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Author Topic: It's festival season!  (Read 2434 times)

Mike Monte

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Re: It's festival season!
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2018, 10:22:09 am »

Worked my first festival of the season yesterday

Actual questions I was asked:

1st performer: Here's my jump drive, do you have a laptop I can play it on?

Next performer (who obviously saw my interaction with the first performer): Do you have a table I can put my laptop on?

Third performer: Can I use your iPad to stream my tracks?

Later, I'm a cellist, I need a chair, do you have one?

Me to band member: How does the band set up on the stage?
Band member: I don't know how the band sets up

Do you have a drum rug?

I have a vox processor (I was ready with splitters! Gave them all the processed vocal they wanted in their monitor!)

Do you have a drum rug?

At least three guitar players with 8+ pedals on their boards who plugged in and got no sound from their rig

Do you have a drum rug?

Ahh, the smell of hot dogs on the grill, summer is here!!

Who's got things to add??

 ;D ;D ;D ;D

A few years ago I provided the rig for an indoor multi-band fundraiser.
I have done (and still do) this gig on an annual basis for many years..
well
I think that it was the 3rd band up (out of 6 bands) goes onstage with 7 guitars..... four of which didn't bring amps....The four guitar holders, ahem, musicians, ask me where they can "plug in".....  At that point I only had two extra DI channels (two were already in use for keys/bass)..
I said to them "you guy fight over it..."

The organizer of the show didn't even know that they were bringing an army...  He was on my side.

BTW: This all took place during a 15 minute switch-over....

I think the name of the band was something like "so'n so and his Thundering Herd".... 

They got the "herd" part right...lol
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Don T. Williams

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Re: It's festival season!
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2018, 10:26:05 am »

I worked a Cowboy and Country Swing festival for several years with 30 minute sets and 15 minute set changes - 10 to 12 hours straight daily with no breaks.  There were never any tech riders and the "sound checks" could only take two or three minutes, but the setups were pretty standardized.  It was hectic but most groups were very easy to please.  I never had a real problem until a large "true bluegrass" group was hired one year.  No pickups and only acoustic instruments because they were "pure".  Guess what group wanted added individual mics for every instrument and a vocal mic for everyone onstage . . . and rock concert level monitors?  You guessed it!
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Scott Olewiler

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Re: It's festival season!
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2018, 03:46:22 pm »

Band member to me: "I don't know how you can be in this business and not be carrying a drum rug. You really should be carrying one if you expect to stay in business."

Me: "If I supply the drum kit then I do supply the rug. What I don't understand is how you could bring a drum kit and not bring a rug with you. Is this your first show?"


I had to replace a guitar cable (the artist provided one of course) 2 summers ago with  a working cable of mine. As is necessary, I muted the channel first. As soon as I connected my "not broken" cable he starts strumming, tells me my cable is no good. I tell him I need to unmute the channel, which I promptly did. Later I overheard him  telling someone else that the reason his guitar wasn't working was because the sound guy doesn't know what he is doing and had his channel muted.  He called me this past weekend oddly enough and left me a voice message. I will not be returning it.
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If you want to feel more Kick drum turn up the kick drum fader, not the damn subs.

Rick Powell

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Re: It's festival season!
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2018, 03:55:00 pm »

I think the name of the band was something like "so'n so and his Thundering Herd".... 

They got the "herd" part right...lol

I suppose the two players who didn't bring amps and were aced out of the remaining DI's would be the "unherd".
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Patrick Tracy

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Re: It's festival season!
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2018, 06:44:04 pm »

At that point I only had two extra DI channels (two were already in use for keys/bass)..
I said to them "you guy fight over it..."

Those DI boxes have two 1/4" jacks each, right? Let 'em share!

Tom Roche

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Re: It's festival season!
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2018, 06:57:50 pm »

All it took was one gig playing on a hard surface and experiencing major bass drum creep with each downbeat for me to buy a drum rug.  Lesson learned!  Since then I've never left home for a gig without it.

I've had a few instances of guitar players who couldn't tune their guitar, didn't bring a tuner, no cord, and similar silliness, but some of the things posted here are really over the top.  I'd never expect this behavior from musicians with even a little experience playing out.  I wonder how some of these people are playing at the festival level when they act like beginner level players.
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Rick Powell

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Re: It's festival season!
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2018, 07:29:15 pm »

All it took was one gig playing on a hard surface and experiencing major bass drum creep with each downbeat for me to buy a drum rug.  Lesson learned!  Since then I've never left home for a gig without it.

I've had a few instances of guitar players who couldn't tune their guitar, didn't bring a tuner, no cord, and similar silliness, but some of the things posted here are really over the top.  I'd never expect this behavior from musicians with even a little experience playing out.  I wonder how some of these people are playing at the festival level when they act like beginner level players.

Headliners are usually prepared and knowledgeable. Itís the opening act whose uncle is on the festival committee who usually forgets the drum rug or the guitar pick.

That being said, I recall being the opening act and having our soundcheck and stage setup all done, and the 2nd to headliner act missed their soundcheck call by an hour. Instead of telling the act that they were out of luck, they accommodated them and we had to pull our gear, let them do the soundcheck, and then run like hell to get re-set and muddle thru our set with several items mis-patched from all the last minute confusion.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 07:31:47 pm by Rick Powell »
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: It's festival season!
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2018, 07:41:06 pm »

Headliners are usually prepared and knowledgeable. Itís the opening act whose uncle is on the festival committee who usually forgets the drum rug or the guitar pick.

That being said, I recall being the opening act and having our soundcheck and stage setup all done, and the 2nd to headliner act missed their soundcheck call by an hour. Instead of telling the act that they were out of luck, they accommodated them and we had to pull our gear, let them do the soundcheck, and then muddle thru our set with several items mid-patched from all the last minute confusion.

Yep, or friends with someone on the committee, etc.

"No, we are not drummers nor did we supply the drum kit.  Ask the festival why they didn't provide a drum rug for you.  PLEASE GO ASK THEM and while you're at it, tell them how much they suck because they don't have a carton of 2B sticks and Dunlop picks for the guy that can't tune his guitar."

The flip side can go something like this:  National act you might have heard of that sends a rider full of esoteric back line that is "absolutely needed for this show" but "100% subject to revision."  Four days before the show (middle of a 9 day long festival) they send a new rider that is 83.4% revisions and all that esoteric back line is now being replaced with another batch of equally or more esoteric back line.  Seems the backing band has replaced members during rehearsal and these new players are endorsing artists and can't be seen playing other brands...

So get those endorsement reps to ship those drums, keyboards, and exotic percussion directly to the festival because in a 3rd tier city getting much of this stuff (some just shown at NAMM) is going to be difficult to do while we're running a multi-stage festival IF it's available near by.  This is a true and current story...  Then factor in that getting a 'change order' approved by the festival during the run may not happen and we'll be stuck with the bill unless we make enough noise to get paid (threats of lawsuit) that will result in non-renewal of our contract.  Pffft.

It's not better at higher levels, it's just less personal.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Michael Lascuola

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Re: It's festival season!
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2018, 10:57:19 pm »

So far:
1) Talent:  " I have backing tracks on my phone, can you play them?"
Me:  "Sure"
Talent:  Produces an iPhone 10 (no 1/8" output), then gives me a dirty look because I, "said I could do it."

2) Talent:  "I have backing tracks queued up on my laptop, can you play them?"
Me:  "Sure"
Talent:  Boots up an ancient Acer laptop that is so low on space, it keeps giving a loud beep warning (many times louder than his hissy tracks) and dialog box warning of space.  Playlist was in randomized order, so he was holding the wrong sax/horn for each and every song.

Yet, this is the busy season  :D

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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: It's festival season!
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2018, 06:54:24 am »

So far:
1) Talent:  " I have backing tracks on my phone, can you play them?"
Me:  "Sure"
Talent:  Produces an iPhone 10 (no 1/8" output), then gives me a dirty look because I, "said I could do it."

2) Talent:  "I have backing tracks queued up on my laptop, can you play them?"
Me:  "Sure"
Talent:  Boots up an ancient Acer laptop that is so low on space, it keeps giving a loud beep warning (many times louder than his hissy tracks) and dialog box warning of space.  Playlist was in randomized order, so he was holding the wrong sax/horn for each and every song.

Yet, this is the busy season  :D
I sympathize with all for the silly clients, but as this has been mentioned a couple times now I will put my two cents in and say that everyone should be carrying the IPhone 10 1/8Ē adapter.  Itís $9 whole dollars, and maybe today itís a show that you donít really care if there is chaos about, but I guarantee youíll have a show soon where that wonít be the case.

There are places to draw the line; Iím not sure this is one of those places.
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