Blog #23
Blog #23: 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.  

The day of the show
Day of the performance

In order for the performers to be ready to unload and set up, the venue needs to be ready.  The venue staff goes to work to make sure things are working smoothly from their end and that the set up fits the performer coming in.  


Operations Crew: $10~ per hour

The job of the operations crew is to set the venue.  This might mean setting up or taking away chairs, making sure things are organized and look professional, removing or setting up cables, lighting, cleaning, setting up the concession area, the entrance/exits, and anything else that needs to be set up or removed for the next evening.  A member of an operations crew needs to be strong enough to lift relatively heavy items such as chairs or risers, be able to follow directions, learn how to do something the first time so that when they are asked to do it again, they don't need to be taught again, and be willing to work odd hours.  


Social Media: $28k-$85K per year

The social media person for the venue needs to build hype for the show, and try to sell as many of the remaining tickets as they can before the show begins.  This might include setting the prices lower, giving special deals or promotions, or pushing the ticket offers through social media websites or email lists.  The social media person needs to be tech savvy, good at communicating through social media, willing to reach out and answer questions for prospective audience members, and be focused on the task at hand, making money for the venue so there are the least amount of empty seats as possible. 

The performers have their own team of workers that set up their gear (or for the smaller groups, they do it themselves) and then the group needs to make sure they are ready to give a great performance.  A lot of things go into preparing the day of the show.  


Roadie: $23k-$51k per year

The roadie is a person that travels with a band or performance group and is responsible for loading or unloading equipment and stage props.  They are tasked with setting everything up that the group brings with them, such as special lighting, props, speakers, instruments, back stage amenities, and anything else that is needed. They need to work with the members of the venue staff to fit their equipment into the space and make sure that everything is safe, secure, and ready to go for the band/performers.  A roadie often starts with a group that they know well, but can often move on to bigger groups by meeting and networking within the industry to make more money or move into a more management role of other roadies.  A roadie must be able to lift heavy objects, have attention to detail to ensure safety and consistency from night to night, and be able to work well with others to achieve their task. 


Sound/Lighting Technician
: $50k-$68k per year

The sound or lighting technicians jobs include bringing the performance off the stage and to another level of excitement.  The Lighting technician works with a computer system that is linked to all of the lights that are in front of the stage, above the stage, in the balcony, and anywhere else that they can fit them. They change the color of the stage and add effects that line up with the music to enhance what the stage show looks like.  The Sound technician is responsible for making sure all of the microphones and amplifiers are working, and are mixed correctly to get the sound they want in the venue.  Often the change in venue brings challenges that change every night, such as being resonant or dry, being very big or a small venue, and having good speakers already in the venue and having to use only their own equipment to bring the sound quality to a high level.  Both of these positions spend the day of the show making sure everything is working and sounds great so that the band just has to show up and perform. These positions require technical knowledge, knowledge of their computer software or of the devices that they use to work with.  They must be able to have a vision of what the show should look/sound like, while also working with the performers to achieve the goal of a great performance that everyone can enjoy.


Instrument Technician
: $35k-$79k per year

The instrument technicians are responsible for making sure the musical equipment is in working order and ready to use. They make any adjustments to the instruments such as tuning the strings/drums, fixing a part, changing any thing that might be broken or might break, and make sure that everything is ready for the performers.  Often the drummer will have a lot of equipment, so the technician will set up the drums.  Many guitarist will use several guitars and amps, so the technician must make sure everything is in tune and ready to use.  They technician will also work with the sound technician to sound check and make sure the sound of everything is refined for the performance venue.  The instrument technician must have a deep knowledge of the instrument that they are working with, and how to fix anything that might go wrong. They must enjoy traveling with the musicians and communicate with them to know what they are looking for so that they can best make that happen.   

Click this link to respond to the questions below

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

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