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Outdoor Gig Questions

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jameshdurham, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. jameshdurham


    Aug 13, 2010
    Hey all. My band is playing an outdoor show for about an hour on June 30th. The forecast calls for a temperature of 103°F. This is a festival and I fear that we will be out in the sunlight with no shade. I was wondering if I should have any concerns about my bass or other equipment. Are there any precautionary measures that I and my bandmates can take. Is there any danger of damaging guitar necks or glued joints? Any information that you folks can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Drink lots of water and avoid alcohol. The bass and gear should be alright for an hour.
  3. Bardley


    Nov 16, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    IMO, I would try to keep things out of direct sunlight as much as possible in that kind of heat. I would try to leave my bass in the case or bag and shaded somehow either under the stage, a table, or something when not using it. If it's just an hour it should not be that bad.

    If you are on and off in an hour it shouldn't be much concern, but if the stuff is going to sit for a while after sound check, I would find some shade for my bass, at least.
  4. Funny, I was just thinking about this topic because my band is also playing outdoors this coming Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. We are already having temps over 100 and it's supposed to be in the upper 90's Sunday. I just need to remind myself that it pays well.
  5. Bardley


    Nov 16, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    +1 to the lots of water and no alcohol, as well.
  6. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    I am assuming the OP is smart enough not to leave his gear out in the sun other than while he is playing. Seems likely that if they're only playing an hour, someone else is providing the back line and PA hopefully. Either way, if your gear has to sit out in the sun for any length of time, one trick I have used is to cover it with white or light colored sheets. Most gear is covered in black and it will absorb much more heat then the white sheets will.
  7. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI

    I played a corporate thing years ago, and my bass amp kept going into thermal shut down. The sun is not your friend.

    If you are leaving your bass on a guitar stand be aware of the wind as well as the sun. I had a guitar player who's guitar got blown over when we were on break.
  8. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Yeah drink water only. Anytime we do a outdoor gig part of the deal is there is cover for the band. Playing out in the open is just asking for it, sun or rain.
  9. emor


    May 16, 2004
    I know you're asking about equipment, but use plenty of sunscreen on the inside of your left arm (assuming you're right handed).
  10. Jason Hall

    Jason Hall

    Jun 21, 2012
    Fort Wayne, IN
    +1 to water, keeping gear in cases until needed, sunblock. I was living near Tampa for a while so I've had my share of heat. Heavily recommend a towel for wiping up sweat and a polish cloth or shammy for keeping gear dry. Recently had to replace all the hardware on one of my basses from corrosion... Not fun.
  11. deekay911


    Nov 4, 2007
    Charleston SC
    Humidity is probably more of an issue than temperature itself. I live and play outside almost every week (bar/restaurant patio gigs) in 90% humidity in Charleston SC, and I haven't had any long term issues with my gear. Make sure to tune as often as you can, 'cos that will change as your bass neck absorbs the tempertaure and humidity. Also if your amp/head is prone to run hot at all, get a fan behind you and share the cool breeze with your amp. Water and sunscreen as said above.
  12. Chazinroch


    Feb 2, 2003
    Ontario N.Y.
    Baby powder for sticky hands, electric fan, and if you are using a floor (stomp box) tuner devise a way to shade the read out. I'm assuming the outlets are GFI protected. If not they should be.
  13. davidjackson


    Sep 10, 2011
    You think you have problems?

    We are playing an outdoor show on Saturday and the forecast is for temperatures of 14 degrees C and heavy rain.

    There is a marquee roof over the stage to keep the gear dry but it is going to take a lot of rock and rolling to overcome the elements!
  14. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Fan on the amp (it might go into thermal shutdown).

    Fan on the PA amps (especially the subs).

    Fan on you if possible---- lots of fluid (water)-- party after the show
  15. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    If you have multiple basses to choose from, play the lightest colored one. No joke. My main player is a black-on-black P-Bass and when it's absorbing direct midday sunlight it's no fun, and staying in tune is a bee-otch.

    +1 to everything about liquids (yes water, no alcohol).

    If you or your band has a "no hats" and/or "no shorts" policy you might want to strongly consider making an exception for both in this case. And if you wear shorts, sunscreen your legs front AND BACK and especially pay attention to the area on the back side of your knees. That is some of the most sensitive skin on your entire body (and for a lot of people, the "whitest" as well), and if it gets burned you will be hurting serious. Vanity be damned, I no longer take an outdoor stage without being covered in sunscreen of SPF 30 minimum and higher than that if it's going to be full, uncovered exposure at the peak of the day.

    Before our big outdoor season kicked off last year our guitarist bought himself a big-ass fan and he sets that up on his side of the stage. I kind of pooh-poohed him until the first gig when it was 95+ on stage and then I got it. It also helps keep bugs away.

    Good luck! Outdoor gigs are a whole nother animal and especially in high heat but hopefully there will be plenty of young cuties out there in sundresses to make it worth your while. :cool:
  16. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I just remembered! Insect repellent can eat the finish on painted surfaces. If you dose you self with bug dope, use wet wipes to remove it from your hands and forearms.
  17. +1 to lots of COLD water and sunblock. Bring bug repellent just in case- bugs can be a real PITA.
    +1 to light-colored instruments, particularly the fingerboard. In direct sunlight, rosewood or ebony fingerboards will tend to expand, flattening relief and dropping your action. I have a Modulus which will drop the strings right onto the fingerboard in direct sunlight, rendering it un-playable.
    If possible bring electric fans for a little breeze.
  18. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Antibacterial wet wipes are a staple in my traveling bag during the outdoor gigging season. First outdoor gig trip I took with my band last summer I came down with a sinus infection 3 days later so ever since then I don't leave home without "protection".

    There isn't much nastier than a dusty festival stage and the surrounding areas so it's important to wipe down your gear (and your hands) frequently.

    And in the absence of a shower you can always wipe your bod down with 'em before and after the gig to feel a little less grimy anyway.
  19. +1 to covering gear with white sheets and only exposing it to the sun while you are playing.
  20. viper4000


    Aug 17, 2010
    Eat properly too. Very underestimated when it comes to heat/heat stroke. Don't eat too much.

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