General Articles

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The event planner and coordinator (Unedited excerpt from the book, Fire and Soul)


In one of my former bands, "Legend", we were fortunate to have engaged a competent, two person, stage crew; Jerry and Jerry. They were responsible for load-in and load-out at the various venues we played. More specifically, the delivery and set-up of the stage equipment, sound and lighting.


In order to ensure that the staging proceeded as efficiently as possible, I had provided the crew with a handy procedural portfolio which was conveniently stored in the road case marked "band case". The "band case" was only to be opened by band members upon their arrival at the venue with the exception of the retrieval of the very important portfolio.The procedures were quite straight forward for experienced technicians and engineers and clearly described ,in text and diagrams, the location of the various instruments, amplifiers, main sound, monitors, sidewash, lighting, microphones and the type of microphones to be used for each function; drum cluster, SM 57's, SM 58's, and vocal microphones. The portfolio simply minimized the requirement to think or guess on your feet and doubled as a useful document to point out certain details that may be of concern to the client. It also reduced significantly the necessity to call "head office" for clarification or conflict resolution. "Head office" was the terminology sometimes used to refer to me by the road crew and some band members; we better call head office on this one.


At approximately 4:00 PM, I received an important call from Jerry informing me that there was an event planner and coordinator who was impeding the progress of the staging set-up. Her current intervention was her insistence on changing the colour and location of some of the lighting gels, which by this time were flying high. Jerry informed me that the usual explanations were provided and that they even tried intimidation by allowing her to peruse "the portfolio". All diplomatic efforts failed and she simply dug in her high heels. I surmised that the location and colours of the staging didn't quite meet with her particular vision of the soiree that would soon unfold. At roughly 4:03, I asked Jerry to provide me with the name of the lady in question and to please put her on the phone. Following a short introduction and status update on her part, I informed her that she did not have any authority, and therefore responsibility, to orchestrate anything that is even remotely related to the band or staging. I gently and diplomatically informed her that "Legend's"contract clearly stipulates the requirements for both the band and our client. For purposes of providing her with an example, I pointed out our particular requirements for a dressing room stocked with fresh tea and coffee and served in the appropriate crockery at precisely 8:00 PM. I enquired whether that provision of the contract was proceeding satisfactorily. I promised her that I would be pleased to discuss any remaining event issues in our dressing room when the band members arrive at 8:00 PM. The remainder of the conversation, as I recall, was rather brief.


When I and some of the band members arrived later that evening to prepare for a 9:00 PM start time, we found that our dressing room was actually quite pleasant and comfortably furnished in a manner that we were not normally accustomed to. In fact, at first glance, our dressing room appeared to be well above our usual contractual requirements. The room was very well appointed and generously stocked with tea and coffee as well as an assortment of cookies, alcoholic beverages, sandwiches and the usual peripherals.


Conspicuously absent from the gathering,however was the event planner and coordinator!

The atmosphere in the room was upbeat and the mood was celebratory. I changed into my work clothes, relaxed on the couch and wound-up with a fine beverage.


As I remember, after we hit the stage, the remainder of the evening proceeded quite well.