Putting on an outdoor event has been the theme of this summer. This year a large majority of @pianosingeruk and Piano Singer Trio events have seen guests dancing on the gravel and singing along, drink in hand in a shady spot under a tree, we have the insta evidence to prove it!
But planning for UK outdoor events has traditionally been a worrying hit or miss activity. As a nation we have had to learn to adapt to accommodate these fresh air experiences!
Here are the five key things I’ve learned about preparing for and performing at outdoor events.
I’ve got the Power! Entertainment at the most remote outdoorsy events can still happen!!! If your outdoor event is so out the way that power is nowhere to be seen, it may be possible for you to hire a generator. One of my events this summer involved generator power. Key top tip here is a giant length of extension cable….. why? Because in order to avoid hearing more generator than musician, the power source will need to be a serious distance away from your guests and preferably hidden behind a building!
The Sound of Silence. Holding an outdoor event rather than in an enclosed space can mean the sound carries off and your music goes unheard. Ways to avoid this are to position speakers in close proximity to guests. One speaker at the front and one towards the rear of where your guests are seated. When booking your musicians always ask if your musician has a radio mic that can be used for any public speech. I always offer a spare microphone, which is covered with a changeable foam windshield (COVID safe) for this purpose.
Here comes the rain again. Most experienced professional musicians are flexible people. If you decide you wish for us to be outdoors we will work to make this happen. If things change and your outdoor event becomes an indoor one, that’s usually fine too. Just be sure in your planning to factor in an indoor space where your musicians may need to perform from should things change last minute.
You’ve got a friend in me. Neighbours may need some consideration when holding an outdoor event. At one venue this summer noise tests were frequently conducted by staff at the venue. Of course if your event is from a residential property and isn’t a regular annoyance, a friendly mention, letter or even invite to the neighbours is sure to appease. If the music sounds great they may even enjoy the fun from the other side of the fence!
Relax! If you are planning your outdoor event for 2022 , keep in mind that venues, suppliers and in particular musicians, have become far more experienced recently at working al fresco. Ask all the questions you need to, either via website, on the phone or via a zoom call. No we can’t control the weather but great suppliers will ensure things run smoothly, so leave it to them and enjoy your big moment
- Time If you require us to perform outside for one set and then inside for another, be aware of the time it takes to move from one location to another and try where possible to factor this into your timings. If time is a limited resource, it may be necessary to have a second PA setup in the other location so that the musician need only move themselves and their instrument(s).
October 15, 2021