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Backdrop/Banners


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It was in some primitive form of measurement 6'x4' (should have paid in groats) and as we play pubs, it's just about right. The somewhat strange appearance in the photo is because we set it up in front of the telly that was showing football and it's not blackout-strength material. It does demonstrate that it is sufficiently large to cover a big telly though.

 

band.thumb.jpg.af907920887c424cd5751703e57b6624.jpg

 

The stand is made of black solvent weld overflow pipe (21.5mm) - all the couplings are glued to one of the pipes they're attached to and the top and bottom crosspieces are in two pieces. I also put diagonal braces on the feet so it didn't lean backwards or forwards, and the legs below the crosspieces can have 25cm extension pieces put in where we have the headroom (like here). It's a bit low when we don't have the headroom (or when I mislaid one of the extensions):

 

banner.jpg.c29ba1fb3ffad6e72effca4e4dee540c.jpg

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This doesn't answer you question, but IME the two most important features of a backdrop are:

 

1. Having some means of displaying it so that it is level and uncrumpled that doesn't involve gaffa-taping to the wall.

2. That it is visible (or at least the band name is visible) over the top of the drummer, keyboard player, backline and anything else at the back of the stage.

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You need something that is (capable of being) freestanding, easily erected by one person in less than three minutes, and which will fit in the tiny gap between the drummer's arse and the back wall. It needs to be lightweight and - as Mike says - tall enough to be easily seen over the drummer's afro, but not so tall that it's unusable in venues with low ceilings or medieval beams or both. Oh, and it needs to be cheap enough that the lead guitarist doesn't throw his toys out of the pram when asked to cough up his share.

 

@Silvia Bluejay has bought all the pop-up banners used by our three bands so she's the real expert on this, but she's just hopping on a plane so she'll be out of action for most of today.

 

To answer the actual question, our banners tend to be 6' tall by either 24" or 28" wide, and we've been very happy with that size. Anything significantly larger would impact on one or more of the points I made above.

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We ditched the backdrops for a pop up thingy either side of the stage, contact details and web links are clearly visible to punters and they're no faff as well as being lightweight. Can put them up or pack them down in a few seconds.

 

Ultimately we binned those off as we just didn't think any sort of banner looked great for weddings etc and they take up valuable space in bars, a lot of the time band photos in a well decorated venue look much better without an intrusive banner, even with my mug in them. YMMV of course.

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Posted (edited)

Personally I'm not a massive fan of pull-up banners (in the world of displays a pop-up banner is something entirely different) as I don't think they have the right vibe for bands. However I see them more and more behind or at the side of bands at gigs so I'm probably in the minority here.

 

However if you are going to go down this route, be aware that the budget versions are not particularly robust. IME they fail under in less than a year of trade fair use being put up by reps, so I doubt the sort of abuse they will suffer in the typical gigging environment will be any more friendly.

 

Again one of the advantages of having PA and lighting provided by the venues I play is that if there is enough room for a "backdrop" it will be back-projected as part of the lighting rig and all we have to do is supply the venue or promotor with the band logo/graphics in JPEG or PNG format.

 

448204553-925346686229809-41112382378186

Edited by BigRedX
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6 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

Personally I'm not a massive fan of pull-up banners (in the world of displays a pop-up banner is something entirely different) as I don't think they have the right vibe for bands. However I see them more and more behind or at the side of bands at gigs so I'm probably in the minority here.

 

However if you are going to go down this route, be aware that the budget versions are not particularly robust. IME they fail under in less than a year of trade fair use being put up by reps, so I doubt the sort of abuse they will suffer in the typical gigging environment will be any more friendly.

We’ve had one for about 8 years and it’s still fine.  However, that’s probably because we haven’t used it for the last 6 years as it’s a pain to transport and put up…

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The company I work for makes pull up banners (and other types of soft signs), but ive never wanted to get one for my band. I think they look a bit too business like, as if you are at a trade show or event. 

We had to make a few up for a TV company recently and they wanted them made of cardboard. Very strange looking things. 

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Posted (edited)

What about a small projector, then you don't need any sort of frame, gaffer tape etc?

I got one made last year and we either forget to take it or don't have anything to attach it to

Edited by Nos
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Jumping into this conversation while on the train to Gatwick!

 

What we have for our bands are roller banners - the type that are contained in an aluminium box, spring-loaded, and supported, once unrolled, by a foldable pole.

 

We have so far gone for cheap or even the cheapest, because we are thinking about improvements to the layout all the time and we like to be able to update the banner's design - none of our banners look exactly the same as the previous.

 

I don't think they look corporate at all. They are small, lightweight and extremely useful for band identification. All those people filming snippets on their phones or taking pictures will have a reminder of the band's name long after the hangover has gone...

 

Incidentally, for those of us who use modern, civilised measurements, the size we go for is 200cm by 85cm. ;) 

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5 minutes ago, Nos said:

What about a small projector, then you don't need any sort of frame, gaffer tape etc?

I got one made last year and we either forget to take it or don't have anything to attach it to

 

IME if there isn't a system already in place in the venue it is even more hassle to set up than a simple backdrop. Besides for most pub gigs the wall behind the band is rarely blank enough to project on to, so you'd need a bring a screen which pretty much defeats the object.

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5 minutes ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

We have so far gone for cheap or even the cheapest, because we are thinking about improvements to the layout all the time and we like to be able to update the banner's design - none of our banners look exactly the same as the previous.

 

In the days when I was doing lots of pull-up banners for trade shows and exhibitions, all the suppliers I used had the facility to replace just the graphics part of the banner keeping the same mechanism (cassette roller and frame). In this case it made a lot of sense to use the more robust model so they could be used year after year with new graphics as required.

 

I have found that for nearly all models the printed part starts to curl at the edges after a couple of uses making it look (IMO) rather scruffy.

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I can see all the benefits of having pull up banners, the can hold all your info (which stops you getting pestered while playing), they are cheap and portable, but i can help think that halfway through a gig the band are going to try and promote weight loss pills or mindfulness courses 😂

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34 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

 

In the days when I was doing lots of pull-up banners for trade shows and exhibitions, all the suppliers I used had the facility to replace just the graphics part of the banner keeping the same mechanism (cassette roller and frame). In this case it made a lot of sense to use the more robust model so they could be used year after year with new graphics as required.

 

I have found that for nearly all models the printed part starts to curl at the edges after a couple of uses making it look (IMO) rather scruffy.

 

You are correct about cheapos not being in any way capable of having the vinyl replaced. In fact, they are so bad nowadays that all models except the very luxury ones don't even have the adhesive strip/thin metal bar at the top edge to stop them sliding out of the banner's top bar (which is simply a clamp), so they have to be 'tucked in' periodically. Horrible things - but each one we have had so far has served us fine for dozens, and in some cases hundreds, of gigs.

 

As for the vinyl not being completely straight or smooth, that happens at times - less often if you perform the abovementioned 'tucking in' regularly - on certain types of vinyl more often than on others. However, I have never had the impression that anybody, let alone the punters, noticed it. All most people can see is a name, a logo and a motto/description. Very little else appears to matter. We have had questions about the origin of our logos, we have had people reding the description and commenting, but so far nobody's asked us why the banner was curling at a corner or something like that. We are not Pink Floyd....

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

We went with 3m x 2m.  I'd have gone bigger, or more to the point wider, different aspect ratio, maybe 4m x 2m.

 

It was a very thin nylon material, ring-holes in the corners.  It folds up to something about the size of a box of muesli.

 

 

 

 

Edited by NancyJohnson
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Posted (edited)

You could also just remind the audience what the name of the band they are listening to is in between every song.

 

Or get a stamp with the band name and then stamp the audience. 

 

That way they'll remember even the day after.

 

Edited by Baloney Balderdash
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1 hour ago, Baloney Balderdash said:

Or get a stamp with the band name and then stamp the audience. 

 

That way they'll remember even the day after.

 

Judging by the state of some of the punters at tonight's gig they'd still remember two weeks later.

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Vinyl looks to be about 2mx2m. 

Held up by photography backdrop stand and cable ties through reinforced rings. Think I'm going to get some black bungee ball toggles as the cable ties are a pain to deal with. 

 

FB_IMG_1720582396827.jpg.9600c9e61bcad1688d5c4c7871f777ec.jpg

 

https://www.diy.com/departments/4-ball-bungee-range-of-pack-size-loop-bungee-cords-tie-downs-for-tarpaulins-pack-of-10-/5056596110727_BQ.prd

 

Edited by TimR
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I'm on the side thinking pull up banners look like you're at a corporate event (possibly fine for function bands playing at corporate events, not very rock n roll though). 

 

We've got a thick vinyl 2x2m (I think 3m long x 2m high might have been better) with metal rings and use big re-usable zip ties. It means a bit of clambering about at setup/down but we're yet to play a venue where there isn't something to tie it into behind the drummer. 

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2 hours ago, SumOne said:

I'm on the side thinking pull up banners look like you're at a corporate event (possibly fine for function bands playing at corporate events, not very rock n roll though). 

 

We've got a thick vinyl 2x2m (I think 3m long x 2m high might have been better) with metal rings and use big re-usable zip ties. It means a bit of clambering about at setup/down but we're yet to play a venue where there isn't something to tie it into behind the drummer. 

We're similar. About 2m x 1m, with metal rings in each corner. We bring a lot of bits of string ( reasonably thick and decent quality, I think it's old tent guy ropes ).  Never failed to find something to hang it from, usually try and loop the string over something and tie it lower down for a quicker removal.image.thumb.png.3246babe387a3aee02c7df289ce36547.png

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Thanks for all the input. Lots to think about, we are really wanting something to go behind and above the drummer's head so that the band name is visible in publicity shots. Appealing to people beyond the room I suppose. Interesting that most people have gone for a black background behind the images and it's nice to see drummers using carpet from our local weavers (Axminster) :)

 

The other thing I hadn't factored in was too big a banner, looks like 3m wide might be maximum for the venues we play. Hadn't thought of vertical ones though, I can see the convenience aspect. It's also made me wonder if something dropping down from the PA speakers might keep people a bit further back from the stands and keeping beer glasses off the subs!

 

Plenty to feed back to the band.

 

Thanks everyone, BC comes up trumps again :)

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