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The Basics

OK, it's gig time. What do I want my band members to know to stay on the good side of PDP Productions, of touring bands, venue owners, and of fans in general?

Be on time!

It's of vital importance in nearly all venues to be punctual! If we give you a load-in time of 4:30pm, be there at 4:00pm organized, and ready to load-in at 4:30pm. If your set is at 6:30pm, find the stage manager or sound guy and ask him what you need to do to be ready to strike your first chord at 6:30pm. Have gear working properly, drums built, guitars tuned, and whatever else you need to do. Even 3 minutes late makes a huge difference!

Loading in, backlining and gear storage

When you arrive immediately contact the show coordinator. She will tell you where to park, which door to load-in, where to store your gear. If this is a ticketed show with bands selling tickets, she will also collect any unsold tickets and money you might have. If you are the opening band you will generally be loading your gear onto the stage immediately.

At some shows where there is sufficient stage space we will backline some or all of the gear. What that means is lining up all guitar and bass amps in reverse order of performance. The headliner will start the backline, putting their gear up against the back wall. All bands will follow, not worrying about plugging amps in or getting them 100% where they want them. It just makes changeovers between so much easier. There might also be a backlined drum set or not, but guitars, keyboards, lighting, and other equipment will be stored someplace else, until gig time.

Bring The Gear You Need

Speaking of backline, do not assume there will be any backline gear (drums, amps, cabs) for you to use unless you are told this is the case. Sound folks usually provide mics, main speakers, monitors and all the stuff to power them and hook them up. You need to bring all the instruments, cables, drums, cymbals, pedals, keyboards you need. You can even bring your favorite microphone if it's not a P.O.S.

Keyboard players don't forget your power supply and you really should have instrument cables to plug into the DI box... just like an acoustic guitar player should. Please bring acoustic electric guitars if you plan on playing acoustic guitar - they are so much easier to deal with than micing a quiet guitar. Along those lines, any string instruments (violins, upright bases, etc.) should have their own integral pickups with a 1/4" or XLR (even better) output. Horns can go either way as they are load enough, but if you have a pickup that's great too. If you need more than 2 or 3 outlets to plug your stuff into you should bring your own power strips. Don't assume the venue or sound people can provide you with 20 conveniently placed outlets for your band.

Show Etiquette

Finally, a few things we like to see from bands we work with. 99% of you already know these things, but for the 1% who don't... Please...

Before The Show
  • Call us if you need to cancel as soon as you know. There is no excuse for just not showing up without notice.
  • CALL US IF YOU WILL BE LATE. We reserve the right to remove your band from the show or change your set time if you are late.
  • Understand that we might need to change your set time even if all your fans expect you to play at some other time. It is unfortunate, but sometimes it happens.
  • Remember that someone has to play first / last / early / late / in the middle of the show. Please don't grouse about the set order. We try to mix it up. Someday if you're still around you'll be the band that gets to play the "best" spot.
On Stage
  • Set up quickly and keep the show moving. People didn't come to the show to watch you tune and fiddle with your equipment.
  • Don't break down your drums, wind cables and pack your guitars on stage. Move them off the stage first so we can get the next band on.
  • Don't expect us to know how to fix / set up your gear. We probably have a spare cable if you need one, but if something breaks you'd better have a spare or know a friendly band that will loan you something.
  • If it takes too long to fix it comes out of your set time.
  • Don't go over your set time. If you're not sure ask.
  • Encourage your fans to go to your merch table after your set, as opposed to chatting with you on the stage.
  • If you don't have enough music to fill out the time don't pad it by playing that cover you learned yesterday or pulling out that crappy song you haven't played in years. Better to finish early and strong and leave them wanting more.
  • Keep your amps stage volume at a reasonable level. Give the sound guy a chance to give you a good mix.
  • If you're have trouble hearing something in the monitors let the sound guy know, but relax because it might be as good as it can be and the audience can hear you just fine anyway.
  • It's always nice to mention the bands playing after you, thank the ones before you and ask your fans to stick around and support them. Hopefully others will give you the same courtesy.
  • If you're playing another show with us in a month or two by all means mention that too!