Booked a gig in Cabo San Lucas Mexico...Help!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by phaneo, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. phaneo


    Mar 14, 2001
    Fort Worth TX
    We just booked a gig for a wedding in Cabo. We are a 6 piece cover band and will be traveling from Texas to Mexico. We are trying to figure out how to get guitars, basses, keyboard to Mexico. All sound equip and drums are provided. Has anyone else ever done anything like this? Any help, input, etc is much appreciated
  2. Grantrudd


    Jun 26, 2007
    Boston MA
    If you are flying, carry on basses and guitars, and depending on your case situation for the keys, check them (if youve got a flight case) or backline one while your down there. ive played in mexico, as well as a few european "tours", before, and never had a problem getting an instrument there and back.

    If you are driving, just pile everything in the trunk/backseat.
  3. Connsider bolt-ons.. then unbolt.

    This is a great place for playable low-cost axes.
  4. Oh yea..

    Bring your own Mikes.. I've had less than stellar mikes in Mexico.. sound system was fine.. the mikes bit.
  5. Plissken


    Jul 6, 2009
    Make sure you have an envelope of bribe money. It'll come in handy if you're pulled over by Mexican police.
  6. deaf pea

    deaf pea

    Mar 24, 2005
    Cuernavaca 1 hr S Mexico City
    Seymour Duncan/Basslines SMB-5A Endorsing Artist
    Yoú'll probably need SEVERAL envelopes of bribe money . . . "bribe" in Español is "mordida" = bite . . .

    And if you enter Mexico as tourists, you're really not supposed to earn any money while you're here . . . be on the lookout for "Migracion" . . . they wear green uniforms (the last time I noticed) . . .

    Good Luck!

  7. Some of the best advice that I have gotten: Don't accept gigs in Mexico.
  8. Personally each time I went to Mexico I felt safer than in the States.

    But yeah, I don't know if I would gig down there...

    Don't forget your Mexican insurance. It will include posting your bail if you need and the catch is: it pays your bail and you head to the border, never to come back.

    It happens rarely that they grab you over there. Don't fight, don't do drugs, don't carry weapons.

    Besides that, even the crime of being a loud obnoxious yanki is ok because you carry the green.

    Yes, been MANY MANY times to Mexico. Partied all imaginable ways down there and remember only half of it.

    Nothing like in the Hangover movie, but bad enough.
  9. need4mospd


    Dec 22, 2005
    If that is truly the case, I would recommend getting paid before you leave Texas. Or maybe when you get back if you trust the people. I think if I was to accept an international gig, I'd want cash in advance.
  10. Getting your stuff into Mexico isn't the problem, it's keeping it while you are there and getting it back home. I am in AZ and have done the Mexico gig thing before. Are you driving or flying? I gotta think you are flying as Cabo is a hell of a drive from Texas, but you never know.

    1) Don't bring anything of monetary / sentimental value - this is a great gig to play on crap gear
    2) Bring as little as possible
    3) Have bribe money (cash) ready to go, it's amazing the shenanigans that can go down
    4) Expect to have the Mexico to US plane boarding / border crossing take a very long time, they almost definitely will look through everything, so get there EARLY
    5) Bring a person to do security if you can and watch your stuff at all times, it's amazing the shenanigans that can go down
    6) Stay on the beaten paths, do not get lost, do not stray from civilization
    7) Be polite, be transparent
    8) Don't drink the water, seriously, you'll poop black death for a week

    Good luck!
  11. BigMac5


    Nov 26, 2005
    San Diego, CA
    Are you talking about tap water or purified drinking water?
  12. crijan

    crijan Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2005
    Dallas, Texas
    Endorsing: JH Audio IEMs
    Just get ATA flight cases for your guitars / keys. Also a good idea to try and rent keys from someone down that way if you can find it.

    From my Mexico gig experience: Our guitars were small enough to carry on in their factory hard cases. The guitarists duct taped the latches, just in case they needed to gate check them, but they were allowed to carry on. My bass was going to be too large for sure, so I bought the SKB Bass safe and it arrived safe and sound.

    We brought a spanish speaker with us as a "tour manager" to act as our translator, because often you will be dealing with sound people, immigration people, etc that don't speak english. I would definitely recommend bringing someone that speaks the language natively. It was invaluable to us.
  13. crijan

    crijan Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2005
    Dallas, Texas
    Endorsing: JH Audio IEMs
    Also, we did get paid up front.
  14. paid up front is an excellent idea
  15. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    Get paid in US currency!!!!!!!Not Pesos..
    I got screwed BIG TIME before!!!
  16. ric stave

    ric stave

    May 6, 2006
    Buffalo, NY
    How about burritos?
  17. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    They are excellent!:bassist:
    edit/ the food "ROCKS" everywhere I have been in Mexico!
  18. phaneo


    Mar 14, 2001
    Fort Worth TX

    We are flying, getting paid in advance by some very loyal wealthy fans who are getting married. We are going directly to a 5 star all inclusive resort where the bride has put us up in rooms with all inclusive benefits. All of our expenses are covered. She has arranged for sound to be provided, so we are aware that it will quite possibly be sub-par. After reading all of the comments I may push to have the sound company provide an electric guitar and bass and we can pack the keys in a suitcase.

    Thanks for all of the feedback
  19. 251


    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    You should be at least as concerned with getting back into the US. Talk to US Customs before you go. Talk to the US State Department. In particular ask of you need to prepare a Carnet (pronounced car-nay). It is an inventory of your goods with model & serial #s. Without proof that you left the US with instruments, US Customs is likely to behave as if you bought them in Mexico & are importing them to the US.

    The Mexican government is going to want some assurance you are going to leave Mexico with your instruments. The paper work is all standard. Having it will give Mexican Customs people advanced notice that you know what is expected. Do you have a contact person at your destination? Would they be prepared to get your gear released from Mex Customs?

    It should be clear to all that you are traveling on business, carrying the tools of your trade. Have a great trip. Just remember you aren't going to Oklahoma this trip. :cool:
  20. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    "i seize all of your gear in the name of El-Presidente'"
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