Blog #38
Blog #38: Career of the week

Over the 4th term we are going to try something a little different.  We are going to explore the different careers/jobs that go into putting on a concert.  We are going to look at a medium sized venue, such as the Anthem, Howard Theatre, or Lincoln Theatre.  Most of these jobs still apply to small clubs or arena/stadium shows, but vary depending on need and with the number of people attending.  Unlike past weeks, we will not be giving as in depth of a view of each job, but giving a synopsis of what each person does to make the show work.  


Post Show

The show is over, the band is back in their dressing room/on their bus/back at the hotel, and the crowds have left the building. Once the dust has settled, a team of people go to work to get the venue cleaned and ready for the next event.


Custodial Staff$8-$12 per hour

The first group that begins to take over the venue is the custodial staff.  Usually a group of people, some times part of the operations crew, scour over the venue, in between seats, in the bathrooms, lobby, hallways, and anywhere else people may have been and clean up the trash (as you can see from the picture above, people can be very messy).  They replace trash bags, sweep up food or paper products, mop the floors that have spills, clean the bathrooms, wipe down any surfaces, and make sure the venue is up to an presentable level of clean.  They also might be asked to fix things that might have been broken throughout the evening. These workers need to be organized, willing to get a little dirty, be thorough, and understand the expectations.  Next time you are in a public place, think about the person that has to clean the place, and see if that makes you more likely to be more careful.


Operations Crew$10-$25 per hour

Once the place is cleaned up, or sometimes while it's being cleaned up, the operations crew goes to work fixing the venue to be ready for the next night.  This might include changing the seating arrangement (adding, subtracting, or moving lots of chairs), changing the set up of the stage, by adding or removing risers, adding curtains or blockades to create spaces that are off limits or restricted to certain patrons, and anything else that might need to be set up.  They need to work quickly and work together to achieve their goals.  These workers need to be able to work with others, be able to lift moderately heavy objects repeatedly for hours, and be willing to work late night hours all days of the week. 


Roadie$21k-51k per year

Once the show is over, the band takes off and it is the roadies who get to work breaking down the stage equipment that the band travels with (this might be the band if it is a smaller venue or a lesser known band).  Stage props, light rigs, instruments and their cases, all need to be broken down, stored in their cases, and then loaded on to the equipment trucks.  There can be anywhere from a few people for this job, to a small army depending on the equipment.  This job requires a procedural knowledge to make sure nothing gets lost, broken, or left behind and so that the equipment gets taken apart the same way every time so that it can be put back together quickly and easily the next time.  They need to be able to lift heavy equipment repeatedly for hours at a time, work odd hours, and be willing to travel with the band. 


Food Service$8-$15 per hour

Once the food service ends (generally somewhere around 30 minutes before the end of the performance to reduce waste after the show) the food service staff must perform a number of jobs.  They must clean their space, dispose of any unused food that will go bad, prepare the space for the next performance, count the money (making sure that what they have matches what the register says), and secure the area (close/lock it up).  They must be careful with their money, clean and organized, and thorough with their preparation. 


Concert Hall Manager
$18k-84k per year

Once the show is over, the concert hall manager must ensure that all of the tasks that need to be completed are being completed.  They must wait until everyone is finished and everything is set up for the next day before they leave.  If there is a question from one of their workers, they must resolve the question and make sure that the worker knows what they are expected to do.  They are responsible for giving the instructions and having them prepared before hand so that as soon as possible the workers can get to work.  They must be great planners, prepared for the unexpected, hire good reliable workers, and be organized so that everything moves smoothly.


Bus Driver$20k-39k per year

In order for the band and their staff to get from one place to the next, the larger performing acts transport on buses (it wouldn't make sense to take a plane from DC to Baltimore). These bus drivers are usually employed by a transportation company and spend much of their year on the road.  They also transport tour groups, sports teams, political campaigns, and anyone else that has to move around the country for long periods of time.  The drivers need to be able to good drivers (especially with a long bus), work driving overnight and sleep throughout the day, and be away from home for long periods of time. 

Click this link to respond to the questions below

Which of the jobs above seem the most enjoyable to you? 

Which of the jobs above seem the hardest to you? Why?