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Playing at an outdoor music festival today and I just found out there is only one stage.....

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Tony In Philly, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    ....and there are no gap times between each band. How the heck is that going to work? Most bands are allotted one hour, mostly on the hour. Nobody said anything to us about pooled gear (other than the PA) either. So we go on at 1 PM today and I'll probably have some kind of rant later on about how we only got to play for a half hour or something because of stage chaos. Oh well it's the first gig of a three gig weekend. We have a bar gig tonight and a private party tomorrow as well. Anyway the festival site looks great -- amblerfest.org

    Anybody else ever been in one of these potentially chaotic stage situations?
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  2. dmrogers

    dmrogers Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Eastman, GA
    We play one or two festivals like this every year. Regardless of what they say, there is always a gap between groups. It might only be 10 minutes, but that is reality.

    We always get there early, setup before it starts (if possible) and have enough help to get off the stage quick.

    At the biggest festival we do, they have excellent sound & stage support, with extra stage hands to assist load in and out.

    Just have your stuff ready, take only what you need on stage and have fun!
    Tony B. Filthy likes this.
  3. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    Well no way will you be able to do an hour set. I would figure 45 minutes unless you want to screw the bands coming on later in the day.
    Tony B. Filthy likes this.
  4. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    I would never do that; that would be a really creepy thing to do. We have a contingency plan to lop off a few songs from the set if necessary.
    BioWeapon likes this.
  5. Goatrope

    Goatrope Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    Yes, been there. Chaos. No sound check, schlepping gear, stepping over each other. Only for a good cause. Just did this as part of local "Relay for Life" benefit.
    Tony B. Filthy likes this.
  6. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    You will probably get 45 minutes. Then there will be a 15 minute change over.
  7. Roland GR 88

    Roland GR 88

    Sep 16, 2013
    I've played dozens of festivals over the years - no sound check, unfamiliar amps and a general panic to plug in and play asap. The best way I found to get through without losing my mind was to have faith in the FOH engineer. If the bands before you sound good so will you.
  8. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    Yup. These are known as "Throw & Go" or "Pray & Play" situations. No soundcheck, maybe 5-15 minutes to get setup and line-check (make sure all mics and di's are working at front of house). It's more common than you might think!

    I've done Throw & Go's on festivals of a few thousand people on up to 100,000. It's happening on just about every day-long festival you go to! A line-check is all you can hope for sometimes. I've done plenty of big shows without even that! The Grand Ole Opry is a great example: 3-5 minute changeovers and NO linecheck. You literally get on stage, plug into the backline and then GO. Thats not typical for tv oor radio broadcast, but is the Opry way.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  9. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Get there early. Usually there a procedure. We usually put our gear at the rear, and as soon as there is room, start handing it up. Drums are the biggest issue, so have everything up on the stands to hand up.

    Smile. You are not alone.
  10. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    You will probably go on late and playa short set due to scheduling backup prior to your stage time. Hope they have a Back line. That's the nature of these type,of gigs.
  11. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    Well it ended up just fine. The sound people were very professional and we played our entire set plus one more because the next band actually arrived late. As usual I worried about nothing. Thanks to all those who responded.
  12. Goatrope

    Goatrope Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    Cool. At my last one, I was able to use a golf cart to lug my gear from the parking lot to the other side of the field where the stage was set. After the gig, golf carts were gone! Oh man, I regret not having brought my little cart. What a pita after a long day.
  13. For years we have played three local shindigs each year and never have a set up problem. As we are the opening act in all three, you of course know the rest of that story; if there will be 15 bands involved and we open that means there are 14 bands ........... :woot:

    Yep, we entertain a lot of vendors and carnival guys and the Rotary Club is always late getting their booth set up. So we see the same people each year.

    But, it's all fun, and they do ask us back.
  14. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    I'm glad everything worked out and you had a good gig. I've played lots of multi-band events where the "coordinators" would schedule Band-A from 3pm to 4:30pm, Band-B from 4:30pm to 6pm, Band-C from 6pm to 7:30pm, etc. Totally clueless. Luckily the other musicians, stage crew, and sound guys knew what needed to be done and everybody worked together to make our own "wiggle room".

    Just take it as it comes and have fun. Break a leg!

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  15. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Our last gig was like this. Four bands with "in front of the stage" acts between to make the changeovers less clunky - reptile show, jugglers etc. Seemed like a good way to keep the flow going and the crowd entertained.

    This gig, we did the change over in record time and had about 15 minutes downtime before the jugglers wrapped their act up and we started playing. Well, 15 minutes turned into 30 turned into 45. There was us and one more band to squeeze in before the fireworks starting at predetermined time. I kept seeing our set get smaller and smaller each time the jugglers started a new routine. Finally, these guys finish up their act (the crowd was getting bored with them anyways), we get up and play 60% of our set, pass it over the last band who played a few tunes.

    What killed me was that the bands we there playing for the cause and the jugglers were getting paid! Not sure what the deal was with that. Should have pulled the gong out for them at the 15 minute mark!

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