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As someone who works as a head charter scheduler for a bus company one cool/interesting thing you forgot to mention is that on many trips, we often send a second driver ahead in a regular vehicle days prior to a trip. They can then spend the night at a roadside hotel and complete a mid-drive swap with the previous bus driver to bypass the 10 hour limit for longer trips.
We rarely drive over 10 hours between shows, it’s to hard on everyone involved including band/crew
Do you actually check the timing belts?
I was wondering why they wouldn’t just do something like this because it’s so logical. Thanks for confirming!
Does the whole bus need to be swapped? Otherwise, how does the tracking system know a new driver is being used to bypass the 10 hour limit?
Is this a feature the band would have to ask and pay for?
My personal favorite example of logistics is the infamous Van Halen "no brown M&Ms". Van Halen's shows were very special effect heavy, with lots of expensive equitment, so a lot could go wrong if the venue didn't set things up properly. so the band put a clause in the middle of their technical specifications that there wouldn't be any brown M&Ms. if they saw brown M&Ms, they knew the venue didn't fully read the contract and they should double check everything to make sure that things were safe
@Jimmi it’s so so they have everything they required.
@Mar W at least in my, and other A/V techs i know experience, it does happen, but it's not always "brown m&ms", and most of the time they just left a note or let them know, because only reading the first and last part of a large important list is scarily more common than I wanna think about
There was an M&M 'incident' in Arizona DLR talked about..it was 'reported' that VH trashed a hotel room causing half a mil in damages.. that was some hotel room!But really what happened was the venue didn't follow instructions and the venue had a rubberized basketball flooring installed.The stage sank into the flooring effectively ruining it, thus the half million in damages.And yes, VH got a little miffed, lol.DLR said reading the news the next day of the hotel trashing - he said - he chose to NOT correct the record but rather any free press (even 'bad') was good!
This is very common actually
@Douglas Jarnagan You should pull up court records relating to the incident. Much more informative than google.
I've been a tour manager for 15 years and the importance of good pre-preduction can not be overstated. I did one tour with 28 shows in Europe where the whole pre-preduction was horrible and crew was averaging 4 or 5 hours sleep per night. Our last show was in Madrid. After rigging and showcheck was over the whole crew went to this posh white table cloth restaurant to celebrate the end of the tour. It's worth mentioning that our crew came exclusively from the punk/metal scene and where totally misplaced in the restaurant. During dinner our drum tech said "I just feel.. so tired" and started crying. And one by one we just kinda joined him. So there we sat, 11 guys crying out of fatigue together.
That’s why I always say: do what you love in this life. You will never be tired
As tour manager, why did you allow this to happen?
@Craig Gomez I remember you.
Either this is a really common occurrence or I'm in your story man... The tour was over though... For a little while.
Been there brother.
As someone working on stage automation (moving elements in shows such as Ed Sheeran or Coldplay’s current tours), an interesting thing you didn’t mention in this video is that big shows will often have large parts of the stage built twice (A set and B set). Set A will be built in venue 1, while Set B is already being built in venue 2. When the show is done in venue 1, Set A will move on to venue 3 while the tour moves to venue 2 and so on.
I was the advance lampie for Set A of the current Ed Sheeran Tour so I might know you! If so, hello! 🤟
I was just about to say that. Who would risk only one stage for an arena concert?
Wow very interesting! Thanks for sharing
So does that mean that the venues can't have other shows booked the night before Sheeran or Coldplay? If the set is being built 24 hours in advance that seems to limit the venue's ability to book other shows
Didn't the Grateful Dead have two Walls of Sound? While one was being used the other was already at the next venue getting set-up?
This was a lot of fun to watch!
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I work as local crew at a (somewhat smaller) venue and honestly, I cannot stress enough how incredible riggers are. We often put on variety acts like trapeze artists as well, and these guys and girls math like it's noone's business then climb to the fucking ceiling of a stadium and just get shit done. All while knowing full well that if they mess up, people could actually die. Riggers are - in my personal opinion - the unsung heros of the live entertainment industry!
you guys making me blush here hahahaha
congrats on not starting your comment with "as someone who works as local crew"
@betta3301 More recently a huge screen also fell on 1 of the members of the band Mirror when they were performing at The Colosseum arena in HK, possibly paralyzing him, & his other band members were initially unaware of this & didn't immediately go to his aid as they were wearing earphones & thus didn't hear the screen fall
I have seen them at work and it is breathtaking just to see what they will do in order to make a show work. I don't know much about the math involved or just how precise they have to be. but damn it is intense to watch somebody way up in the ceiling of an arena doing everything they do.
@Danny D lol no.what we worry about is beam load diagrams from the venue having an error.
I'm starting to think I am just not aware of the majority of jobs out there. This entire world is built upon labor I wasn't even aware needed doing.
@sam will I used to work for a small video company. I was hired by some guy in our church who knew my parents. Usually that’s how it starts: small companies farm talent for larger, more prestigious companies
@kai xiang Makes you wonder how people end up doing this sorta thing.
Schools do such a horrible job of preparing people for all the cool jobs out there
@Kevin of Parker I want people to be paid more, to work less, in better conditions. So no, no it does not
and now $80 for a concert ticket doesn't seem so unreasonable, does it?
As a tour manager and production manager, living this very life, you’ve hit on a lot of really good details, probably the best breakdown I’ve seen, but even this video still can’t prepare you for the reality that is our world.
as a person who comments on youtube videos, i read your comment
@Eric Lee Jefferson Waful, former Ld of Umphrey's McGee, made that exact video in maybe 2010. I think it's still on CHclip.
@Eric Lee lol or casino tours, oh the smells I have smelled loading in through f&*^$%g kitchens. never again.
Might be good for small bands, not for top bands. Just saying... The reality is far more complex, demanding, and exhausting than that. In fact, anyone who relies on this is in for a nasty surprise if he/she joins a tour. That's what we call "reality check"...
You finally touched an industry I work around & you did a great job explaining more or less of how this works. Great work. Been a fan of your channel for years.
I worked stage security, and we indeed got a detailed brief. We were told expected guest amount, bands type of music and how their fans typically act. We were told 5000 people would show, we got 10,000, we got told there won't be crowd surfing, we had 9 crowd surfers over the evening (first went up in the first song lol)
I disagree on “moving the stage back for more capacity”. They may move it forward, which is also rare. But not back. People bought their seats based on the map, you can’t change it and screw them over. Venues don’t do that
As a mere fan of live music, let me just say to everyone who makes live shows happen, THANKS for all you do! We appreciate it!
I've had many friends in the industry, both as musicians in major touring bands as well as local and touring crew. It's astounding to me what everyone goes through just to get a show up and running every single night.
Great video, I wish there was a sure way to make money while traveling or on vacation without lifting a finger
Thanks for the help, I’ll contact him immediately
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I got to roadie for Green Day for a day, I worked as the drum techs assistant, put the cymbals on their stands, and even got to soundcheck their drums. It was definitely very interesting to learn all the things that went into putting on a show of this scale
I've been a tour manager for 3 years and a stage manager and production manager for 10. It became such a routine that I forget that I'm part of such an insane world. Thank you for making this! It's very thorough and accurate.
@dearjessie i'm currently (sort of) in a band rn actually! still a work in progress, but i'm trying my best to get involved w the local scene rn ! i just wish the main venues i go to were closer to me instead of being a minimum 40 min drive 👎
@cemeterysol No problem! Go for a venue that plays music that you like and it won't even feel like working. And later on in your career I'd say; seek out other genres because you can learn a lot from them. Don't put your money all in one job, but learn some basic sound and/or light engineering throughout the years. And/or maybe join a band to learn from that as well.
@dearjessie this is huge help, tysm! so many people just say to network, without really explaining how. i currently live in an area that's far away from any venues, so i'm hoping to be able to work at one once i move for college in about 2 years.
@cemeterysol No need to apologize. Most of us in the music industry are happy to help. So I never went to a specific college to do this job. I started working for a venue behind the bar, then started booking smaller bands that I liked for the bar, was asked to go on tour do sell merch by a band because they liked me, then got asked to tour manage for smaller bands and (net)worked my way up to bigger tours. This was a process of about 5 years of networking and learning on the job. Although I have met tour managers who did go to college, mostly music management and/or theatre management. But this is not at all required to get the job. Most people get their job through word of mouth, just because they do their job well. The best place to start imo, wether you go to college or not; your local venue. You usually get the space to start learning about the industry. Go tell other people on tour/in the venue that you're willing to learn from them and help them. Selling merch is the easiest to do without any prior knowledge and sometimes bands will ask the venue to provide a seller, which is where you can step in. I personally live in The Netherlands, but I've heard the same story for people around the world who started like this. There's so many jobs to do in the music industry though, so sniff around and see what works best with your qualities and interests. And don't forget; if you can do it, go to college. It's always good to have a degree as a back-up. Good luck with everything!
yo, how did you start working as a TM? I'm a teenager in high school right now, and I'm deadset on working in the touring industry. Is there any college routes you took that helped, if you went of course, how you started, etc etc? apologies for asking so much; just want to know as much as I can as early on yknow
Can the venue provide the stage, a basic general stage, to lessen the move in burden?
I've been a rigger for 25 years, and I'm surprised how thorough and correct this presentation is. Nicely done, and thank you.
Some of the big bands have 2 identical stage set ups so while one stage is being built the other one is taken down on its way to another show. Costs a lot of money to tour. If people knew how much just a tour bus costs they would shit Their pants and maybe start buying albums again.
Tour bus driver here and this video is amazing. The pace can be absolutely break neck depending on the band you're carrying, and even very small bands playing club shows use buses (with band, merch, and crew all sharing the same bus), and that's when everything goes right. I've had tire blowouts on the bus and trailer, belts shred, an alternator literally break apart, border delays, detoured around or cut right thru snowstorms and wildfires, and changed more roof air motors than I can count. Depending on the type of company you drive for, you might be able to get it serviced or you might have to do the repair yourself. Either way, all of that eats into the downtime to sleep and be well rested to drive the next night (sleeping all day and driving all night is entirely counter to our bodies natural rhythm), and a lot of times issues stack up and you're barely getting by for days or weeks. I've even seen a band member sustain serious head trauma on a travel day at the very start of the tour so we sat with the bus parked outside the hospital all night until he was released and then hauled ass to the show. The fact that things go as smooth as they do given all the moving parts, even with the best planning, is nothing short of a miracle.
I was a truck driver for CDB and you hit the nail on the head. Tired and sleepy from driving all night, but you have to get some kind of maintenance done to the truck so you can do it all again that night after the show.
Also read of a report of a band that travelled to Ukraine to perform but had their drums trashed by border guards who weren't happy that they weren't given bribes
As a documentary filmmaker, I thank you for starting the narrative exactly where it should, which is at the end of a previous show to show everything that happens overnight at the new locations. It really gives a sense of how non stop these are
Excellent pov !
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i would watch this man explain the logistics of anything at this point
@chris r aaaaaaaaa
Operations and logistics is my jam. This CHclipr rocks!
I have never seen a comments section so full of experts and industry people, but as a normal person this is really cool
Really cool to see the amount of fellow industry people are in these comments! I’m a PM & Lampie who has done everything from tiny corporate shows all the way up to stadium tours including the likes of Ed Sheeran & Passenger! You’ve definitely explained this better than any other video I’ve seen, really well researched! Definitely more that you could go into detail on but to be fair you could do a multiple hour documentary on each and every department and still miss things out!
Touring Video Tech here, this has to be the most accurate video describing the logistics of our industry without sensationalizing anything. However as you’d expect from a 15 minute video this only begins to scratch the surface of the absurdity and insanity that goes on to produce these shows at a high level. Thank you for this video and shedding light on what we do!
congrats on not starting your comment with "as a touring video tech"
@Diablo Ah, typical condescending old jaded roadie. I’m sure your coworkers love the arrogance you breed, keep up the good work bud
@Amy It always makes me smile when someone comes to any of us and says things like "have done plenty of sold-out arena shows..." Doesn't mean it's true and certainly doesn't mean you were part of any A-List band/artist. Besides that, the setup may differ greatly from one band/artist to another. Some have a very elaborate setup, others very minimalistic one, like Elton John, Phil Collins, etc... You could be touring with Elton John and still not yet ready for an A-List band/artist with a very elaborate and complex setup. On this, end of discussion.
@Diablo Yeah I’m actually a monitor tech and have done plenty of sold out arena shows, thanks for the run down tho. I’m saying the video would be 3 hours long if they covered every single detail and that wouldn’t get the views. Obviously the creator of the video isn’t a roadie, they did some research and made their findings into a nice condensed video.
@Amy Absolutely not. Certainly not for major acts, unless you and I have a different definition of "major acts". I could mention at least 50 missing topics and there would still be 50 more. One of the important missing ones is the sound engineer walking all over the venue to see/hear and ask for modifications. There was no mention of the sound engineer in the back of the stage (Yep, there's another console backstage it's for the monitors or "earplugs"). No mention of the backstage system, like the stickers of different colors with the date written with a sharpie, etc. And what about the tours with 2 or 3 sets of stages like someone else mentioned here? Most REAL major acts have that. LOTS of missing points here. There wasn't even anything about those monkeys! For those who don't know, the "monkey" is a friendly term for the guys climbing the rig to operate some lights during the shows.
Local stage rigger here, thanks for this! We work a very thankless job and this video really puts it into perspective. Most weekend long festivals you attend encompass between 10-19 days of hard work for us stage crew.
As I am about to rock, I salute you!
Thank you 🙏
I work as an audio engineer for much much smaller shows than the ones like in the video, but I've worked as a stagehand for bigger acts like the country artist Kevin Fowler and the prog rock group Trans Siberian Orchestra. The TSO show was 8 hours of incredibly grueling unloading, rigging lighting up, then putting it all back. I worked so hard I could barely stand after load out as my legs were pool noodle. To top it off, I had to drive 2 hours to get home. I was then paid 80$ for the entire thing, and swore off working as a stage hand forever. However I wouldn't go back and not participate, it was enlightening to learn how the big acts put their shows on, as my experience is mostly with smaller/medium sized bands playing in bars or small theaters.
@Carol They basically worked for a flesh peddler temp agency. Just barely a step above pimp......
OMG! TSO would take a tremendous amount of lighting, pyro, etc, besides everything else involved! And all that work for a crappy $80.00!!! I feel bad for you - but you got to see the inner workings and realized that they certainly don't pay enough to do that every day! 😳
My mother makes $100 per hour as an art therapist and these people bust their a*s off for a whole day for $80 total. Not a good profession I would say.
In my early 20s, my first solo live audio gig was with a regionally popular band (played a lot of legion halls). Little did I know that I was tasked with driving the equipment around, load-in, sound check, and loud-out, all by myself...Like packed by midnight, sleep exactly 7 hours (my lodging budget was $120 a night, usually meant a Hampton Inn) drive 6 hours to Miami (fight traffic, etc)...Their touring manager and merchandiser had it so much easier. However, their touring support act was a bluegrass trio of women my age. Hooked up a few times with 1 and ended up in a hot-tub one night with another. Good times.
can't give you an upvote as you're at 666, wouldn't want to ruin that magic for you. but $80 was shit pay back in the "right to starve" south for that much time back in 2000. Sounds like you only worked a load in and load out. No show call. Its a very physical job though and if you don't do it regularly it will wear you down fast. A concert can be long hard day but the theater can be even worse. Then you have the large Broadway tours that are over 20+ trucks not counting the advance prehang the week before and after restoring the theater. They pre rig the chains for the motors that travel with the show, so when the equipment rolls off the truck the chain is feed into the motors and up goes all the Dimmers into the sky to allow for more space on the stage. , their load outs last about 30 hours, and that is just the load out, if you were on the show you came in at noon for the 2 shows on Sunday and load starts at 11pm. So you have an extra 10 hours on the clock without sleep, a few people even hang back to deal with crane removal for The winch system for that chandelier on Phantom of The Opera.If you were rigging you're pulling chain up 80/100 feet (amphitheaters are nicer about 40-50 FOH and 60-80 over stage) in sports arena that chain weighs about 1 1/4lb per foot. So has you get up to you its weigh over 100 lbs and you have hand rope... Then when it starts swinging as you pull it gets extra weight as it pulls away from under you but as it swings back some of it is semi free fall state so you pull up fast then and brace as it swings back from center under you. Now when you get a split bridle you have to not pull that weight up but side ways, which that is trying to pull you off the beam and back to floor due to physics of who weighs more and has more force to counter the other.the upside if you work in the industry, you never need a gym membership and most people have pretty decent physical strength, although you have the two stereotypical extremes the thin small people that are wiry muscle weighing about 130lb to 150lb at 5'8'' and then the huge guys that top 6'5" and 350+ lbs and can lift just as much. It is unique industry full of paradoxes to say the least.
I’m a venue ops guy, usually the first person to meet the production, tour and stage managers as they arrive on site. I’m often turning the venue around multiple times in a week for completely different shows and I’m so grateful for a video that makes sense of the lifestyle.
Your videos are simply the best! So interesting! Addendum: My high school math teacher is smiling!
I bet that absolutely nothing compares to the thrill and exhilaration of being in charge of all that logistics. I'm sure its tiring as hell and incredibly stressful, but the satisfaction of tens of thousands of screaming fans, and the knowledge that your work put them there is well worth the effort.
@Dude I used to be on tour manager pre-covid and decided I wanted to stay in one place, so I became a stage manager for a venue as soon as restrictions were lifted.In my case; The TM is the main 'boss' of the touring party. They're the main person of contact for the venu, the touring party and other management not on tour (fe; labels, managers, promoters). They make sure everyone is doing their job and helping to make sure everyone can do their job. Basically running the show on tour.A stage manager is the 'boss' of everything on stage. You can be a SM for a band or for a venue. Smaller touring parties will just travel with a TM and no SM. They are both the main contact for everything that has to do with the stage/show. So I work for a venue, which means I am the main point of contact for everything stage related. Which means I coördinate my whole stage crew on what the band wants and needs for the show and I communicate with the SM/TM of the band with what's possible in our venue.There's so many things they both do that are also explained in the video, but if you have more questions, you're welcome to ask them.
@dearjessie you said you were a tour manager in a diff post. What’s the diff and are you both?
Totally nailed it. Been a touring Production Manager for 6 years and the roar of the crowd makes it all worth. It. Nothing like it.
I'm a stage manager. I don't have the words to explain how emotional that first roar of the crowd after covid lockdowns was. Basically a lot of crying throughout the whole show.
I'd be really interested to see how the logistics of festivals differs from the logistics of tours. I was just at a festival the other day and while many acts used the provided stage and lighting setups, some of the headliners rigged up new things. There were only two stages, so turnaround had to be completed in about an hour.
The headliner’s gear is usually set up on the stage first and then the smaller acts gear is set up in front of it on easily removed platforms.
beyoncé and her tour team (tait towers, livenation, etc) did an INCREDIBLE job during the formation tour. truly a feat of engineering. taylor swift’s reputation tour is another that springs to mind. designing, building, then deconstructing and transporting these megastructures is an incredible achievement.
A deep dive into tour scheduling would be amazing. I've always wanted to know how some many bands go on tour and determine their path and what venues they play given that similar bands are also trying to do the same.
I also want to see the logistics of a band that does a show outside of their tour, and that show is in another part of the country.
Please do a video on this. Always wondered…
agreed, I think there is so much more to mapping a tour than just proximity to the next town. What are the major markets on our way? Did we play too recently, that won't be dying for us again? Are we selling in that market? Can we squeeze a night in... IE we have to find a show we can fit on the 16th or 17th... or we are too far off track. Are profitable in a venue that size? What else is happening in that town that night that would compete for our audience? Is it a union labor town? Is the drummer even allowed back in this state yet? Make it fast, fun, and profitable for everyone. its just about impossible.
live nation controls all lol
So close on the drivers clock. I was an over the road trucker for years. You get 11 hours of driving time, not 10. And the mandated break is 10 hours, not 8. Unless you're in Canada, in which case it actually is an 8 hour break, but then you get 13 hours of driving time!
I believe at that point in the video he was referring to the tour bus, which, as a passenger carrying vehicle, would be mandated to follow the 10 on / 8 off schedule.
I would love to see a video on the pre-production of a tour. The show's design, hiring the crew, planning the schedule. That kind of thing.
Im an A1/A2 at a road house that brings in some pretty major artists and I would have to say that you did a pretty damn good job of explaining the challenges that are faced by live performance industry. If I had one thing to add it would be that production is a thankless job. If everything goes perfectly no one notices all the people supporting the show and making it happen. If one little thing goes wrong, all eyes look to the people supporting the artist and fault them for it. Next time you go to a concert find one crew member and say thank you. it really makes a difference.
This is pretty accurate. My father is a truck driver and has done everything from Broadway tours to car shows to concerts both big and small. Sometimes when the show was nearby my mother and I would take him for dinner and bring him back afterwards. I have been backstage before but it was usually for bands/singers I didn’t care for like Alabama and George Strait but when it was one’s I would’ve loved to go to, like Katy Perry, he didn’t have backstage access since it was very strict on how many were given out.One method not mentioned is sometimes a singer might request two sets of equipment. These would be Tour Group A and Tour Group B. A would get the first arena set up while B goes ahead to get the next venue set up. When the first show is done A will be sent onto the third stop to get everything rigged up there while the singer and band and others are sent onto the second stop. It’s very efficient since it gives more time for setup and takes into account any possible delays and also adds more dates and venues to the concert. A very famous example was for Taylor Swift who prefers this method.
I work as a head of sound for an international arena tour playing 5000-14,000 cap venues. I just spent 12 full days at home. It was my first time home in 7 months and I won’t get home again for another 8 months. Touring is a wild time!
Damn a travelling job sure seems nice.
What kind of money do these crew members make? Obviously depends on the job. But on average, for someone with 5ish years of experience.
@Craig Fleury Young as in 20's or 30's, not a teenager. Older than that and you get people who want to start families or are burnt out. I'm sure the really senior people probably already chose the job over all of that, but for everyone else...
@Udi Shomer 3 months off between tours and retire at 45
@Elaine And John in the 180k a year ballpark depending on number of days / year.some make more some make a bit less.
This was a lot of fun to watch! I was a tour manager for many years and I think you did a great job summarizing the organized chaos of national touring.
Will Swan is that you 😅
great job? That video is barely 10% of the reality....
I was lucky enough to be a very busy local crew hand for a year, and you can really start to tell the insane depth of planning that goes into some tours. When Chainsmokers came through town, I was absolutely blown away when I realized that while I was still packing up the drumkit, lighting was already starting to land their trusses a few feet on either side of the catwalk. They’d mapped out everything so perfectly that we had that immense setup completely packed up & out the door in two hours.
How’s you fuck it up lol
Good god. This is an anxiety-inducing nightmare. It's such an amazing achievement. I never gave it much thought before, I have to admit.
@Roj Steph probably because the challenges vary too much and are too specific for the general public to understand anyway. bass traps and general acoustics, weight restrictions for rigging, low ceiling height... you name it. all might be just technical gibberish for those who don't know and won't necessarily help in terms of providing a rough overview on what is happening behind the scenes for a general audience.
@CB and you click with ppl easily. there's a specific way of communication and common sense shared among the majority of folks who've worked in this industry and it shows, no matter where you at or where you from.
When you live this life or you work in the industry it isn't a job, it is a way of life. You work fast and accurately and its a rush. Arenas in many ways make things easier because they are blank canvasses, some spaces offer real challenge in ways this video doesn't explain.
We who make everything happen unfortunately don't get much credit but I personally don't mind. It's hard work and we make little money but most importantly it's fun, most people on crews are nice people with humor and most of all we make people happy. Imagine what life would be without live music. Taste varies but pretty much everybody loves a concert once in a while...
It's amazing to think about when a singer can't, or chooses not to preform.He isn't just effecting themselves, but will effect the fans, venue, and their own load out staff.
@DLRS Nate Matt Heafy (vocalist of Trivium, a metal band) had to bail on a tour because he blew his voice. He's mentioned in interviews that it was a terrible experience for him having to not pay the crew and stuff.
@Kevin of Parker however I agree morrissey is worse than divas
@Kevin of Parker bro those ain’t metal bands. Those are wack rockers
@DLRS Nate no. It's not a diva thing. It's an Axl thing. Or ... even worse... a Morrisey thing. Can you imagine being his production crew? You just know every tour will be canceled about a week in. Sure, he may be covered by insurance, but the crew isn't. watching this, I get the term 'it takes a village'.
@DLRS Nate axl rose, 5fdp
I work as a crew member for events like these in the UK, its so cool to see the whole thing summed up in a video like this! :D Great job and I am so proud to work in such a cool industry! :)
As a local rigger you hit some details I definitely didn’t expect. Nice job!
As someone who has toured for 10+ years…. I’m impressed with how accurate this is. Well done. Missing a few things but with the amount you got right that would be so difficult for people to actually know. But not enough for it to matter. Fantastic.
And depending on the artist/tour budget, the “A” group may be rolling the way the “B” group does on tour buses (either nicer accommodations, or the same).
As a local rigger, thank you so much for this video. I’ve been dying for the day you’d upload this because I’ve always been so interested in the logistics. As a watcher for 5 years this is a perfect video 🙏
Different locale here, but in my time uprigging, I’ve only seen a few things dropped at all. Most of what we use is tethered to our bodies, and if it isn’t, we have specific techniques each of develop to handle it safely and for as little time as needed to keep the risk down.
Never once. Saw a few slip a leg through the 6 inch gap between a steel tension grid 96 feet in the air at the Chase Center in San Fran last week tho. One moment they’re there next to you, next moment they’re at your feet, clinging to the grid for dear life. Scary stuff. People typically wear hard hats below while we’re rigging anyhow
Have you seen objects fall on riggers while hoisting objects up?
I read that wrong 😂😂
This video is being shared all around the live events technicians FB groups as it's pretty on point and explains the process simply! Good vid on educating the public!
It's crazy how many moving parts there are within creating a concert. I knew that there was at least 50 - 100 people involved but I always forget about catering and hotel security among everyone else who helps out making these shows. I would love to be a part of a concert process just to see how intense it really is.
As a retired lighting designer who toured some, just want to commend you for a great overview for the masses. Good pre-production and logistics cannot be overstated. Second to that is the riggers. A good head rigger is a godsend.
Yoo! I do stagehand work with IATSE LOCAL 78 in Bham. Haven't gotten my card but I'm working on it. This was a great video man!
One thing to keep in mind for some artists especially driving that stretch from Salt Lake to Denver is they might stop and perform at a local college/university if there is a day or two in between major performances. This will let the artists stay sharp and provide lodging and food for their people. Happens all the time at UW, but for smaller/upcoming artists.
@Thaseus Karkabe-olson ya I thought they meant uni of Wisconsin
@Ameslap should have specified, thought you meant Wisconsin
@Ms666slayer ok, thanks.
@Stefan Schneider Cool, cheers.
@Nilguiri Also take in consideration that the USE is like 2/3 the size of Europe and is not weird than an artist performs from a city to anothe that the distance between them is like going from Madrid to Paris inside the same country sometime even state, so because bus driver can't drive for that much then a show on a Uni in between the cities is actually good, the artist gets more money, the driver can actually rest and Unis are big enough that you can make like a 500 person show on one of the Uni's venues.
I was a VIP member and instead of meeting the artist I wanted to meet the tour manager and the production manager because it's just amazing of what they do. In my line of work, I always thought that doctors run the hospital, but there is an entire administrative side to it that no one ever thinks about. And I think the similarity between the relationship of physicians versus administrator is exactly like the artist's versus the production team. It's amazing and I give it to everybody who is a part of that process
Wow, that is absolutely INSANE. So much respect and appreciation for all the riders, riggers, technicians, engineers, drivers and managers out there. Y'all make a lot of people happy
I’ve worked as local crew for several shows and I have to say it’s so impressive how choreographed the set up/tear down happens. With so much chaos in every direction I’ve only seen one incident happen after about 50 events. A light was damaged at the Carrie Underwood show. That light was worth $20k so it’s extremely important that meticulous detail happens
As someone who is in a small local band, it is crazy to see what goes into making big shows and tours happen. I thought it was hard doing a tech day and setting up with some friends. I can only imagine how crazy it is with a team that big.
If you think this is absurd, wait untli you see the logistics of being made to play in front of your family.
"Christmas is more than one month away, but grandma has to start her work already. Bringing up the coming celebration, implying monetary rewards, sheer manipulation - she has the full toolset at her disposal."
lol good one George :D
Hey, love your videos btw ! Thank you for your hard work ❤️
Used to be a local stage hand back when I was younger. we always saw up riggers as Gods. They were like the navy seals of stage. They always came down at the last minute when the final truck was shut. All greased up, chains hanging round their necks, with ropes coild and rigging gear tucked up nice and neat. You know that scene in Top Gun where the pilots walk away from their jets? Yeah. They were that fucking cool. I hated and loved those bastards for what they did. Either way your life was in their hands when you're awkwardly unbolting truss on the ground. God bless those fuckers.
Such a great overview of the whole process. Obviously, there could be hours spent on the logistics of mobile events.As an audio tech we would always play the "why not" game. It was incredibly rare that an system would work perfectly the first time everything is powered on. You confirm that everything is turned on, slide the main up to 10%, hear nothing, then look at the board for a couple seconds wondering..."why not." Then it's the full Ockham's Razor approach with the entire crew. Typically, there is something unique about the venue that requires the single audio adapter that you do not have. I would typically schedule at least 1 hour for 3-4 crew to play the "why not" game.
I have a question for those who have worked a tour: I dealt with a group of young kids who created a number system for the pit. They said they had been camping days before outside and wrote numbers on their hands for order of who got in first. The venue did not recognize this policy (they said because if they got hurt while camping out, venue would be responsible). The venue also sent out an email to confirm that you are not allowed to lineup until 2 PM, day of show. The rowdy group became upset when we (a group of older 20s-mid 40s) got in line. Even though we got in line at 2 they stated that we cut people. We were all confused because we were not communicated with about this system that they created and the venue did not acknowledge it. This was the 1st time I ever experienced it and I've been to well over 20 shows. The whole experience was really disheartening and it really took away the joy from the show. There's some other details worth mentioning: they became physically/verbally aggressive when we wouldnt leave because we told them their system is imaginary. The director of the venue had to come get involved and extra security had to be sent out because of the hostility in the line. The venue also did not announce what they were gonna do until doors opened so we were all in line with this tension brewing for 4 and a half hours. I just need to know: Have you ever experienced this? Do you agree with this system?
I was an administrator and chef at a stadium that operated as these circuses came to town. I did backstage catering which included the food order for stagehands, support staff, and bands. Mastering logistics is our common thread connection. Respect. Excellent video.
Great video, but one thing that BIG bands have to their advantage is that the majority of the hired support is exclusive to themselves and not only stays with them the entire tour, but from tour to tour every year. Bus drivers (and the buses themselves), riggers, catering, etc etc. Its only a few less things to worry about needing to contract with/schedule, but makes a world of difference when there are, as your description very well shows, millions of moving parts!
OH MY GOSH YES THANK YOUI work for a local lighting company and we build lightshows for bands. The teardown and setup process is such an underappreciated art. Thank you for enlightening the masses of the absolute insanity that is my job lmao
@Amunak sometimes... sometimes not.
@Quinn Connell normally the touring band/artist will have a lighting person/team who will operate the lights but not necessary help with setting them up
@Quinn Connell depends the company they pick. Some have many places and can afford to pay employees to tour but they can also utilize their companies in each state. So they can have a contract with a staging company that sends maybe 10 with the tour and use the next areas staging company. And venues can have a hand in that too.
I work for a touring artist and want to say thank you to all the local crews that help us make it happen!
@Amunak I get paid 250 a night for running lights so yeah I'd say it pays pretty well lol
Here in my country (Singapore) we have concerts by both English language singers (who're usually Westerners) & Chinese language ones (who're usually Asians) & my family had the impression that the former emphasized more on work-life balance, as they were observed to less readily entertain encore requests & also seemed to be more likely to have their concert dates on weekday nights instead of weekends. However upon closer look, the issue about the concert dates seem to be more likely caused by chance, as each performer typically visits multiple cities per week, so a minority of them will have weekend concert dates while the majority will have weekday ones. Also remembered that my country got lucky in 2014 when Taylor Swift's Red concert added another concert date here so as to replace her Bangkok concert date that was cancelled last-minute due to Thailand's coup then
I've been local labor on a ton of shows and there's rarely such a thing as a "smooth load out." Hard to blame the tour guys considering what they're doing every day but sheesh. But on the days where a load in and load out are perfectly choreographed, it's such a fun job.
Yo fam I’m a small content creator, and I make a variety Of entertaining music reactions, vlogs, and a range Of other content and I’m still working on quality but I guarantee you will find something you will enjoy!❤❤❤
Amen to that...Worst word ever: "repack"
As a child of the 80's, my life has been shaped by great music. I watched the Journey 'Frontiers and Beyond' concert VHS so many times. There's a huge amount of stage setup and roadies and logistics in their. It was great seeing a modern version of it. One thing, timing belts are inside of engines and not something a driver can see/inspect. Fan belts, A/C belts, alternator belts on the other hand are the ones we can usually see and inspect when we lift our hoods. Most of all though, thank you for this great video!
As an aspiring musician, this video was a gift. My rockstar fantasies probably won’t come true on this scale, but it’s really cool to know about the dirty details behind a massive tour. Even if the artist doesn’t handle this stuff, I’d never want to take my team for granted if I were a member of this hypothetical band.
@Morag MacGregor But I love X JAPAN. That’s why I put it in my username.
I've played a few events with a small band, at a scale where the only non-musicians we had along were our sound guy and our driver. We had a pretty small set up though. Liked to rely on the venue for stuff like front-of-house and monitoring systems when we could, and didn't have a lighting setup at all. We did have a setup we could use if the venue's sound system wasn't up to snuff though (or if we were playing somewhere that just didn't have a sound system). I personally found the setup and teardown almost as fun as the performance itself. Anyway, yeah, bands can exist at a scale where the artists are doing the setup for their own shows.
@MeowTheRainbowX *_MeowTheRainbow_* it is! I think you can lose the _X,_ tbh.
@Danmur15 I’ve been thinking of moving to Massachusetts, so who knows? It might be my local area in a few years.
As someone who works in this industry to level that you are describing, I think you've done a great job of explaining how our world works. Although there are some discrepancies, and I want to note that every tour is different. That being said there are so many variables that can change from tour to tour. Overall though this is one of the best videos I've seen that actually gives a good insight into what actually happens day to day to make the show happen.
Watching this makes me appreciate the days I toured in a van with a trailer. It's rough, but less room for error -- and tons of good stories to go with it.
Having gone to 96 concerts since my first in 1978 (KISS in Philadelphia), I can appreciate the logistics that make the bands' tours possible. Without the near perfect logistical efforts, there's no way a big name band could tour the USA and do 200 shows a year, let alone go overseas and have similar tours.
I spent the first couple of years of my career touring during the summers when I wasn't in school, and I'm so glad I switched to technical directing. my half brother in law is the monitor engineer for The Interrupters and he's gone about 11 months of the year. it's absolutely nuts
Thank you for highlighting how crazy my industry is. I left the stage crews cause the travel and now only do studios or location rigging. It's a crazy life style and very hard to have solid interpersonal connections. From Service to Stage is literally the same life style lol
As a former arena social media manager AND the child and sibling of theatre tech director/roadies, this was such a cool video! One of my fave memories from the arena job is being allowed to tour the backstage setup for a Cirque du Soleil show - the arena was basically transformed into a Vegas-style theatre for a few days! When I worked at the arena, I was also fascinated by how sporting events were set up too. There’s soooo much work that goes into game day that people don’t realize (e.g. setting up ice for hockey is a lengthy and meticulous process)
Interesting. I'd like to see an episode about the insane logistics of big outdoor music festivals too.
Summerfest Milwaukee World's largest music festival. There is a crazy huge 10 day operation, and then poof, it is gone. Now it is three long weekends. 10 stages at all times.
Concerts are essential to music and it is INSANE the amount of detail that goes into a show of almost any size. Imagine packing 10,000+ people inside an area for entertainment, there is little to no room for error on the setup to entertain a small town inside of a building.This is the first video I came across for your channel, kudos on the attention to detail with all of this. More people need to know the time and effort it takes to put into the level of entertainment for them. Thanks!
I've been following Billie Eilish's latest tour on Instagram and after the rush of seeing a new show goes down you start wondering about the logistics. That show went all around US, Europe, Asia and Ocenia. Considering that they had a huge stage made up of just screens I always wondered how they could dissamble, move and assemble all of that in just 24 hours. Let alone moving all that equipment and people from US to Europe to Asia and Australia. This was a great watch on a topic that made me curious for a while.
As a non stop touring musician, I applaud each and everyone doing the actual labour behind the tours.
I love learning about this! Having just seen twenty one pilots in Houston a couple of weeks ago realizing exactly how much works goes in to putting that show into production is actually staggering. I saw them last year at the Grand Prix in Austin. It was more of a festival stop in the middle of their carefully planned tour. Tyler Joseph spoke a lot about how, logistically, it was almost impossible to make the show happen. No wonder this group, in particular, is constantly singing the praises of their staff and the staff of the venues. Very very very interesting and mad respect
This was one of the most gripping episodes you've made so far! Incredibly interesting to see how these pieces come together, even from someone who has never attended any event like the ones shown here.
Some things that some large shows do is to build a Supergrid that attaches to the venue's beams. This creates a standard set of rigging points for every show that can then make the show rigging much faster. Also, often times the lighting comes prerigged on special truss. The fixtures are already hung and wired on the truss. This allows the production to simply roll the section of truss in. connect it to the other truss and make a few cable connections and its ready to go. Makes putting in complex lighting significatly easier.
SO interesting! We usually think only of band members getting from one show to the next - but it's everyone doing everything else who are really under stress every day! There is so much to consider and so many people needed! It's a far cry from being in a garage band, getting their own gigs and having friends helping to set up and tear down and load up a single van! 😳
I used to work as local crew at an arena of the size in this video. One additional bit of complexity is that there was often a basketball or hockey game in that arena the night before. That basketball court needs to be packed up and stored, or the hockey rink covered in insulation, boards, and carpets, by an overnight crew so that it's ready for the road crew when they get there. At our arena we'd typically build the stage ourselves (to the specifications of the band) with the same overnight crew.
Band/talent riders are crazy! I worked as a local rigger/stage tech for 2 roadhouses in college. I got to read the riders to prepare for the tours' rigging/audio needs, and some of them had wild demands for the talent! Some of my favorites were:•a modestly stocked bar offstage to be manned by one of the tour crew during the show•a driver on standby (ended up being me) to take the lighting supervisor to get cigars if he ran out (he did)•the crew were not allowed to be seen eating on or near the stage as it disgusted the talent
This was fascinating. I’m surprised that I haven’t seen a video on this before. I would love to see a video on the history of concert tours and all of the trials and errors that led us to this incredibly well oiled machine that is concert tours today
I don't know where you got all your information but clearly it came from a rigger and what an excellent job you did covering the technical side of touring. Thank you
Been working in logistics for over 15 years now. Thanks for showing all the insane details that goes into moving stuff and getting it right so it looks good when under a time crunch.
I’ve been in the entertainment industry for almost a decade, in various capacities, currently working for a regional theatre getting many touring groups coming through. As usual, this video does a spectacular job outlining the complexity behind live performance that the vast majority of people never see. And by not ever seeing what happens backstage, you know that we’ve all done our jobs right. It’s a gruelling industry, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
That was a really cool video, Wendover Productions. Having only low-level experiences in the entertainment industry, (thus far, and mostly in musical entertainment,) I am very interested in the logistics and overall behind the scenes aspects of doing live shows. My experiences having been limited to smaller, "local" venues.
I was a room service manager at 5 star hotels. Riders were the bane of my existence. But it was always fun and exciting. One band thought I was the chef and we all just went with it 😝
@Sir Reginald Bumquist III That is an incredible story friend 👏 hahaha don't like his music much, but I guess he has good taste in recreation
@HazmatPyro "Weird Al" did one tour where he asked for a tacky Hawaiian shirt for each stop, I think just to have something silly on his rider.
I worked a concert for Jason Derulo and his entourage smoked so much weed it was amazing. I just picked up their leftovers and didn't buy any for a week 😂
@Tomáš Hübelbauer Ah, crap, OK, I get it now :D
Easily one of your best videos - so detailed, and I loved the music. Great job!
The band shot at 4:30 is from the Movie Shoot Rock Star, not a tour at all.
I worked on several big European tours (U2. Ramstein, Coldplay, Night of the proms,...) And I am amazed at the level of detail in this video. Damn, you even got the rigging ground sign explained. Awesome video. I'll show this to my family when they ask what I do for a living 😅
Like many others in the comments, you’ve done a great job of explaining just what happens and how much goes into making them happen. It’s my living, and it’s gruelling but I get a lot of satisfaction from it. Thanks.
I live about 20 minutes away from USANA, so I was pretty shocked to see it used as the example hahaha. Very cool, I love seeing what goes on behind the scenes at these types of events
I run head of security at a few venues, and the logistics of getting ready for shows is a testament in organization, discipline and timing. But I wouldn't change it for anything..
Ha! I work in the other end of touring industry, the backend. We have to get paid and pay out all those who worked. It's a very complicated accounting since we need to track everything by venue, since, as you mentioned, many people are local and do not go from location to location. Great video, and it's quite accurate as well.
This was fascinating as a concert lover and someone who lives only a few blocks from a major 13K seat concert venue. I'm actually going to a concert there tomorrow so this will really put into perspective how much work goes into it so my friends and I can have a good Friday night.
I once did stage managing at a small festival (6-7k people) and overheard a lot of the stuff about the stage rigging, and that was on a fully constructed stage. The stage and the equipment on it were from different companies, so they still had to do some work. The main concern was that if it got too windy they'd have to partially deconstruct it else the wind would take it away.
I had the same happen for a smaller local theatre group I was involved in! I was Front of House (basically did everything for the audience side of the show.) It was stressful being part of the team deciding if it was too rough to do the show that night. I was checking weather, reading wind and rain radar maps every few hours before the show cut off timing!
O my god the pre show audience demographics thing is so real. I work in guest services at an NBA arena and we've gotten some p funny warnings. Suicideboys warned us that they had had around twenty average medical incidents per show so we tripled our number of med techs from 2 to 6