How do you keep dry?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by alanl58, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. alanl58

    alanl58 Member

    Today we were tasked to play at a Wedding Reception, and spent the morning erecting a small marquee for the band to shelter in should the rain return (which it certainly did!).

    But by the time the bride and groom arrived disaster had struck, the marquee had taken off in a gust of wind, and even the bass trombonist had abandoned "Raindrops Keep Falling" in favour of keeping dry.

    So we are asking ourselves whether we should be providing our own shelter, or requesting the organisers to provide it for us.

    If we do replace the marquee, what should we buy to replace it?

    Has anyone any experience or recommendations of wet weather cover for a small band that only needs one or two people to erect it? But remember that we play in North Cornwall, and picturesque as the coastline and beaches are, the winds can be something else even on mid-summers day!

    Bude Metric Brass
  2. Masterblaster jnr

    Masterblaster jnr Active Member

    You could ask the organizers that if the marquee fails then if there would be any place indoors say a pub or nearby building in which the band could play.
  3. UncleStreaky

    UncleStreaky Member

    Try to get the organisers to make the arrangements if possible but make sure they are insured too.

    I had a real nightmare experience with arrangements for a booking some years ago. I eventually had to turn down a very well paid job for one band I was managing because the organisers of an outdoor event would not provide adequate cover.

    To cut a long story short... The event was to take place on a quayside for a ship launch and was to be attended by a government minister. Having originally requested that the customer should provide adequate shelter and chairs as part of the deal, they later refused to. The site was pretty exposed to the wind, close to deep water and not much space. Safety was a real issue. In the end we had to decline the job. Another smaller group was booked to play and they weren't provided with any shelter either. Sure enough the wind came through... Picture the scene with speaches, music, and even a table being blown into the quay!

    Had the organisers arranged a proper marquee and had it secured to the quayside there would have been no problems. If we had tried to put up our own 'party' style tent it would probably have been swept away with half the band and the minister...

    Outdoor jobs can be a nightmare, not least because if you don't play you might not get paid. So before accepting a booking or agreeing a fee, make sure you have sorted out the essentials and maybe try to get it written down so you have a contract.
  4. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    At one time we took a couple of gazebo's big enough to cover the band - in light rain fine - unfortunately we had one job were the wind was getting so bad the thing was in danger of falling over, poles bending, canvas ripping. So at KSB we no longer provide it - if we turn up and it's raining heavy we dont play. Biggest potential cost is loss and damage of music - but we do have plastic folder to keep it in when its light rain - a little rain never hurt the instruments and you can always put a coat on.

    Played two jobs this weekend - first on Saturday where it rained all day, fortunately the band were under a concrete undercroft but not so fortunate for the stalls and public - they weren't under cover just getting wet.

    Yesterday BBSBB played at Wetherby Bandstand and it was blowing a gale - music coming off the stands, magnets flying around, stands blowing over not fun. And apart from a few diehards in the audience who turn up come rain or shine think we were mainly playing to people that had come with the band and the remainder were waiting for us to finish to put the chairs away :) . What a difference a week makes - last Sunday Stannington played to about 500 people in glorious sunshine.
  5. UncleStreaky

    UncleStreaky Member

    My advice is to get the organisers to book a proper marquee by a reputable marquee hire firm. If they don't want to pay for a marquee, try to agree a suitable alternative indoor place you can play and failing that make sure your fee is safe if you can't play because of the weather.
  6. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    This is one band's solution - a collapsible protected concert platform on a towable trailer. Only a few drawbacks - not enough room for a full band, the band can hardly been seen and can hardly be heard. Hmmm...perhaps with further development???
  7. alanl58

    alanl58 Member

    Yes, "get the Organisers to arrange a marquee" is fine if they are a big Company, but what about the poor old charities? We would rather donate any fee than ask them to pay for cover.

    Yes "plastic sleeves" is a solution, but even this beat us on Saturday - and we remembered to put them upside down - even then the water collected on the bottom ledge of the music stand, and capillery (sp?) action did the rest!

    We could purchase a storm-proof marquee, but it could take too many people to erect it (even our MD was helping out to hold it together). We could purchase an "instant gazebo", with a concertina type structure, but how good are they in a strong wind?

    Either way the "marquee" has now been consigned to the re-cycle tip, where no doubt a 29th Century "Time Team" will eventually discover it in a land-fill site, and ponder upon it's fate!

    Meanwhile thanks for the suggestions, if we ever find a sensible solution, I will let you know.


    Bude is a lovely place - even when it is windy!
  8. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    and by then of course Global Warming should have done the trick and it'll be glorious weather all the time - but then you probably need cover to protect against the sun-burn - you just cant win.
  9. UncleStreaky

    UncleStreaky Member

    Difficulty here i think is that we all want to do our bit to get the job done even in difficult conditions for the benefit of the customers and audience, paying or not. We spend a lot of time and effort in supporting charities and good causes as well as preparing for these events. It is very disappointing if you can't perform for them simply because of bad weather.

    But I really think that you have to put the safety and welfare of your band and indeed the crowds first. Although we are mostly amateur players in this movement we have the right to be treated professionally. That includes proper planning for outdoor jobs and negotiating the right not to play but still get paid if the weather turns bad, unless the organisers can provide some alternatives.
  10. Marquees can be ok, in like you said light showers.

    Last summer we played an outdoor event and we had been provided with a marquee which was pretty sturdy (having tripped over the peg I made that conclusion :lol:) but, unfortunately there was an extremely heavy downpour and the canvas that roofed the structure was starting to bulge at points. Not good as when it was emptied some of it would hit the band and instruments - I now have a tambourine with rust and a glock with spots of rust. We also had our band waterproofs on but we were still soaked. Wet, white shirts isn't a good look.

    We do always ask, if we're playing outdoors, if they have a back up plan in case it does rain. Nobody likes a soggy, grumpy bandsperson!
  11. UncleStreaky

    UncleStreaky Member

    Did anybody ask the client about insurance?
  12. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    I always say to the organisers, if the weather should prevent the band from playing outside, then an alternative venue should be be sought. Or they should provide a marquee. If they want you to appear, they should be the ones making the arrangements and informing you of them. If its not accecptable, dont be afraid in saying so. Its like a certain job that w=my ban d does and every year there is no marquee, etc, and I say it everytime after, what about shelter, because, inevitably, its a scorching hot day. All the other participants have a shelter of sorts, except us, their guests!!! Be bold!
  13. UncleStreaky

    UncleStreaky Member

    Nice one Geoff but me thinks this is going too far...

    So how much does something like this cost, how long does it take to put up and where do you keep it? Oh and can anybody hear what your actually playing?

    :clap: Pretty inventive though - someone has gone to a lot of trouble over this and should be applauded on their efforts. Now where is the queue for the cheeseburgers.
  14. Ipswich trom

    Ipswich trom Member

    :eek: Looks like a the Modus Starter homes that they have built hundreds of in Ipswich.
  15. UncleStreaky

    UncleStreaky Member

    Another shot of the same solution that shows just how much care has been taken to keep the band snug and warm and dry. Now that's classy! I wonder if it even has a mini bar?

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2008
  16. UncleStreaky

    UncleStreaky Member

    Sorry that linked pic ended up so big!

    Can't edit it to shrink it, can mods help???
  17. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    But the band isn't there to provide charity - if your fee doesn't at least cover the cost of getting everyone there, including MD and deps, is a job worth doing? If any organisation (charitable or otherwise) is requesting and paying for your band's services, then its not unreasonable to expect them to provide conditions which make it possible for you to give that service.

    We have a standard info sheet for anyone booking the band which sets out how much floor space we need, how many chairs, and an expectation for either shelter or some form of cancellation fee if its wet.
  18. UncleStreaky

    UncleStreaky Member

    Mobile Bandstand

    Or try this one?

    It's a mobile 'bandstand' that I saw it in Ipswich one day. Looks like the dsign has been adapted from one of those teacup thingy rides. Had heard that this was funded by Arts Council East and is available from South Norfolk District Council free of charge to local community groups. You can apparantly tow it behind a car once it is all folded up.

    Don't know if you'd get a full band on it? Anybody used one?

    Attached Files:

  19. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    It depends on the ethos of your band. My band supports charities such as the Handicapped Children's Pilgrimage Trust and the Air Ambulance, and others, by providing our services for concerts totally free of charge, which means exactly that. We pay our own expenses and all proceeds go the the charity. In my opinion (and I hope I can I can speak for the rest of the band) these are jobs that are very worth doing.
  20. UncleStreaky

    UncleStreaky Member

    Very commendable, and very worthwhile and appreciative causes too. I've always been pleased to support charities and enjoy workinig with bands that do just that.

    But you still need to be treated in a professional manner, which includes the right to a safe environment to play in.

    [Geoff, remember the double header of outdoor concerts Norfolk Wherry was booked to play in Hoveton and Smallburgh a couple of years ago, on what turned out to be one of the wettest days of the year? Not a problem in the end as we'd made sufficient alternative plans to deal with it so everyone knew what was happening and the events could go ahead without hitch. Oh and everything was covered by a couple of very nice signed contracts to help keep things nice and clear.]

    I guess what I'm saying is just try to agree a plan in advance in case of wet weather. That might include alterntative venues, it might include providing cover, or it might include making sure you keep your fee if you can't play because of the weather. But whatever happens, if you don't plan for it, you can't complain if it goes wrong!

    And don't forget that if someone has a good enough cause for you to donate your time freely, you are still playing at their event so worth seeing what else they can do to help you to help them raise the cash!

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