Live Sound / Live Music
Course 17: Preparing For The Gig

Having all the skills in the world behind a digital audio workstation or mixing board won’t help you if you’re not organized, and this is especially true during a live performance. No two venues are ever the same, and some venues may have made changes since the last time you were there. Preparation for a gig is one of the most important steps you can take, and researching the venue before leaving for the show is paramount.

This includes logistics (packing the gear, moving the gear, unloading the gear), although this may be taken care of for you on a larger production. But since you’re starting small, you’ll need to learn how to take care of all of this on your own, or with the help of a few crewmembers. Even with help, you need to be able to tell them with confidence where everything goes.

We’ll lay out everything you need to be aware of when preparing for a gig, from setting up schedules and designing plot maps to delivering the gear and paying your crew. There is an unbelievable amount of work to do before a show, including the day or two before a show if you’re able to gain access to the venue early.

As with anything, the more you prepare for a show, the more many of these tasks will become second nature. Until you have that experience, however, researching, preparing, and organizing before a show will make it go that much smoother when the curtain is ready to go up.