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


wateroftyne

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I did a gig! Finally!

My covers / function band had our first run out last night, at a pub / arts centre in SE Northumberland.

The venue have really got their act together - numbers are limited, there were perspex screens around the tables, and an easy-to-use app to allow people to order from their tables.

It felt more subdued than usual, but having a no-dancing rule will do that anywhere. Still great to be back, though.

I just hope it's a viable approach in the long run.

Incidentally, the limited numbers thing is a funny one - it's OK for this band, but one of my other bands which is a bigger draw, it's problematic. The venues can't pay the higher fee 'cos they won't get enough in over the bar. We're going to have to stick to ticket do's for that band.

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got 2 gigs over the weekend, but, they're 'acoustic' i.e. no bass and me on electro acoustic guitar, we'll still be fairly loud but the venues seem happier than having a full band.

My recent experience of gigs post Covid is that as soon as alcohol is involved social distancing and no standing  goes out of the window, and venues don't enforce it either, I'm quite relaxed about it but my partner less so

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Did a streamed gig at a large local venue last night for an annual local festival. Very strange experience.

The room was about 75% empty due to restrictions, no cheering or clapping allowed and appreciation was shown by banging spoons on the tables. On stage, being unable to really see or hear the audience (apart from being able to hear the sound of the spoons!), it was like playing to an empty venue, with the added strangeness of knowing it was being filmed. We’d only been able to have one proper rehearsal too, and last gigged in January, so there was that added pressure as we weren’t really confident in our gig-tightness, although we played ok.

It was nice to play again and it was lovely to be the only band from our town asked to do it, but I certainly wouldn’t want to spend the rest of my life gigging like that. I suffer from stage fright and everything felt so isolated that it just all contributed to a somewhat uncomfortable experience. It felt a bit like one of those dreams where you’re naked in public!

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One of the gigs I did (both have been outdoors) had reasonable social distancing - the audience were far enough away, sat in groups at spaced out tables and there was space to separate the singers, brass and remaining band members sufficiently. We were under an awning - which was just as well as it poured with rain!! 

The second was not properly socially distanced as far as the audience was concerned - and the audience members didn't seem to care (rather like the non socially distanced mele of a queue outside our local Wetherspoons every weekend). There was only one singer who was far enough from me to not concern me and although there wasn't much space for the band, the nearest other person was the drummer - who was also far enough from me - however the front tables were probably less than 3m away, so an issue for the audience rather than us. It was, however a very good gig with excellent feedback. 

I have one tomorrow and will be interested to see how the organisers deal with it. 

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2 hours ago, PaulWarning said:

My recent experience of gigs post Covid is that as soon as alcohol is involved social distancing and no standing  goes out of the window, and venues don't enforce it either, I'm quite relaxed about it but my partner less so

Absolutely my experience as well. And it's the same in a non-music situation. 

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Currently in the van on the way to our first gig in 6 months. Had a mega rehearsal last night so we're not too rusty and we have 2 brand new, never played live songs to debut, which is nice. 

The crowd will mostly be made up of the regulars of the festivals we put on and who we haven't seen since February.  It'll be great, as long as everyone behaves....

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Mine have been ok. First back was playing standard pop covers for 3000 people, on a lawn that had been cut with socially distanced longer grass patches for families to sit in the sun and enjoy. Did that 3 afternoons on the bounce. It was fine, kind of weird, but very well thought out and was nice to be playing again. Then a small outside duo gig, which was more chilled. 
Most of my bookings have been cancelled, and the ones that look likely to go ahead are getting cancelled last minute. At this point, can’t say I’m too upset as if they do go ahead they’re likely to be a lot of hassle, or just rubbish. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 05/09/2020 at 13:38, 4000 said:

 

 I suffer from stage fright and everything felt so isolated that it just all contributed to a somewhat uncomfortable experience. It felt a bit like one of those dreams where you’re naked in public!

 

You did remember to get dressed didn't you? I know you said you were out of practice...

On 05/09/2020 at 20:58, steantval said:

For those of us who gig, we have this to look forward to.

 

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At this moment I will take that gig!

47 minutes ago, wateroftyne said:

Yeah, I had three lined up in the next couple of weeks.... all gone.

I suppose in a way I am better off. I haven't had any hopes raised, no gigs to take away. The singer did say something about a gig in November, but I will believe it if he is still saying it the day before

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We’ve played a few, one was a socially distanced outdoor Gin Fest with 150 people but as they have HUGE gardens, it felt kind of empty.

Also played a couple of weddings, both have been more laid back drinks reception styled sets and have been fairly pleasant. We’ve got a couple of others booked in for the rest of the year and a potential Christmas residency for a few weeks at a local wedding venue.

We are an upbeat acoustic duo anyway so we haven’t had to change much, although I’m not sure when we will get back to the upbeat part of our title... The no dancing thing feels very strange so far! 

Can’t see us doing much more than a few now though this year. We’ve also had to slash our rates for the remainder of 2020 to account for people limiting guests and trying to cut costs in order to justify keeping their wedding this year. 



 

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Managed a socially distanced outdoors gig at a localish pub (mentioned in Tess of the Durbervilles) last night. Around 30 punters in groups of 4 on tables and strawbales around a big back yard. Landlord is brassic so we passed a hat around...only problem is most now pay by card! Next time get a card reader!

Still it was nice just to get out and play to an audience.

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2 hours ago, yorks5stringer said:

Managed a socially distanced outdoors gig at a localish pub (mentioned in Tess of the Durbervilles) last night. Around 30 punters in groups of 4 on tables and strawbales around a big back yard. Landlord is brassic so we passed a hat around...only problem is most now pay by card! Next time get a card reader!

Still it was nice just to get out and play to an audience.

Nice one. I hope the evening ended happier than the novel did. 😄

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I've done a Police tribute, outside. socially distanced tables etc. great crowd, loved it.

Ive done plenty of 80s duo gigs since the end of august, two last weekend. Mostly pub gardens. All been great.

I've lost over a stone since lockdown and my voice has improved massively because of it.

who knows where it's going from here

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On 19/09/2020 at 17:44, AlexDelores said:

We’ve played a few, one was a socially distanced outdoor Gin Fest with 150 people but as they have HUGE gardens, it felt kind of empty.

Also played a couple of weddings, both have been more laid back drinks reception styled sets and have been fairly pleasant. We’ve got a couple of others booked in for the rest of the year and a potential Christmas residency for a few weeks at a local wedding venue.

We are an upbeat acoustic duo anyway so we haven’t had to change much, although I’m not sure when we will get back to the upbeat part of our title... The no dancing thing feels very strange so far! 

Can’t see us doing much more than a few now though this year. We’ve also had to slash our rates for the remainder of 2020 to account for people limiting guests and trying to cut costs in order to justify keeping their wedding this year. 



 

Well, I take all that back. 😫😂 

Guess I’ll re-pack my kit until next summer then!

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Eff all ☹️

Last time I had an extended period without playing, I ended up getting cramps when I started gigging again. I had to buy a set of those hand strengthener type things, weightlifters use to build up their forearms. I think I'll need to do the same once the gigs start again.......if they ever do.

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