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Author Topic: What size stage?  (Read 1229 times)

Steve Crump

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What size stage?
« on: July 16, 2017, 01:21:05 pm »

This one is not about sound, but I am sure someone here knows about staging.

I have a client that has a event room where they are about host a three pc. The three pc consist of keys, who alternates with accordion, guitar center stage and an electrical bass player, all are mic'd for vocals.
It will be the owner's their first show since taking over the facility and the act charted nationally and is a frat brother of the new owner, so I know the owner will want to make a good impression. Not that he wouldn't want to for any show.

The room is 80' x 50' very high ceilings. (I just mentioned this because if I didn't, someone would ask)

My portable stage is a 16 x 16 x 2, it has a gray poly flooring, and I have no skirting. Works for the things I do, but it doesn't look good enough for this ballroom, so I am renting. Now if this becomes a regular thing for this client I plan on improving what I have available.

Since I am renting I have a lot of size options. When it is a small setup I like 16' deep because by the time a stage monitor is in front of a player and a bass amp rig is behind the player, they still have room to move around. As far as width, I know from using a 16' wide when you have three players across the front it looks full. I am thinking 16 x 20, but is that to much? I will attach a sketch I just started. Red is the stage panels.

Any opinions on stage size?
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Robert Piascik

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Re: What size stage?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2017, 02:24:34 pm »

It depends on a bunch of variables including your personal preferences. I think it's not unreasonable to give each player an 8' wide space so 24' wide by 12'-16' deep. It's nice to not have the performers jammed up against the monitors and room behind them for their rigs. But also how 'big' do they play? A nationally charting act might expect a bigger footprint than a local band
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Steve Crump

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Re: What size stage?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2017, 02:55:53 pm »

 A nationally charting act might expect a bigger footprint than a local band
[/quote]

This is part of my paranoia. I have received other riders for different acts before that had specific stage minimum sizes, quality of decking and rigidity of the stage, etc, but this rider had no staging requirements.
Another concern is that the room is not enormous, so I don't want the stage to look to large for the room or the event. Most of the event rental places around here go with a standard 12 x 24. I am leaning to 16 x 20.


Thanks for your input Robert.
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Ned Ward

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Re: What size stage?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2017, 09:34:05 pm »

Local band - 12' depth can be fine. We used that for years when we couldn't do the 16' deep. monitors on milk crates off the stage can claim back some room.
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Stephen Kirby

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Re: What size stage?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 12:28:56 am »

What monitors?  Things like MicroWedges (or the Lounge level Alto SXM112s) can nearly be stood on top of.  More common boxes with typical tilt back angles you have to get 5+ feet back from.
The keyboard rig probably takes up the most stage space.  Especially if they have on stage amplification.  Bass players can stand fairly close to their amps.
But if there's space behind, then you probably want depth so it doesn't feel like you're going to fall off the back.  Even with a railing it's disconcerting.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: What size stage?
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 12:19:05 pm »

My small stage is 16 x 8 with a 8 x 6 drum riser off the back.
I can fit a 5-piece band with a full drum kit on it, if they get along ok.
The 2' height doesn't require a railing, and I have never had anyone complain about it.
My large stage is 24 x 12 plus the riser.
It gets used regularly for street fairs and has been liked by all the bands who play on it.
Both stages are covered with a single piece of carpet, so there are no seams to trip on.
Skirting and carpeting definitely add the finishing touches.
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David Allred

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Re: What size stage?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 04:13:54 pm »

With no drums to work around, 20 x 16 is pretty huge, unless the accordion player is going to swing from a rope while shooting a flaming arrow.  Too large of a stage can swallow up a 3 piece.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: What size stage?
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2017, 04:20:11 pm »

With no drums to work around, 20 x 16 is pretty huge, unless the accordion player is going to swing from a rope while shooting a flaming arrow.  Too large of a stage can swallow up a 3 piece.

Sweaty Teddy plays the accordion, too?  Somebody needs to alert the authorities!
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Lyle Williams

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Re: What size stage?
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2017, 04:55:29 pm »

From a business point of view you want to have enough parts that a few maintenance issues won't stop a show.

Also, who might rent staging from you? How much will they need?  If they need a lot more than you have (eg fashion show runway) can you team up with another local provider with compatible stock?
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Don T. Williams

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Re: What size stage?
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2017, 05:33:40 pm »

The ability to do 24' X 12' with a riser behind or a 20' - 24' X 16' without a riser is a standard for local or smaller regional events.  For you stated event, the 16' X 16' - 20' almost seems too big, but that depends on the band.  Probably too big is better than too small.

I provided event services for Merle Haggard a few times, usually on 50' X 40' or larger stage.  Merle and his group set up in an area about 16' X 12', and as far upstage as possible.  That's how they liked it!
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