Episode 033: Stay Safe Out There

Keep yourself, your bandmates, and your gear safe and sound at gigs.

What’s an unsafe situation you’ve been in at a gig?

  • Dave:
    • There was a rough venue that allowed byob – shoes and shirts optional kind of place
    • One couple REALLY didn’t like our music
  • Paul:
    • One night post-gig… Most of the band was inside hanging out, schmoozing
    • We had loaded up a bunch of the heavy stuff already, instruments and bags still inside
    • I had gone in to check for any other non-personal stuff, came back out to find a guy casing the van. Literally looking in at the windows

Personal safety

  • Pay attention to the environment around you
    • Structures – confines of the stage, edges and corners
    • Equipment – how much space do you have to work in?
    • Taping cables down can make a stage safe — Gaffers tape for use on almost any surface, no residue
    • Electrical components – Look out for old outlets without grounding
  • Pay attention to people as well
    • What’s the tenor of the crowd? Good vibes, bad vibes?
    • How much alcohol is flowing?
  • Be capable of good decision making — know your limits
  • After the gig
    • Someone should be with the car(s) and gear at ALL TIMES, take turns if needed
    • Don’t hang out near a closed venue, go elsewhere…
    • Plan a post-gig hang in advance, not loudly at the gig
    • Plan your ride – who’s driving?

Gear security

  • Amps and electronics
    • Use a power conditioner if you can
    • If not, at least have a surge-protecting power strip between your gear and outlet
  • Instruments
    • Have a stable stand in good condition (or a Velcro strap)
    • Keep out of travel lanes and other dangerous spots
    • If leaving in the car for extended period, don’t make her look too sexy
  • Liquids and electricity don’t mix
    • Paul:
      • I once watched a guy roast his amp by having his beer tumble over into it
      • I have a Gibraltar drink holder made with drum hardware, for mic stand — very safe!
    • Another idea… turn over a rack lid and put your drinks in it so if they fall over, the liquid stays put
    • Hey… do YOU own that equipment?

Photo by Matthew Hamilton.

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