Hi everyone! Today I will talk a bit about something I have been bitched at for many, many times – BEING ON TIME!
I have been late for two shows I have done. I have done about 70 or so. So this is not about ME BEING ON TIME, it is about YOU BEING ON TIME, and why that is important.
I am going to lay out a scenario. This is a very realistic situation, and how most of my shows are set up.
Doors open at 7pm. Show starts at 8pm. Every band is expect to be at the venue no later than 7pm. Every band is expected to stay the entire show.
LOAD IN TIMES
Band 1 – 7pm
Band 2 – 8pm
Band 3 – 8:45pm
Band 4 – 9:30pm
Headliner – 10:15pm
Band 1 – 8-8:30pm
Band 2 – 8:45-9:15pm
Band 3 – 9:30-10pm
Band 4 – 10:15-10:45pm
Headliner – 11-11:45pm
What do we notice here? Well, I say that every band is expected to be at the venue at 7pm, yet some bands are not loading in or playing for hour. Why do you ask this of bands Henry?
Thank you for asking!
Couple reasons –
If every band is at the venue by the time doors open, it means that every band is setting up merchandise and everything is organized by the time the show starts. I think it is pretty rude when a band is playing their set and you are distracting people by moving your merch inside. Don’t be rude.
The same band that is opening the show is also going to be in the crowd when you are playing. A little respect for that goes a long way.
What else do we notice? There are only 15 minutes between the bands. I know this seems like a short period of time for one band to load off, and another to load on, but I have seen bands do this regularly. If they can, so can you. As long as the band loading off is doing so quickly, they can be entirely off the stage in five minutes. If they are taking a little long I ALWAYS encourage the next band to give them a hand and help (ask first). Prior to the band getting on stage, they should have their equipment put together as much as possible outside. This means the guitars are on their stands, the cymbals are on the rack/stands, the heads are on top of the amps, and so forth. The more you can do before you get on stage, the easier it is when you are loading in.
“But Henry, we need AT LEAST 20 minutes between the bands. Our set up takes some time ya know.”
Okay. So if you need an extra five minutes to set up, that means that your set is now five minutes shorter.
“But that’s not fair!”
Tough. The entire show cannot and will not be pushed back because you waited till the last minute to set up, or load in, or because you think that you need to add 14 props to your stage performance (unless you’re GWAR, you don’t). If you take even five minutes longer to set up, and I push the show even five minutes back for you, then other bands will do the same. Before you know it, we are 15-30 minutes behind and the venue manager/owner is screaming at me. I absolutely assure you I do not like being screamed at, and as a result, you will be on time, or your set will be cut.
You need to understand the venue or promoter you are working with is not being a dick. We have rules and guidelines just like anyone else. Sometimes it is the venue needs to be done with the show by midnight so they can set up their after-hours bar. Sometimes it is a city ordinance in regards to sound. Sometimes it is simply that the venue/promoter don’t want a show to run late. Whatever the reason, respect the time you are given and you will be respected in return.