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Running wet

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Mike Monte:

--- Quote from: Steve Mason on June 20, 2021, 04:40:53 AM ---Renting in 4 x srx828sp and 4 x srx815sp.  Very extended forecast for 4th of July weekend is calling for a slight chance of rain and I have a 2.5 day music event at the local (small) county fair. Curious on opinions as what to use for cover in the event of moisture and what the level of weather resistance is.  I have rented this front end before but precipitation was not an issue. Hoping for good weather of course but even with insurance I want to respect the $$$$ worth of gear in the event of rain.  2 mains over subs 2 subs ea per side on aluminum tube platforms with power distribution well covered/protected inside the stage area. I will of course discuss this with the provider also but would appreciate everyone's 2 coppers.

--- End quote ---

Since you are renting cabinets why not rent a passive system??
I have done more than my share of "wet" gigs and my passive systems have never failed....
My double 18 subs are placed on wooden pallets (painted black).  I use a brown (6x8?) tarp over each sub, bungy'd to the pallet. 
By putting the subs on pallets, water is able to run underneath the cabs.....

My mid/hi cabs go on stands with Home Depot "contractor bags" on'em.

I highly doubt that my "wet gigs" would have survived if I used active rigs.....due to heat buildup.

**At the local level I have found that if for some reason it starts to rain, an event coordinator is happy that a PA is still working - no matter what it looks like.

Tim McCulloch:
Disclaimer- I'm the grumpy old guy people tell you to avoid... because I'm right about safety and if safety is the issue, I don't give a damn about the gig continuing at that point in time.

Our contract says: unless the engagement is specifically described as "rain or shine" in the contract, rain will stop a show.  Our on-site representative has the final say in withholding services based on any nature-related issues (rain, wind, lightning, flash floods, seismic activity, wild fires, etc) and determining when the issue has abated.  We include our weather plan as an exhibit to the contract.

We had an account that had bad weather every time I was on the crew.  They didn't like that I'd call their show but... they also "liked" me because I brought needed rain (they said).  After a small roof blow down, a river (literally) running through FOH (flash flood), and a couple other weather things, we stopped bidding on the event.

The idea that "the show must go on" comes from people who will loose money if it doesn't.  Write your contracts so you're paid UP FRONT AND IN FULL IN CASH. GREEN MONEY.  The kind that payment cannot be stopped, reversed, or disputed...  For an example, the Indiana State Fair blow-down with Sugarland 10 years ago... the *promoter* (who was not the Fair Board, but an agent acting on their behalf) stood to loose his cut of merch sales if the show was cancelled (as well as jeopardize his relationships with artist managers and agents), so he wanted the show to go on.

The sound/light contractor didn't want to jeopardize their relationship with the State Fair and had no contractual right to withhold services (never work for the Fair again, even if they did), and the Fair had no clear plan to deal with *impending* disaster, although they had a workable post-disaster plan).  Not sure if the report - commissioned by the Fair Board - from Witt Associates is still available...  Also the forensic engineering of the blow down was done by Thorton-Tomasetti and that report was available on line for several years...

Back to rain - pre-stage and pre-attach tarps or covers so all you have to do is flip the tarps over or pull the covers down and secure so wind doesn't blow them around.  ELECTRICAL service ON STAGE will need to be struck and kept dry... all the stingers, extension cords, power strips... DO NOT re-energize them if wet or damp (and if GFCIs trip, that's your sign that shit ain't safe).

Nobody's life or safety should be compromised for a gig.  Never.

Brian Jojade:
Personally, I feel that tarps and plastic bags over speakers means that the right preparations haven't been made for the job.

There are speakers that are rated for outdoor use. For those that are not, covers from UnderCoverNYC as listed earlier are amazing.  I won't do an outdoor show without them!  They look nice, and are acoustically transparent, so you don't end up with the rattling garbage bag mess.

I've had them on my speakers for a decade, and have been through some pretty nasty storms, including one that threw a set of speakers about 100 feet through the air.  The covers stayed on and intact and everything was ok.  Good times were had by all.

As far as power goes, yes, safety is key. I personally dislike powered speakers for outdoor shows because now you have power at more places.  When you only have to deliver power to your amp rack, then that's the only space you need to really worry about.  If you're running power to your speakers, make sure to run continuous power runs - don't daisy chain extension cords!  As Tim stated, if a GFCI trips due to the weather, that means something has gone wrong. Trying to bypass that is just asking for trouble.

Dave Bednarski:
+1 Under Cover NY, if rain is possible they go on the PA for the day and also ready to go for monitors that may be exposed.

Clear 95 gallon bags have worked out great over the years for passing showers to cover racks / cases in solo work or small shows.  They are very fast to deploy and get thrown away in the end of the day.  They sell giant rubber bands that go on/around just as quick.  You can peal off a bag, throw it over a 16U deep rack, snap a rubber band the middle, in under a minute.

Alternatively, there are pallet covers that come in sizes that go drop over racks.  They cost more and probably only make sense if you have consistency in case sizes and are motivated to reuse them or your rain exposure is infrequent.

Caleb Dueck:

--- Quote from: Mike Monte on June 20, 2021, 04:39:30 PM ---After the details the text reads:
- The Contractor reserves the rite (snip)

--- End quote ---

Sorry, that little typo bugs me.  Even if we have the right to perform the rite of liquid abatement. 

As others have said - if you're renting - why not rent passive?  Half the cabling, and no electrical to the speakers to futz with.


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