the United States.
Beat The Street USA Inc will offer a fleet of double decker, 16/14 bunk crew and band buses, secured via a deal with Belgian supplier Van Hool. It has also added the latest X3 single decker models from Prevost to the line-up.
Jörg Philipp
– Jörg Philipp
Owner and managing director of Beat The Street

The U.S. touring market still mainly relies on single deckers buses, while Europe has long embraced the additional space offered by double deckers. Jörg Philipp, owner and managing director of Beat The Street, saw an opportunity:

“We started to think about [a U.S. launch] three years ago, and slowly but surely things just fell into place. We decided the time was right to just do it.”
In Belgian bus manufacturer Van Hool, Philipp found a supplier that already has a couple of thousand double deckers running in the U.S. tourism and mega bus industry. Components that need comply with U.S. traffic rules and regulations, like engines and transmissions, get shipped over to the main Van Hool plant in Belgium, where the buses are completed as a shell and shipped back. The American importer picks them up, works on them for about one week, which is when Phillipp’s team pick them up and put the interiors in.
The first order for 20 shells was signed a year ago. The last U.S. shipment will be delivered in December. Beat The Street also ordered three single decker models from Prevost, which will be delivered this month and ready to be on the road in April.
The first new double decker buses will be available to view at the company‘s official launch on Jan. 29, 2020 in Nashville. To find out more, production and tour managers should contact Tim King, who will run the U.S. office, on +1 615 784 3000 or via [email protected].
King told Pollstar: “Obviously we are all very proud of the Beat The Street brand and what it stands for. I’m looking forward to introducing the same high level of standards of buses, drivers and service. 
“Being the very first to introduce double deckers into the market is particularly exciting, especially with the European twist. I think both the European and American markets can take/learn things from each other to take the entertainer coach business forward across both continents.”
A double decker offers more space. “On single deckers you have 12 bunks, that’s it, and one front lounge and one back lounge. We have double deckers that have 14 bunks and give you three lounges, or have 16 bunks and give you two lounges. And you have more space in them,” Philipp explained.
Philipp, a huge music fan himself, said the launch in the U.S. meant a lot to him: “We’re based in Austria, which is not know as the heart of rock n’ roll, really. So it was a huge step for us to become one of the market leaders in Europe, to start with. 
“And then going over to the U.K., and taking over the leading company in the U.K. [Phoenix Bussing], that was seven years ago.
“And now going to America is more than a dream come true. For us, it’s extremely exciting, and almost a miracle. Who would have thought?”
Philipp remembers the first tour his company ever provided a bus for: “That was Jango Edwards 28 years ago. He was an American clown/comedian type of guy.”
Beat The Street has arrived in the U.S.Courtesy of Beat The Street
Courtesy of Beat The Street
– Beat The Street has arrived in the U.S.Courtesy of Beat The Street
The buses can be configured to have 14 bunks and three lounges, or 16 bunks and two lounges
Philipp has already signed contracts for upcoming tours in the U.S., but wasn’t able to confirm any on the record at press time. He said, however, “the response is just overwhelming. We have clients that use us in Europe, who have now gone with us into America. And there’s also American clients who will use us over there. The response has been far more than we thought it would be. We can’t build ’em fast enough!
“We’re very excited. It’s a huge investment. It’s a huge commitment to. The challenge will be to keep up the European service in the U.S.”