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Upcoming Gig on a Float in a Parade - Looking for Advice

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Dminor7, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Dminor7


    Jun 17, 2016
    I have a chance to play a gig on a float in a parade next summer. Anyone have any advice? Anything we should request up-front?

    Hoping for more of this

    And less of this
    packhowitzer and macmanlou like this.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Things to ask for?

    1) Clean power.

    2) Something to sit on or lean against. Standing out in the open should not even be considered.

    3) Mic stands bolted to the floor.
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    A really long extension cord.

    Ellery, DJ Bebop, ICM and 2 others like this.
  4. Dminor7


    Jun 17, 2016
    I know clean power was required or we would not do the gig. Would not have thought of #3.... great tip

    How about set length? We were thinking of just playing 5 songs over and over again instead of three hours of different songs.
    Mike.C. and two fingers like this.
  5. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
  6. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I've done it once. Power was drawn from a generator in the back of the truck pulling the flatbed. We had railings to lean on, otherwise I occasionally sat on my amp. Yeah, I guess the main thing to make sure you have are something to lean on and a reliable generator.

    I just got a power converter that I hope would enable me to power an amp straight from a car battery, but haven't gone over how to actually hook it up let alone see if it actually works.
  7. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    You don't even need 5 songs for a parade. You may want to have more just for your own sanity, but your stage moves to a new crowd along the way so even 2 songs would be sufficient.
    StyleOverShow and Londo Molari like this.
  8. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I thought parade float performances were mostly lip sync to a PA. Then, along the route you make a few predetermined stops to play for real (in which case you would still need safe, mobile power).
  9. parachute. Make sure you have a parachute
    Cheez, Ellery, PillO and 2 others like this.
  10. I did the float in a parade once. Like Hrodbert, we used a generator on the back of the truck. I would also advise something to cover your amps with in case it starts to downpour, like it did when I played. Nothing like being drenched on a moving truck while trying to play a song and hoping you won't get electrocuted.
    Indexed likes this.
  11. I did a parade many years ago and all the equipment was supplied so I just brought my bass. I don't remember any issues or problems.
  12. DrewinHouston

    DrewinHouston Not currently practicing Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Disclosure: I am not a great bass player
    Looks like a blast, have a great gig!
  13. mmon77

    mmon77 Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2008
    Southern MN
    If you're using your own amp, make sure to try running it from the generator for a bit before the parade. Not all amps like running off a generator. Older amps are usually less picky than the newer class D amps.
  14. redwingxix

    redwingxix Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2015
    Wear a wide brimmed hat and grippy shoes or boots.

    Bring water if you are going to be playing in the sun for a couple hours.

    Try and get your float in the lineup in front of the horses.
    comatosedragon likes this.
  15. Indexed


    Aug 24, 2016
    Houston, TX
    The clean power thing.
    Absolutely something solid to sit on or lean on; there will be lots of stop & start activity when you least expect it.
    Hat, sunscreen, plenty of water, disposable ponchos for you and your equipment if things turn wet.
    Band contact cards and branded merch to hand out along the route. (We gave out band-logo'ed condoms once.)
    DJ Bebop and marmadaddy like this.
  16. mr80htz


    May 15, 2018
    Make sure that to be prepared if the float stops abruptly...happened to me one time. If you fall bad things can happen to the gear. And maybe you too but...
    Indexed likes this.
  17. Cool Thread!

    I have seen a couple people mention 'Clean Power'.
    What is meant by this? Bio-Diesel or ethanol run generator as opposed to a gasoline run generator? Sorry if it's a silly question.
    pappabass likes this.
  18. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
    Extra gas for the Generator. We once ran out 3/4 of the way through a Mardi Gras Parade...LOL.
    Indexed likes this.
  19. Indexed


    Aug 24, 2016
    Houston, TX
    Electrical power that is (relatively) free of spikes and drops in voltage.

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