How long do my musicians need to set up?

How long do my musicians need to set up, and when will they arrive? As you might imagine, there are quite a lot of variables with this, but I’ll try and give you some kind of guide.

If it’s a solo artist or a duo, they might need only about 20 to 30 minutes of actual setup time, whereas if it’s a band, they might need an hour In terms of an arrival time, I always try and be at a venue about 45-60 minutes at least before it’s time for me to play. If I’m booking a band of other musicians for a customer, I’ll ask those musicians to be in the room about 75-90 minutes before they need to be finished setting up The whole process is affected by a number of logistical concerns, and the more of these you can take care of in advance of the day, the smoother the process, the quicker the process, and the happier your musicians. So firstly, can they get cars near to the performance area? Secondly, once they’ve unloaded, can the cars stay there or do they have to take them to another area and then bring them back at the end of the event? Third, what’s their path of access like to the performance area? Are there some winding corridors? Are there staircases? Next, by nature of what we do, a lot of our equipment comes in cases.

Once we’ve finished unloading, can those cases be stored somewhere near the performance area, or do they have to be taken down a corridor and then brought back? And finally, and this is a great one if you can solve this, do your venue staff know that you’ve taken care of all of this in advance, or do you need the musicians to have a conversation with them on the day? If you do, that’s no problem, it’s just great to know in advance So, the more of these things you can do, the smoother the process.

Curtis is a passionate and in-demand musician and songwriter, working along with popular artists, actors and movie directors. His creations, unique sounds and soundtracks are found in movies, TV shows and documentaries.