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Have you ever wondered what it was like behind the scenes of your favorite concert? Who are those people scrambling around on stage between bands, clearing off instruments only to set up the next act, checking mikes, raising banners, and wrapping cables? “What a cool job.” I have heard this many times, and it is a great job, but like any profession, it is not without sacrifice.
Many hours of hard work are required in order for a show to run smoothly, and production crews are most often the first in and last out. Often a crew will meet on site early in the morning to “dump the trucks”; unloading all the gear that comes with a production company and/or band. Next, the crew will build the stage, lighting and P.A., run cables, line check, sound check, then finally doors. All this can happen in a small span of time, say four or five hours, or in the case of some outdoor venues, the crew may be onsite working 10+ hours before the first concert enthusiast ever steps foot into the venue. After the show, everything must go! Band gear gets packed and pushed away, lights and sound come down, cables wrapped, and everything goes back on the truck, ready for the next show. From start to finish, a day in the life of a hardworking production guy and gal can last from sunrise to, well, just about sunrise.
Of course, this will vary depending on the venue; theaters are a little less work because sound and light rigs are permanent systems, although a band may bring in their own audio and lighting to supplement into the house system. Long story short, production crews work hard to make it all happen for the band and for you.
The next time you’re out with your friends, taking in the sights and sounds of your favorite band, remember the unsung heroes who have labored away to put together the best rock n’ roll experience possible. This article is dedicated to everyone, with a special shout-out to the women of the industry, who know hard work and what it means to prove yourself on a whole other level. So, let’s bring down the lights and get the band rolling. Here’s to a great show!