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What's with no venues having PA/FOH gear?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by SkinCoffin, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. SkinCoffin


    Aug 18, 2015
    From what I've gathered from everyone going on about owning/purchasing/maintaining a PA to take to gigs, and mostly from the US crowd... Do you guys really have to take your own PA's to gigs, own all your own lighting, venues are literally a stage and nothing else?

    Is that actually true, is it for gigs you play, or do you just need to buy PA for rehearsal space?
    heynorm and tekhedd like this.
  2. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yes, it is true for many venues.

    You see, many of the businesses here that have live music also sell food, and are.open during the day. So when there are no bands they want to maximize floor space for more tables. In fact, many of them have no stage to speak of.

    So, yes, many of us are in areas where we must load in the PA every show and take it down at the end.
    tfer, s0c9, musicman7722 and 14 others like this.
  3. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    Where I live you need to supply your own PA. That is why I have about $25,000.00 invested in 3 of them.:D I think venues that have their own PA is more common in original band venues and an urban environment since parking and load in is more of a pain.
    Ductapeman likes this.
  4. SkinCoffin


    Aug 18, 2015
    Is this more a restaurant type set up where you are hired just to play dinner music at low volumes for the people sitting down eating full courses, or like a pub where people go in to see live cover/original bands and have a steak and a beer as well kinda thing?
    drummer5359 likes this.
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I've been gigging since the mid 70's. I've encountered very few venues that had their own sound system. A good % of those that did had horrible systems in place. Very few had a stage. Very few had multiple dedicated circuits not tied into lighting. So yeah, bands have to invest in a PA or source a sound company. If you want to gig, it's a necessity. I'm very happy that today a band can buy a nice small but powerful system unlike years ago where you literally needed a trailer or large cargo van to transport the amount of PA gear.
    Basshappi, Ductapeman and Al Kraft like this.
  6. SkinCoffin


    Aug 18, 2015

    That's interesting. Have venues with PA increased at all though, as the price/power has become a bit easier on the wallet?
  7. yes and yes. Anywhere that does sit down food and live music is less likely to also have PA set up or even stored on site. Depending on the locale you can change up the overall probability but the maxim holds.
  8. SkinCoffin


    Aug 18, 2015
    Pretty much all venues that are "pubs/hotels" in Aus have an in-house PA that usually just stays set up where is is, just set up in a seperate room to the dining area and the room is closed off when no bands are playing.

    I can't speak for a high-class restaurants though since I rarely see them with live musicians in them let alone a PA that's why I thought your own PA might be only for those really fancy restaurants (that admittedly, I don't go to) where people go to order $500 bottles of wine and listen to live jazz bands play in the corner of the room, no stage or anything, while they eat
  9. alembicguy

    alembicguy I operate the worlds largest heavey equipment Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
  10. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Everywhere I play, there's a (anywhere from "pretty decent" to "wow") PA. They also have stages that are anywhere from 6" or so to 3' higher than the floor. I can't think of a venue, even the little rinky-dink places, that don't have a decent PA.
    Of course, there are still a lot of bands here have guys bringing full stacks and 8x10s to bars that seat maybe 100... I can never fathom why, and it pretty much always has me going out the door within a few minutes.
    BassGreaser and StayLow like this.
  11. A venue that heavily invests and features quality live entertainment almost full time, will likely have a PA and sound engineer.

    The average bar or restaurant will not.
    HolmeBass, obimark, mikeyjm2 and 3 others like this.
  12. He norm depends on the locale. Almost nobody seems to get that.
    LowFish, tfer, gumtown and 5 others like this.
  13. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Anti-tort heathen Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    Pretty much what I was going to say. What I've learned that (in my area anyway) - places that are more known for their food but also have a bar/live entertainment are far less likely to have their own stage/PA/sound guy than places that are more known as a bar/live entertainment but also has food type of place.
  14. Bread Knife

    Bread Knife

    Oct 8, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    In Seattle, I would not bother trying to play somewhere that didn't have a stage and a PA. Most of the venues that I have played around town are really focused on drinks and music, though. Restaurants and live music don't mix much around these parts.
    spaz21387 likes this.
  15. I've played bars that have a raised stage and great house lighting but a horrible PA setup that's mostly only used by the house DJ. I've played little dives that have a basic PA that included floor monitors. And I've played nicer places which had no stage, no PA, and we had to run an extension cord from a back room to get power to the spot we were setting up.

    And our practice space - a garage typically - didn't come with a PA, so we had a smaller one for that space.

    It really just depended on the venue. And most of the places I played didn't have a soundman.

    Played a few weddings and private parties where we set up in a room. For outdoor gigs, it depended on how organized it was whether or not they had a PA and soundman.

    Basically, in order to accept all types of gigs, a band around here needs to have their own PA (including all mics, stands, and cables) ready to go and someone who knows how to run sound. You can rent a setup if you need to, but then you might not make much from the gig once you pay the rental fees.

    I ran sound for my band, so I'd always scope out the venue days before the gig so I knew which equipment we needed to bring, how much space we had to set up, where we would load in/park including any stair cases or narrow hallways or limited street parking on a Saturday night. The band joked I would do a full geological study of the venue - but hey, when the gig came, we had all the gear and cables we needed and rarely any surprises.
  16. Wished I lived in your town. Everywhere around here (Northern NSW) expects you to bring your own sound & lights.
  17. where you live. Not everywhere. What is it with the absolutes? Surely the existence of the OP indicates his confusion why the same is not hapoening where he lives.

    The average restaurant bar that does live music regularly might be about half with PA half without. Is that average? Or do you mean average in the modern slang meaning of sub par, inadequate, below average?
  18. Regional variation everywhere you turn.
    Addison likes this.
  19. Thumper19605


    Jun 29, 2013
    In Pa. We drag our own PA. ;)
  20. davidprice


    Jan 1, 2005
    It was a nice surprise when starting to play in Europe that almost everyplace provided PA - including small bars, pizza places, etc. Those gigs in the US were almost always bring your own - even many which had music regularly. Provided backline was likewise unusual in the US except for high end dedicated venues which dealt with touring acts and, of course, festivals.
    SkinCoffin likes this.

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