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Biggest Audiences?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Hambone, Apr 22, 2000.

  1. Here's a chance for some of you to stroke your ego a little. What is the largest crowd you've gotten to play for? Since it's my topic I'll got first:

    35,000+ in the any instrument category. I was one of 3,000 band musicians (tuba of course!) playing at the homecoming festivities at FSU in 1976. I stood on the 5 yard line and was looking at the conductor on the 50. We were told vehemently to play to the conductor - NOT to what we would hear. They were so right. With the delay from other instruments it sounded like absolute crap at my position but perfect up in the stadium.

    In the electric bass category: between 2,000 and 3,000 at a beach show that I helped produce in conjunction with a local FM radio station. We were one of 2 bands that were on the bill. It turned out that it was the first and last time I would play with that band because after 3 months of blistering practice, our lead singer went out and proceeded to belt everything out of key! I was absolutely disgusted with the unprofessional attitude that I left'em to their own. Never regretted it either.
  2. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    Just a guess, but probably around 2,000 at Chicagofest '79. Next up would be about the same at Park West during '81.
  3. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks! In Memoriam

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    Last summer I played after the Nascar race on the track. The attendance for the race was 115,000, and the estimate of the people that stayed for the show was 65,000. They had us on a flatbed 18 wheeler and had 2 18 wheelers of PA. They actually had us do a lap around the track 'cause where the entrance from the infield was in relation to where we were playing was about half the length of the track. So there we were trying to stand up on a moving semi while giving the homecoming queen wave to about 65,000 people. I wish we would've remembered the video camera, it was a riot.

    Chris A.

    [This message has been edited by Chris A (edited April 24, 2000).]
  4. Player


    Dec 27, 1999
    USA Cincinnati, OH
    I don't know how many there were. We had 2 flatbed semis side-by-side (lots-o-room) and I couldn't see where the people ended. It was a hugh farm party (this kid made enough to pay for 4 years of college with three of these parties at $5 a head) this was the 2nd year (we also played the 1st year, but there were only like 1500 people then) and it had gotten so big it caused traffic jams, people were just pulling off to the side of the highway and walking to the party. 65 kegs of beer were gone in less than 2hrs. When we played "Shout" seeing that number of hands going up in the air in unison sent shivers down my spine.

    Jimmy4string likes this.
  5. SETI5512


    Apr 25, 2000
    Um yea. It was our first show at a restaraunt. They had a stage out back and bands play every weekend. It was $5 a head, and the money went to us. Only about 5 people cared to go out and watch us. But we got $140 because most of the people left after they heard what style music we were. heh heh heh...
  6. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    Played before a couple hundred at church,plus a few grandmas,when you add the fact that we were broadcast live on AM radio.
    mikewalker likes this.
  7. d_smith77


    Apr 27, 2000
    Hm, biggest crowd, eh? I'd say that the biggest crowd I've played for would have to be the one at the parade my church's youth band played for. It was spread out all along the route, so it didn't seem like all that much at any one time, but we probably played in front of a good 10,000 people. And to top it off, we won the award for the most entertaining float!! What a day ;^)
  8. We once played for about 3000+ people at a school carnival once, for Doernbecher Week. That was a lot of fun, because there was a thunder storm behind us (not raining on us, fortunately) so it looked really cool with all of us on stage rockin out wiht lightning in the background. THAT will never happen again. But it was still fun. I have also done about four or five 200+ audiences for my church and youth group. Other than that, I suck. wink.

    Rock on
  9. 17,000+ at the Surge Fest II in
    Pittsburgh. biggrin.

    Confucius say "Panties not best thing on earth, but right next to it"
    "Man who cry when he masturbate...is a tearjerker"
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  10. ~Loxley~

    ~Loxley~ Guest

    Apr 9, 2000
    In the all instrument category, I'd say about 5,000 (I was singing with my choir).

    On the electric bass guitar my guess is 600 people... I haven't had a serious breakthrough yet. But hey, Im only 16...


    Never trust a man who doesn't drink - Winston Churchill

  11. Curt


    Mar 19, 2000
    Kankakee, Illinois
    A band I used to be in opened for a big name country act. ( I used to be a hillbilly!) We warmed up a crowd of about 2000 at a fairgrounds racetrack. I saw the guys from the band a few years later, and they still remembered the gig. It was the only time they had played to a crowd from behind a fence!

    Can You See The Real Me?
  12. SlapDaddy


    Mar 28, 2000
    I played Clinton's Inaugeral in Little Rock with a band called Fragile Union and there were 50,000 people there. WOW! Except for the security people looking INSIDE my amp and cases it was a total high.
    GregC likes this.
  13. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks! In Memoriam

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    At least it was just your amp!

    Chris A.
    GregC, J_Bass and mikewalker like this.
  14. James Ellis

    James Ellis

    Mar 28, 2000
    15,000 at various festivals...
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Well, played a private benefit for MDA at the Ballpark in Arlington(at a club room inside), maybe 600 people, but can we also count the 49,000 people outside watching the Rangers vs. Yankees? No? oh well..

    also play Country Day on the Hill every year in Cedar Hill, Tx, we play in the parade for about 10,000 people and then play on the square for about 15,000 - 20,000..

    the fabric of reality is woven from the threads of our dreams...
    bill longshort

    GregC likes this.
  16. Mr Socko

    Mr Socko Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2000
    The year 1970. It was the at the 2nd British Rock Meet held at Germisheim Germany. Five days of music. I got to play a forty-five minute set with a band called Three Friends.
    Most of the over 130 bands were signed artists with a few of us nobodys thrown in for comic relief. Two huge stages, 24 hour non-stop music. Estimated croud 80,000 to 100,000.
    A lot of huge artists played at this one. The biggest draw was Pink Floyd. Just to be at an event associated with artists of this caliber is something I feel privileged to have experienced, and have never matched in the last 30 years.
    Just plain dumb luck....But I will always remember that one.....
    GregC likes this.
  17. BassDudeJake


    Jul 26, 2000
    At my band's first and only gig so far, we played for our middle school, so we played for about 600 people.

    Playing bass is not a hobby. It is an essential.

  18. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    Toronto pride main stage. Estimated crowd-1.5 million. Probably only 3/4 of a million could see the stage, and only the first 1/2 a mile could hear it, but intimidating nonetheless.
    GregC and RSBBass like this.
  19. fourstr00


    Mar 21, 2002
    Chicago Area
    40,000 people at an ophthalmologist convention, for the opening welcome. Big crowds are a lot easier when they clearly don’t care if they’re there

    30,000 people at some baseball games

    Couple of spots with the local ABC affiliate, whatever that viewership is

    @Paulabass - THAT’s an intimidating crowd. Very cool.
  20. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Played to some 130,000 people in 2006 in Uruguay (Pilsen Rock festival). For a weekend this HUGE crowd invaded this little village in the countryside. The plain where the audience stood had this slight incline so it felt like thousands of people with all these enormous flags were falling towards the stage. Intimidating, and motivating at the same time.

    That's the good thing, the bad things about that show were the band I was playing in was this tasteless whities' "zombie revolutionaire" ska-punk crap I didn't enjoy at all, and also that our singer was the most demagogic guy I've ever met (no ideas of his own, he would mimic whatever for approval, like Woody Allen's Zelig -but untalented-), and that in fact provided quite a near death experience to all of us. I'm Argentinian but I've lived in Spain for almost 2 decades and this band was Spanish, we were touring South America. In those times, there was a litigious controversy about the installation of some paper factories on the margin of a river that serves as border between Argentina (who didn't want it, for eco reasons -at least on paper-) and Uruguay (who were building them, a poorer country back then, that really needed those jobs). The thing is the guy had a t-shirt printed with a "no a las papeleras" (no to paper plants) inscription. He was an ignorant demagogue jerk to such an extent he didn't even bother doing some minimal leafing thru' newspapers, he just wanted to "please the crowd" (would say this straight to anybody, even the press when asked). So he predictably screwed up and showed up with the pro-Argentina T in front of these 130K exalted (and mostly unemployed) Uruguayans. It only took 2 angry stares from first row audience members (some 1 millisecond) for me to start looking for viable and fast stage exits, it really put me in fight or flight mode. Real hell could have unveiled (and certainly has unveiled in many similar situations in the past, South America is home to some dark -and deadly- rock show pages), it just didn't, we were booed (and believe me, 130k people booing is probably the bottom most point in disapproval you can ever experiment in your whole life), thrown some stuff, but we could even end our set (right before that night's headliners BTW).

    I tell this story to each and every fool I see preaching any revolution (for the zombies) crap from onstage. Nothing puts me off more than cheap preachers disguised as artists.

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