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Presidential Visit Coinciding With Gig

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by jaywa, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Just found out that President Obama is campaigning in the same town my band is booked to play this coming Saturday. Having heard tales from other cities I am not looking forward to this at all, specifically the impact it could have on travel to and around the city.

    My other concern is that if this is a public appearance and depending on what time it happens, how much attendance could it pull away from our show? We are not in a prime time slot (noon), and are only scheduled for 45 mins anyway so I'm not sure what kind of crowd would have been there anyway.

    My bigger concern by far is the logistics and I've already texted my BL asking him to plan much more travel time than usual so we don't miss the gig stuck in traffic. On top of which, from the festival we have to turn around and head back out of town for a 3-hour drive (in good traffic) the opposite direction to make a bar gig we're booked for that night. So the traffic thing has the potential to impact not one gig, but two.

    Any of you out there had the same experience? How (or did) it affect your gig, travel, etc. Any special preparations we can and should be making?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Big Brother

    Big Brother

    Feb 13, 2011
    San Diego
    Roving sub-demon
    He must have seen your fliers
  3. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    LOL. Yeah I texted my lead guitarist and the first thing he said was, "so he's sitting in with us, then?"
  4. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    How close is he going to be to the gig? Be prepared to have your vehicle searched, at the very least of the undercarriage.

    When he comes to NYC, pretty much all travel is a nightmare. It's called Obamalock.
  5. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Thanks bassgod. Hadn't thought of the search thing. I don't think he's gonna be real close to where we're playing, but then the town isn't that big either. I'm not real familiar with the area but I think our venue is on the opposite side of town from the airport (I assume the route between his speaking venue and the airport will be completely shut down)... so hopefully we won't be detoured 30 miles or something ridiculous like that.

    We play a 45-minute set at noon so I'm hoping we can get in, do the show and get the eff out of town before he even lands. Will definitely be keeping an eye on the local news for when they release his schedule.
  6. YuppyPunk


    Oct 21, 2011
    A few years ago I took a weekday off to take my family to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore for the day. It just so happened that was the day that Obama was speaking to the RNC. It was not announced until that morning. Every conceivable route was blocked. We eventually just parked a few blocks away and walked.

    The cool part was that we got to see his motorcade though my daughter was far more interested in the horses for the mounted police officers.

    If your venue is going to be anywhere near the route of the motorcare be prepared to huff it a few blocks.
  7. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Obama will be here tomorrow afternoon, but fortunately it won't interfere with any gigs for me. In 2010, though, I had a Friday night gig cancelled by the club owner b/c the president scheduled a speech a few blocks from the venue.

    It's like the line in the New Yorker's gig listings: "Musicians and night club proprietors lead complicated lives; it is advisable to check in advance to confirm engagements."
  8. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    That just the way it is with any visit by a president. Plan extra travel time. You will attract a bit of attention to yourself by asking his route and schedule, so just assume that everything will be a mess and get there early.
  9. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Well, we may have caught a break. Looks like our venue and where the Prez is speaking are about 6 miles apart, on opposite sides of a river and the two locations do not share a common route. Still gonna push for us to leave for the gig extra early though.

    Better news still... schedule was just made public and his speech isn't till Saturday night. Doors don't even open till 4:30 in the afternoon. It's very likely my band will be done with our noon show and well on our way to the other gig before he even gets to town.
  10. Don't worry. Aside from some traffic snarls you will probably draw a good crowd. I'm sure for most folks, going to see a local band is a lot more interesting than stale politics.
  11. nickbass79


    Nov 11, 2009
    North Carolina

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