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Real-world gigging experiences post-COVID - how is it for you?


wateroftyne

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Hey everyone

I'm aware that bands and venues are tentatively starting to put the odd gig on here and there.

Personally, I don't have anything on the horizon, so I thought I'd start a thread to share everyone's experiences in this strange new world.

Have you gigged? How was it?

(Note: I'm not interested in the politics of what's sensible or not.. I'm sure we all have our opinions. Let's just keep it to the gigs. Thank you.)

 

Edited by wateroftyne
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Did an outdoor, stripped back gig in the drummer's garden that we live-streamed. It was a bit weird not having an audience other than the local inhabitants (do they count as an audience given that we foisted ourselves on them, rather than them coming to see us?) and felt a bit like a rehearsal. However, it was just nice to play with people in 'meatspace' rather than collaborations online. I'd do it again.

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The next gig that I haven’t had cancelled (yet) is 25/9. I’m not overly hopeful it will happen to be honest as it would be inside a pub. There are a few other gigs after that with my main two bands, but we’ll just have to wait and see. I’m kinda resigned to this year being a write off. 

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I don't earn an income from music, so despite the frustrations, playing out is off the cards. Everything band related is still socially distanced - writing, recording a lot of new material, some outdoor 'live to video' for a local charity event. I did worry that we'd lose momentum, but since jettisoning our demotivated and negative drummer, we've demoed all the instrumental parts for an 11 song album. We've got a single recorded and ready to go but I'm not eager to be in a confined space  with drunk people at this point.

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I find myself walking around where I live and looking at areas thinking - that would work for outdoor ‘safe’ playing, or even venues.

The key is finance I suppose, can a band be afforded to play when the venue cannot pack people in.

I think there will be a fine line, lesser fees will be inevitable, And venues shouldn’t take the fosters and expect a freebie or fees too low because of it gets back up and running eventually, lower fees would set a precedent-let’s hope it pans out ok.

i know some rely on gig money for living, but some use it for kit, less gigs, less kit flying round, manufacturers will also suffer.

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Supposed to be having a gig in a couple of weeks at a local football club. They certainly have the space and the guy who runs it is a 'character', but we shall see.

Noone has mentioned money yet. There are many venues I would do a favour for, that isn't one of them!

 

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Did a brief, acoustic (well, except for me) socially distanced set the other weekend for a friend’s birthday. Nothing else on the horizon for the forseeable, and our rehearsal rooms remain closed. We been doing acoustic rehearsals at a band members house. Unable to finish our album too as the studio is still closed and we have no money anyway due to having lost a bunch of gigs. 

It’s pretty demoralising TBH. 

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My friend who has a ceilidh band have done a number of gigs at a local bandstand. They didn't ask anyone they just noticed it was empty and took their acoustic instruments and some battery amps and played in the park. They have done it 3 times now, noone moved them on.

Not going to work for us though as a rock band :D

 

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Nothing doing for me. Our practice room is on an Air Force base and they have everything locked down super tight still. Perhaps they know something we don't. I'm expecting a second big hit from Covid anyway so I'm happy enough to sit tight for now.

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53 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

My friend who has a ceilidh band have done a number of gigs at a local bandstand. They didn't ask anyone they just noticed it was empty and took their acoustic instruments and some battery amps and played in the park. They have done it 3 times now, noone moved them on.

Not going to work for us though as a rock band :D

 

I actually think there will be a lot of mileage in this sort of thing.

If I was feeling more entrepreneurial I would start promoting gigs of exactly this nature - Bandstands are on the whole pretty underused.

 

In terms of my own music I'm approaching organisations for shows next year which are very much not in conventional gig settings.

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Did a full three set proper gig outdoor last Saturday. I mentioned elsewhere the pub had really sorted itself out, with roped off areas for each group prebooked, no walk-ins, table service for food and drink, security and one way systems in and out and toilets etc.  We had a good deal of space given to us so we could socially distance between us.
 

We hadn’t played since mid March so we were a bit rusty but it all came together. Chose the more straightforward songs from our list of songs.  Load in, setup, take down all pretty much normal, but again, the pub had really prepared well for us. 
 

it was great to play again, albeit it very strange as the audience numbers were there but the feedback you’d normally get from those numbers wasn’t. 

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6 minutes ago, Muppet said:

It was great to play again, albeit it very strange as the audience numbers were there but the feedback you’d normally get from those numbers wasn’t. 

I find this for all outdoor gigs on the whole. Ones I’ve done in the past all seem a bit removed from the audience and them from you I guess. Still, if it gets you out playing, it’s all good.

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At the moment I’m in Norway. We are in the middle of a four show run doing top 40 stuff in a beer tent in a camping park. The original brief was to keep it loungy/low-key so as not to encourage dancing. The audience is tiny (maybe 20 people) - they’re really into it but remain seated. 

Due to a very low infection rate, Norway doesn’t ask people to wear masks. A bit unnerving really but it is great to play again.

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I’d hoped my solo acoustic gigs would come in under the radar a bit compared to my band work, as smaller audiences, no need to accommodate a band on stage etc.

Was meant to be solo gigging next week but the venue has cancelled, even though gig there last summer was an outdoor beer garden job that would have worked well.

Ive only got about 10 gigs left in the diary for this year and nothing beyond October, so I doubt very much I’ll play again this year. 

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We did a live stream to help a struggling venue raise cash, Cutler’s Arms in Rotherham. 3 of us travelled from North East, one from Leicester and played in their outdoor space. Played for free, just glad to get together again. They raised a fair chunk of cash, we played for almost 2 hours and about 100k people watched live and since. It was great! Another one from Newcastle this Saturday. 

We also have 4 booked in August, 2 drive in festival gigs ( Newark and Arena Newcastle) and 2 proper festivals that are still going ahead including Wannasee in Penrith. Looking forward to them all, Drive in gigs will be weird but it’s all practice. Next ‘indoor’ gigs start October I think atm. We will see...
 

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My band mates are up for rehearsing again, but I've had to tell them that I can't, as I've got plans to see my mum at the end of August and I'm trying to avoid any unnecessary exposure before then. I'm assuming that pubs won't want to put on any indoor bands for the foreseeable future, and so if we start rehearsing again in September then we'll still be back up to speed well before our next gig.

S.P.

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28 minutes ago, Stylon Pilson said:

My band mates are up for rehearsing again, but I've had to tell them that I can't, as I've got plans to see my mum at the end of August and I'm trying to avoid any unnecessary exposure before then.

I have been saying that to my band. TBH, I have practiced a lot and I am ready to play tomorrow if there was a gig, so it doesn't matter to me about practicing. Obviously not so easy for drummers or anyone who only practices when there is a group practice and takes half the practice learning their parts.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Just now, Woodinblack said:

Nothing yet. Added up all the gigs we had missed. Once it got past the £1000 mark I stopped counting as it was getting a little depressing!

Yep, I've taken a heck of a hit. Thankfully I'm not reliant on the income, but it's still a miss.

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