Author Topic: Advice for stage managing a concert?  (Read 7203 times)

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JenniferS.

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Advice for stage managing a concert?
« on: May 28, 2007, 04:06 pm »
Help!

I've agreed to stage manage an outdoor concert at a human rights rally run by a friend next weekend, and I really don't know what to expect. I'm new to stage managing in general, and the few shows I've done so far have been plays and musicals. My friend hasn't had time yet to fill me in on what she needs from me, despite my best efforts to set up meetings with her. Since it's less than a week away, I'm getting a bit nervous. Can anyone give me any advice on the matter? What would normally be expected from a stage manager at a concert? Any tips, suggestions, etc?

Thank you!
Jennifer

centaura

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Re: Advice for stage managing a concert?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2007, 08:43 am »
Is is going to be a multipe band event, or a single band?  There's usually not much do for SMing a concert, in fact almost every band that comes into my roadhouse doesn't tour with a SM.  We do have a local union guy who SMs the local symphony, but that's basically a case of telling the person who does the introduction when its time to start.

I would imagine your efforts are going to be directed to cueing up folks, whether it be speakers or the next band in line.  Unless they've talked about light cues that you'd be calling?  My gut says that the lighting folks will be running their own show, other than possibly getting a cue from you for starting.  Is there a way to email the friend to at least get a list of questions to her attention?

-Centaura

CharlieS

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Re: Advice for stage managing a concert?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2007, 03:01 pm »
Hi,

Outdoor concerts can be challenging to say the least. In order to do a multiband concert successfully, you should have stage plots of every band, as soon as humanly possible. I'm doing a concert this weekend, and I've had my plots for 2 weeks.

First determine how many change outs you need to do. Then schedule how much time to allow between acts for the change over. This can vary from 5 minutes to pull and place one acoustic guitarist to a half hour or more if you have large bands. The Dead air can be covered by a solo performer to stage left or right who plays through the breaks. This could also be the MC.

Where ever possible, pre-stage the equipment to the rear of the stagew. When you move it up, and while the musician is working with the sound man, you can pre-set the next act at the rear, to be moved up into place when the previous act isi finished.

Try to establish a flow, so that the equipment comes up on stage from one side, and goes down the other, That makes movement easier for everybody.

I f you are working with a rented sound system, that's the soundman's job. If not, and you are using a system from one of the bands, they should set it up, and run it. Don't let them leave the board when a conperformance is in progress.

If you are working with a rented backline, they will set everything up. If not, make sure you have a minimum of 4 quad AC drops. More is better.

Make up a schedule in advance and stick to it. If a band is screwing around with their equipment, make them aware of their start time, and if they take too long setting up, make sure they end on time. Don't penalize the following band for the actions of the preceding band.

Have lots of people available to haul the equipment. Discuss the placement of the equipment *before* you go onstage, then make sure the gear gets placed in the right positions.

Without a little more detail, I don't know what else to tell you except the following:
You're the boss, stay on schedule, don't let musicians or their "people" push you around.

If you could add some detail (how many bands, what kind of bands, rented or borrowed backline) I may be able to help you further.

ChaCha

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Re: Advice for stage managing a concert?
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2007, 08:27 am »
http://smnetwork.org/forum/index.php/topic,2272.0.html

this is another thread on a similar theme...

:)
ChaCha

JenniferS.

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Re: Advice for stage managing a concert?
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2007, 05:21 pm »
Thanks so much for the advice...I have a meeting in the morning to discuss exactly what is happening, and now I know what questions to ask! I don't think it should go too badly, as long as it doesn't rain like it's supposed to.

Thanks again!

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