Sunday, January 21, 2007

Rent-A-Bum Redux

The old saying goes... Rent-a-Bum, it is cheaper than marrying one.


When last we met little Timmy had fallen down the well at the abandoned farm and Lassie was trying to convince the Department of Social Services to not arrest Timmy's parents for neglect and child endangerment... No, wait that is an entirely different story.


Da Bums, a rag-tag crew of itinerant struggling, starving musicians, strong women, out of work riggers and one Manager of Information Systems were being disbanded, sorta. The Bums management was going to be assimilated by the local Corporate Big Business Consortium. Bums were told that in order to keep working they would need to apply for membership in the CBBC. Some of them did, others didn't. I didn't!

And then I got a call...

...and then another call...

The show must go on.

The contract stipulates that for load-in and load-out there will be a crew of a specified number of people. Some venues fulfill the terms of the contract by hiring day laborers. Others try to get by reassigning busboys and dishwashers. The real merit in hiring the Rent-a-Bums is that we are a highly trained, disciplined, cohesive team. As the saying goes, 'This ain't our first rodeo.'

So it seems that the Bums are officially/unofficially back in business.

Sort of a typical Bum day... (4+ hours the night before assembling the stage.)

08:00 Load in the Lighting Company
Set up trusses, rig chain-fall motors, hang lights, pull cabling
Set up Front-of-House (FOH) control console
Hang black back drop
Set up two follow spots

10:00 Load in the Sound Company
Set and wire bass bins (speakers) 4 per side
Stack and wire Mids 4 per side + 2 side-fills
Set and wire power distribution system
Set drum riser, backup vocal riser
Set monitor speakers
Set and wire microphones (~20+)
Set and wire Monitor World control console
Set and wire FOH control console + Effects racks
Pull FOH snake (64 line wire bundle from Monitor World to FOH)

13:00 Load in Video Company
Set up video display screens

Pipe & Drape (Black for backstage, Red+White+Blue for VIP sections)

14:00 Load in Band Gear
Assist Road Crew in setting up Drums, Keyboards, Peddle Steel, etc.
Assist Road Crew in wiring/mic-ing instruments.
Focus lights

15:00 Headliner Sound Check
Band members tune, check all instruments, play portions of songs
Set sound levels on all microphones, levels on all monitors
Band practices songs, portions of songs.

15:45 Set stage for opening act

16:00 Finish setting the House
Complete Pipe & Drape
Carpet runners taped down over FOH snakes

18:30 DOORS! - the House is open.
Monitor backstage area, insure only authorized personal access
Monitor Bus Parking, insure only authorized personal access

Escort Talent hotel room/bus to Green Room

Fan management during Meet-n-Greet

Escort Talent from Green Room to [back]stage

20:00 Showtime!
Provide stage security (in case fans want to get on stage without permission.)
Provide backstage security

20:45
Clear stage of opening act equipment
Set stage for Headline Act

22:30 Shows over...
Escort Talent to Green Room/Bus
Monitor Bus Parking, Fan Management

Pack band gear, load into bus bays (or truck)

23:00 Tear-down
Disassemble all sound equipment, pack into road cases
Disassemble all lighting equipment, pack into road cases

00:00 Load-out
Load Lighting road cases and trusses, spotlights, Geni lifts, etc. into truck
00:30
Load Sound road cases into truck

01:00 End of a very long day...
Go home! Well, you don't have to go home but you can't stay here.

(4+ hours later that day disassembling the stage.)

. . .