Now that we are into summertime here in North America, it’s a wonderful time for you (and I) to get out and do as much live gigging as possible. It just seems like there are many more opportunities for players this time of year, and of course, many more crowds of folks to come see and hear you play!
There are a lot of outdoor gigs to play, and I have already started doing them, but they certainly do come with their problems. I can remember when I was just starting college in the summer of ’69, I went into a restaurant late at night, to see none other than Rick Danko and Garth Hudson of The Band, just hanging out and having a late night snack after a concert in Philly. We started to talk, and I couldn’t get Rick to stop! I told them that I had just been to the Woodstock concerts, and that I lived yup there in White Lake, NY. He then proceeded to tell me a tremendous amount of stuff about why they “don’t like outdoor concerts!” This seemed funny back then, and even funnier now, as after all, we were talking about the most famous outdoor concert of all time! I appreciated his professionalism though, and the sense that it didn’t really matter to them about the historic proportions and all of the show, simply it was his “categorizing” it as just another “outdoor concert!”
In retrospect, it was very admirable of him to talk about, and to share that info with me, and yes, over the years I have found outdoor gigs to have far too many variables for them ever to be at least a semi-controlled environment in which to play. I did a nice one the other day, but it was also nice because all the conditions were perfect. Maybe a bit too much heat, but at least we got to be under a shady tree. The wind can be an awful problem, and the potential of rain is always there, too. I can recall being “rained out” of the INDOOR Astrodome with Simon and Garfunkel, because it was going to be a hurricane, and they expected flooding indoors, but the next day, we had to play OUTDOORS at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas in torrential downpours that simply never stopped! We’d play, get wet, turn around, get wiped down, and then keep on playing! I thought I was going to get electrocuted!
In any event, these of course are the exception to the rule, and are rather “extreme” circumstances, for sure. But all in all, if you can control as many of the “variables as possible, you’ll find that the “outdoor” gigging season that is now upon us, should be an extremely fruitful one for you, with many wonderful opportunities to be heard! Enjoy!