[This post comes to us from guest contributors Drew Stoga and Peter Gavin (with some help by Creig Camacho) of GigMasters. For more sound advice on booking and performance, check out GigMasters' blog-- Inside the Gig.]
Summer is here and the time is right for…outdoor gigging!
There’s a lot to love about playing in the great outdoors, but more goes into pulling off an amazing outdoor performance than many party planners and even some seasoned bookers realize. To prevent an outdoor gig from turning you into a dehydrated, sunburned mess, you want to make sure that you’re covered – literally.
When you want to learn about fish you go to the aquarium, so we thought, who knows how to survive hot gigs better than a steel drum band? OK it’s a bad analogy but we got some great tips from Creig Camacho of The Caribbean Crew, a 5-star GigMasters Steel Drum Band:
5 Summer Gig Tips from the Caribbean Crew
1. Seek Shade- Everybody loves a good tan but too much sun can be downright dangerous. It’s easy to lose track of time when you are playing, so make sure to secure a shaded performance area before you start. The Caribbean Crew recommends you think “gazebo, overhang, pop-up tent” or even just a large umbrella. “If none of these are available, ask to setup against a building that will provide shade instead of in an open courtyard.”
2. Take Cover (for your Instruments)- You and the band aren’t the only ones who need shade. Remember to cover your instruments and gear as “they will overheat if they’re left out in the sun too long (especially shiny steel drums!)”
3. Hydrate- This one’s really important. Don’t be shy about asking your client for plenty of water. You should start the gig with more than enough for your whole group to make it through the show.
4. Shelter from the Storm- Summer storms can come and go with little warning. Creig points out that summer rain may be “refreshing for the guests, but not for musicians. If there’s a chance of rain, is always best to setup inside as a precaution.”
5. Think Ahead- The main lesson from all of this: plan ahead. You don’t want to be surprised by heat, sun, rain or any other unexpected elements.
Remember, it never hurts to pre-negotiate some contingents. For example, Creig suggests “if the client insists on you playing outside, you may want to negotiate an additional fee in case you have to break down and setup again. Extra setup time usually counts as performance time.”
Hopefully you don’t see yourself as too rock & roll to make sure you have what you need to stay cool at your outdoor gigs. Let us know how you plan on beating the heat this summer.