[Dixielandjazz] Fw: Equipment "Schlepping"

Mike Woitowicz banjomusic at charter.net
Mon Aug 17 08:43:44 PDT 2009

I can relate to Steve Heist's comment on "...My only problem now is 
schlepping all my equipment back and forth...". The bigger the band I book, 
the more equipment I have to lug around. I'm more exhausted from hauling 
equipment and putting away cords, stands, microphone equipment, etc. than 
from playing music. I always charge extra if I have to bring a large sound 
system. Sometimes I turn down the gig if It doesn't pay enough to pay for 
equipment hauling.

I have tried to minimize this issue by getting lightweight equipment and 
stuff that folds up as much as possible. I use the lightweight folding hand 
carts to haul speakers and such. My main music stand is the folding variety 
that fits in a large carry bag (the same bag carries a seat cushion and 
plastic music book overlays). I use a powered monitor when I can, so that's 
one less cable to attach. I carry a folding stool that takes up very little 

I would like to hear how others have solved the space/equipment,setup and 
teardown issues, short of hiring a roadie as Steve suggests!

Mike Woitowicz
The Banjo Barons Ragtime Band
The Dixie Barons Dixieland Band
Solo Banjo Shows
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve Heist" <steveheist at earthlink.net>
To: "Michael Woitowicz" <banjomusic at charter.net>
Cc: "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Monday, August 17, 2009 8:50 AM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Show bands was live vs. recorded music

> Larry wrote:
> (snip) The guys that are trying to make a living here are really taking it
> in the
> neck and if it weren't for private students most of them would be flipping
> burgers. (snip)
> Larry and all musicians who want to work...,
> Hi all,
> What is required here is a rethink!  The days of playing 5-6 nights a week
> in a bar are OVER!  Most bars nowadays are owned, not by individuals who
> KNOW the bar business, backward and forward, but corporations (who are the
> first to cut live music from their budgets) and/or "entrepeneurs" who know
> absolutly NOTHING about the bar business, they've just got extra money and
> want to open a bar, and are usually flying blind.
> Here's the question to ask yourselves:  Is it better to go for a weekly 
> gig
> (now usually only 2 nights a week) OR go for the "private party" jobs, 
> which
> usually pay MUCH better?
> Up here in Montreal, I work right now with 1) a caterer who has GREAT
> contacts and lots of work for me and 2) the owners of a ski resort bed and
> breakfast that love my music and also keep me busy...
> I have one great advantage with my location, Quebec...  It seems people up
> here, when they have an event, like the music to last the whole party.  My
> caterer called last week and told me (and this is NOT unusual up here) 
> that
> one of his clients wanted the music this Saturday to go from 5:00 in the
> late afternoon until 1:00 AM!  8 HOURS!!!  I quoted him my usual price of
> $100 an hour... (That would be $800 for the night...)  He called back two
> days later and told me the client said the price was fine and asked if I
> could start at 4:00PM!!!  Pardon me, but with money like that, who needs 
> the
> fricking bar/restaurant owners???  I probably will NEVER again play in a
> restaurant/bar again!  My only problem now is schlepping all my equipment
> back and forth, but I've solved that in a way.  If I can continue like 
> this
> and expand my single gigs, I'll just hire some kid - pay him $50 a night 
> to
> be my roadie - all he has to do is carry in and out the equipment...  then
> all I have to do is connect the wires!!!
> By the way, I haven't flipped a burger in 45 years!!!  (except in my own
> backyard :-)
> ALL the Very Best,
> Steve
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