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A British Van Hool sleeper bus. Upstairs has 14 bunks and a lounge area, downstairs is the galley & a second lounge area.
Bunks in a Jumbocruiser Ayats band bus
Sleeper coaches are often used for work other than with bands. This was used to shuttle England football fans to and from the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

A sleeper bus is a type of specially adapted coach, often used to transport bands and their technicians and road crew between cities and shows.[1]

In Europe, these vehicles are full-sized coaches, but are only designed internally to carry between 8 and 18 passengers. There are always full galley facilities, comfortable lounges and bunk beds to allow the passengers to eat, relax and sleep during the journey to the next town or city for the next gig or concert. These vehicles sometimes have blacked out or mirrored windows, to allow the passengers to see out but preventing fans from peering in. They are very well equipped as the comfort of the passengers is paramount. DVD players, large screen plasma televisions, and game systems are now the norm, while some vehicles even have personal DVD players and screens in each bunk. [2]

Well known bands such as Bon Jovi or U2 can have as many as seven or eight sleeper buses employed on their tours to accommodate the many road crew required for large venues such as stadiums and arenas. These famous bands rarely travel on the bus though; they use air transport or limousines, leaving their crew members to travel by bus. Smaller, less well known bands will usually travel on the bus along with their tech crew.

Sleeper coaches have come a long way since the old days when ex-National Express coaches were retired into sleeper coach use. Nowadays, the leading companies are buying new coaches, which after fitting out, cost over £350,000 ($630,000USD), though the daily rates for these coaches are not far above those for conventionally seated coaches.

Both in the United Kingdom and the U.S., there has been a ramping of expectations. TV and Playstations in every bunk, 3G internet access, coffee machines, wide memory foam mattresses, decent air conditioning, etc.

Some travel companies have these as mobile hotels, taking tourists to locations where there is no hotel, or there are long distances overnight.



In Western China and Central Asia, Sleeper buses are commonly used to travel between remote cities and villages where there are no existent train lines. They are notoriously crowded, uncomfortable, and dangerous, but can present the adventurous traveler with a highly cost effective alternative to flying.

Also known as

  • Band bus
  • Crew bus
  • Nightliner
  • Nightrider
  • Sleeper coach
  • Tour Bus


  1. ^ - Band Bus information website
  2. ^ - Jumbocruiser website

Further reading



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