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Thread: First public show - venue problems

  1. #1
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    Default First public show - venue problems

    I went to check out a venue last night where we are hoping to do our first public show. The promotor is very keen to have the lasers in for his night but the venue does not seem so keen. I spoke to the in house lighting tech who said the council do not let them use lasers at all and it was a no go. This has not come from the venue management directly and the tech seemed very reluctant to discuss it with me. It was as if he seemed threatened at the thought of someone else coming in and doing something a bit different. The promotor mentioned that when he bought some LED bars to put the stage the venue questioned he need for them because they already had all the lights that were needed.

    We are not planning to do audience scanning. I have completed a laser safety course with LVR and we will have public liability insurance. A written risk assessment will be carried out and presented to the promotor and venue management. The laser equipment conforms to HSG95 guidelines. We naturally want to perform a safe and enjoyable show and it seems a shame that we are meeting such resistance.

    I think I am going to approach the venue management directly in writing providing information on safety. I am also not aware of any legislation apart from the Artificial Optical Radiation Directive that would prohibit the use of lasers in the venue. Providing all the criteria in the directive is met am I correct in thinking the council could not prohibit the use of lasers?

    Of course I appreciate ultimately it is the decision of the venue management whether they want to permit lasers to be used in their venue.

  2. #2
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    You need to speak to the license holder. They will (should!) know what the facts are regarding use of lasers in the venue, and whether its just a plain 'no' or whether they need to submit paperwork (from you) on a gig by gig basis.

  3. #3
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    Consider the past history of the venue, they may be "once burned, twice shy", having had a bad experience in the past.

    Steve

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    My guess is that the venue isn't used to promoters bringing in their own production and everything that entails e.g. Staff onsite earlier and later than usual opening times. Some venue just don't 'get it' in the uk, reinforced by the comments about the led bars in OP post

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    Quote Originally Posted by norty303 View Post
    My guess is that the venue isn't used to promoters bringing in their own production and everything that entails e.g. Staff onsite earlier and later than usual opening times. Some venue just don't 'get it' in the uk, reinforced by the comments about the led bars in OP post
    That's not limited to the UK. Some venues are even reluctant to let you *touch* their stage, even though you are the designated tech for the event being run at the time.

    Most of the time, the reason for that is not necessarily safety, but simply the fact that they can offer the organising party a 'package deal' with tech included. With a side order of a ridiculous profit margin when you compare it to hiring your own crew. To the tech, they give the simple excuse that they don't want to risk equipment damage. (A remark which most techs regard as an insult, being treated as a teenager who wants to hit a lot of buttons.)

    That's also why you see bands stack their own PA's in hotel ballrooms. Building the PA from scratch is cheaper than connecting the FOH desk to the hotel house system.

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    I think stony nailed it. This sounds like a case of this is my house and if you want to do anything here we will provide it (with a healthy markup). I would look elsewhere.

    chad


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    I think stony nailed it. This sounds like a case of this is my house and if you want to do anything here we will provide it (with a healthy markup). I would look elsewhere.

    chad
    I had something very similar happen on one of the first shows I performed up here in Scotland.

    Even though I had written documentation which I'd forwarded to the council and had approved the venue kept claiming it was prohibited by the council, and when I provided written proof that it was, I got "Please provide PAT testing certificates"..

    We went through 4 iterations of bull from the Venue management (Mostly fuelled by the house tech) until the promotor of the night threatened to cancel claiming he could find plenty of other venues that would allow it.

    Obviously this hit the bottom line with managment who started thinking about how they wouldn't be able to run all their lovely drinks promos and the night went ahead.

    I pretty much over did it on the night, plastering the place with Laser warning signs, cable ramps and requesting a personal bouncer to watch over the kit but since that night have had no further issues there.

    I'm sure this is a case of "This is my house, and if you don't like it.. you can get the fcuk out" but some gentle persuasion accompanied by documentation and backup from the council, and ok a threat from the promotor seemed to part the waters.

    Good luck!

    N.

  8. #8
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    Simon
    get in touch with the council yourself and speak to the venue owner once you have done this. If the council agrees and you can get it in writing with a name and phone number to include in the RA then that should put their mind at rest - if they still refuse they are just being stubborn so ask them the real reason why they dont want you in. I almost did a gig in Liverpool last year that fortunatley was cancelled - I say this as it was clearly not going to be worth the hassle. The person in charge of the venue told me straight wehn I visited that she was 'scared to death' of lasers. She was clearly making every excuse she could not to let me in even though I discussed everything with her and offered to talk to the council.
    Unfortunately this is a common problem it seems either they dont want lasers cos they are scared of them through ignorance of they just dont give a shit.
    Rob

    PS if they ask for PAT test certs the kit is brand new so shouldnt need a PAT test - though for a few quid it wouldnt do any harm to get them done so you have got paperwork.
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    Blust me bor ... dint ya know ... darn in Naarrch Settee.. them brite laser lites scare the hell outa the Puppet man .... i think tharts a lud of ol squit myself bor ...

    wot ya need to doo bor is av a gander at this entertinment guide to Naarrch Settee

    http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Norwich



    karl ...

  10. #10
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    if they ask for PAT test certs the kit is brand new so shouldnt need a PAT test
    Should still probably be tested, even when new, some kit arrives in a poor state from new. Might like to ask them what a PAT 'certificate' is though, I'm not sure there is a legal definition for one.
    Might also like to ask them for their latest electrical safety inspection docs whilst you're at it, just so you can be clear that your well maintained gear is plugging into something equally well maintained and safe...

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