The Christmas season not only sees a spike in the number of gigs bands play, it also sees an increase in the quality of those gigs. Because audiences feel more relaxed and just want to have fun, they get to their feet or start singing earlier than at any other time of year, and they do so with a gusto seemingly reserved for the holiday season.
But with the plethora of great gigs, comes greater risk to the Act and those around them. Here are five tips to help keep you, your colleagues, and those you’re entertaining a little bit safer:
1 - Leave Early for the Gig: Most people may be on holidays, but over Christmas the roads are as busy as ever, and the pubs are even busier. To avoid potential problems, give yourself at least an extra half hour to get to the gig. Not only will you arrive more relaxed, you’ll also be able to get the gear unloaded and inside before the masses arrive and you have to dangerously battle your way through the throng.
2 - Be Tidy & Secure: Pubs and venues tend to be busier over Christmas. But not only that, audiences are in better form and more prone to throw caution to the wind and become more excitable. Ensure their (and the band’s) safety by keeping the set-up fast and tidy, making sure all cables on floor level are stuck down with gaffa tape, and that all speakers and equipment is secure and cannot fall on anyone.
3 - Control the Gig: With most venues being packed, and most audiences being up for it, gigs at Christmas can quickly get out of control. It doesn’t take much for a few people jumping around to turn into a full scale mosh (or worse still, a row). As a band, this interaction with your performance is great for the ego, and it’s easy to say it’s “Not my problem”. But it is your problem! You have a moral responsibility to help ensure the safety of the people you are entertaining, and a professional duty to do what is the best interest of whomever booked you. Part of that duty means not putting their customers or guests in danger.
4 - Don’t do Too Much: With so many gigs around in such a short space of time, it can be tempting to grab as many as you can. But apart from burning yourself out performance-wise, overdoing it can lead to tiredness, frustration, and stress, all of which can lead to accidents. None of us are robots, know your limits and stick to them.
5 - Say “No Thanks”: What is it about Christmas that brings out the generosity in people? In a single gig, you’ll be offered more drinks than January to November combined. With spirits high, and the craic flowing it can be hard to say “no” to this generosity. However, if you’re getting behind the wheel after the gig, that’s exactly what you have to say! YOu may be invincible on stage, but you’re not on the open road!
Undoubtedly Christmas is the best time of year for live Acts. There are lots of gigs, more money, and a general air of happiness and contentment. Don’t ruin it for you or anyone else, by letting a momentary lapse of common sense result in an accident.