The coronavirus pandemic made the past year more difficult for everyone, but the effects on the music industry were almost devastating. With one in three music jobs lost in the past year, getting independent venues back on their feet will be tough.
However, with restrictions completely eased across the UK, live music is making a welcome return to the nightlife scene. In this guide we’ll outline steps you can take to give your venue the boost it needs as we welcome bands back on stage.
Every venue has a duty to protect attendees; people attend gigs to relax and have a good time, but without appropriate crowd management, a large group of people in one room can quickly become a dangerous crush zone.
Integral safety features include barriers, clearly marked fire exit signs, and accessible first-aid. Security guards help to enforce safety rules and protect your venue against nuisance behaviour and drug use – and can also assist with any medical situations if they develop within the crowd.
Quality sound is a no-brainer in any live performance setting. Different instruments and musical components are delivered to different stereo channels, usually positioned across speakers on the left, right and centre of the stage.
It’s crucial not only to invest in loud, high-quality speakers, but to set them up in a way that heightens and improves the music as it reaches the audience.
Each different band will have their own requirements and visions for stage direction, but it’s your responsibility to provide an open, versatile space. Bear in mind that many artists rely on equipment positioned on the floor – including loop pedals, drumkits and large keyboards – so width is just as important as depth.
Depending on the music on offer, some performers might like to romp around and entertain the audience – so providing extra space or levels could work well.
Installing stage lighting according to the size of your stage and venue is a must. Artists work with lighting technicians and producers to create an incredible light show to complement the music, often flashing and changing colour in time with the tracks playing.
The very basics should include stage lighting to illuminate the acts playing so they can be seen by the entire audience.
Experiencing live music is not only vital to the UK’s touristic industry, but independent and regional venues play an integral part in keeping local scenes and communities together, providing a space to dive deeper into music they love.
If you ensure that your venue is a safe space with the correct technical equipment and facilities, it will reunite artists and fans for years to come.