When an Artist arrives at your Space, they’re going to need to load in their equipment and set it up for the show. Make sure to communicate with the Artist beforehand what time works best for the both of you. Below are some tips to help the load-in and soundcheck go smoothly:
Ensure that the entry way and performance spaces are cleared before their arrival
If you promised sound equipment, like a PA, try to have it set up for the load-in time
Suggest a good place to park the car to make load-in easier
If you can lend a hand with loading gear to the performance area, the Artist will probably appreciate it, but don’t hurt yourself! Always be sure to ask first - sometimes equipment can be especially delicate or sentimental, so it’s a good idea to check just in case.
It’s always a nice touch to lay down a rug for the stage. This will be more comfortable for the Artist, help with the ambiance, and protect the floors from equipment scratches.
One of the main things an Artist tends to need is access to electrical outlets or power bars.
A soundcheck usually consists of an Artist testing out the equipment they’ll use in the show, making sure it all sounds good and that it’s the right volume for the space. This may involve plugging in and playing their instruments, testing any amps or mics, adjusting levels (loudness), testing certain inputs (plug-ins), and more. Some Artists will run through songs while others may only need to strum a few chords - each Artist is different.
Some Artists will be traveling with a sound engineer - if so, please defer soundcheck to them. If the Artist is not traveling with a sound engineer, it would be great if you or someone you trust could offer to be an extra set of ears and hands. This can help put Artists at ease, and ensure the sound is at an appropriate level for the space. If an Artist needs assistance during soundcheck they’ll probably let you know, but don’t hesitate to ask.
All soundchecks should be completed before the doors open. Please be mindful of the time.
Make sure any cords or wires are tucked away or taped down to avoid guests tripping over them.
Get the lighting just right before guests arrive.
Maybe have a bit of recorded music on the stereo or PA while people are arriving and socializing.
Budget at least one hour for soundcheck. Soundcheck requirements can vary as wildly as the show itself! A solo singer-songwriter may be capable of showing up and being ready to play within 15 minutes, whereas an entire group could take a couple hours to get all their equipment set. In addition, some Artists may want to be left totally alone and in complete silence, whereas others will ask you to watch and give opinions. Plus, sometimes soundcheck has to be scrapped entirely, like if the Artist is delayed or equipment doesn’t show up. Not a big deal if that’s the case, just be prepared to be flexible!
Following soundcheck, please direct Artists to a quiet and/or private room (if you have one) if they need time and space to get ready for the show. Remind them of when you would like the performance to begin. Please note that some Artists prefer to rest and/or warm up before a show and save their socializing for after the show. They might be hiding when people are arriving, only to greet guests and work the merchandise table after the show. Every Artist is different, so when in doubt just ask the Artist!
For more tips on preparing for the day of the show please click here.