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Local Bands Need to Know
Keep Your Gear in Shape
Learn it and Live it!
If you've had any experience at all playing local shows with multiple bands playing, you all ready know the importance of getting your equipment on and off the stage quickly. Unfortunately many bands don't understand this rule clearly enough, or maybe they just feel like they are too special to follow it.
For whatever reason, if you lolly gag about when you are supposed to be setting up or tearing down, other bands get mad, the venue gets mad, fans leave because they get tired of waiting. Overall, it can just be really unfortunate when your band doesn't set up and tear down in a timely manner.
The 7 1/2 minute rule
became the norm early on during multi-band concerts. Fifteen minutes is actually well formulated
for a number of reasons. For one reason,
the venue customers can deal with a fifteen minute wait between sets. Very shortly after that mark is up, they will
lose interest and book to some other "more exciting" venue.
Another reason for the fifteen minutes between shows rule is times are given with the consideration of this set up and tear down time. Running late and making the last band of the night lose part of their set time is definitely not a pretty situation for the band that causes the delays.
Many savvy sound engineers will cut your set short if you are late getting set up, so it can adversely affect your show too. Lord forbid some lazy ass band cuts into your set time because they won't get their gear out of the way in time for your band to set up and jam for your allotted minutes of fame for the evening.
Many venues will have an area off stage where you can start pre-setting up the drums, tuning your guitars and doing whatever preliminary work you need to do before you actually get on stage. Use that time wisely to help make sure your set up on stage will go more smoothly. Get all cords, hook-ups, etc... in place as much as possible. If you need new batteries in pedals or mount rack equipment, do that now too. Getting on stage is for plugging in, doing a quick sound check if you are so lucky, and beginning to rock out, not for tuning your strings and changing batteries.
At the end of your set, get your stuff off stage, immediately. Get help if you need it, but get it off. After you are completely off the stage, then load out of the venue if you are required. I've seen a lot of bands loading out from on stage and that's just bad manners. Unless you are the last band of the night, get the hell out of the way so the next band can get their 7 1/2 minutes of set up time. Then you can have plenty of time to bask in the glory of your adoring fans telling you how tight you sounded.
If you follow these rules, you'll look that much more professional, the venue and other bands will notice your consideration and you might win some friends and influence other bands that need to get out of your way on time.