Keep yourself, your bandmates, and your gear safe and sound at gigs.
What’s an unsafe situation you’ve been in at a gig?
- There was a rough venue that allowed byob – shoes and shirts optional kind of place
- One couple REALLY didn’t like our music
- 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
- 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?
- 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
- 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
- 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.