Be on time!

liveshow livesound loadin stagehand Feb 23, 2021

One of the first rules of the road is- Be On Time!   

It’s generally considered in the professional concert touring industry that if you are on time, you are late.  That means if bus call is 9 am, you should be already checked out of the hotel, on the bus, and ready to roll at 9, preferably at least 5 minutes prior.  If the show starts at 8 you should be in your position no later than 10 minutes prior.  

If you are working a show as a stagehand, it’s very important that you show up on time for labor calls.  Load-in, Show call, and Load-out all start at a pre-determined time, not whenever you decide to show up.  

You may think being just ten minutes late to a load-in is not a big deal when in fact the rest of the crew are now having to work harder to make up for the missing crewman/woman -YOU!  Work happens fast on a live show or event and a LOT happens in a very short time.  So if you show up late for a call, don’t be surprised if you get the stink eye from the rest of your crew.  If you continuously show up late, there's a good chance you'll stop getting work.

When you show up late repeatedly on tour, your fellow crew, you know those people you have to work and live with day in and day out on the road, will quickly become annoyed with you.  

Everyone on the crew has a job to do and when others have to constantly pick up your slack they will find a way to teach you a lesson.  You may find your road cases are not where they are supposed to be.  I once did a tour where the backline guys were so tired of the guitar tech sleeping through load in that they rigged his guitar workbox and flew it way up in the air with the lighting truss.  He spent hours searching the building for it.  Lesson learned!

It’s disrespectful to make others wait on you.  Sure sometimes things happen and when they do you better be sure to apologize for making everyone wait and make clear it won’t happen again.

Otherwise, you may find yourself oil-spotted.  On a recent tour, one of the younger crew members was late for bus call and the Production Manager left without him to teach him a lesson.  Too bad for the kid because it cost him $150 in Uber fare to get from the hotel to the venue. Lesson learned!

So, once again…BE ON TIME!  If your call time is 9 am, be there and ready to work at 9.  This isn’t just good advice for working in live sound, it’s good advice for life in general.




By: Michelle Sabolchick