One of the fun things about being a musician is that friends invite you to their parties. One of my favorite types of gigs is doing a pig roast. Here’s how to plan and play a Pig Roast with your band. I’ve performed for AA functions at sober events and I’ve performed at non-AA related functions and both are fun because those who go to pig-roasts generally like to eat, dance and have a good time.
Pig Roasts are almost always outside. Part of the appeal is to watch the pig cook for hours, while enjoying the fire, and smelling the aroma of meat roasting. If the band is going to be down wind of the roasted pig, you are going to want to eat something before you get up on stage, or your stomach might growl loud enough to be heard through the microphones.
Pack up all your gear
Well I might be putting the pig before the gear on that one. Speaking of gear, you are going to want to pack heavier vs. lighter when you are doing an outdoor event. Sound dies in the open because there isn’t anything for it to bounce off of. Stage sound and yard sound are two different things. You will want to have enough speakers, cables and power cables to run your equipment from a distance in case there is no local power source.
Pack up your own cooler, include water and non-perishable snacks
If you are playing a party professionally, most hosts will offer you a meal as part of or in the cases of good friends, in lieu of payment. At the same time, people like to eat and be entertained. Often times the band will play right through dinner, and if food is out for longer than an hour or two in the hot sun, it can go bad.
Your stomach may be a bit quesy due to nerves or stage fright, it is best to eat before the gig, snack lightly at the gig, and then at the end of the night, if there is no fresh food available, grab a quick snack before loading the vehicles and heading out into the night, particularly if you have been drinking alcohol.
Alcohol, drug abuse and egos are the main reasons for bands to fail. Each band has to set their own rules by what is and what is not tolerable. Don’t be afraid to protect the bands reputation by specifying limits when working.
Make sure there is plenty of water available as hydrating particularly when outside in the heat, is very important.
Water and electricity don’t mix. Bring tarps and a way to hold them up, to protect equipment in the case of inclement weather. You can build an alcove under a deck, or next to the side of the house, or you can go nuts and build a stage. It’s better to be safe than sorry, when playing an outside gig. If it is pouring, and the band is not protected, do not play. While some musicians might say they wouldn’t mind dying doing what they love, this isn’t going to get your band any future gigs, so be smart!
Pig roasts tend to go into the early evening hours, and sometimes depending upon the crowd, the location and the neighbors, they can go into the early morning hours. Breaking down in the dark is no fun, and playing in the dark is even worse. Bring a string of indoor outdoor lights, a spot light, and/or stage lighting so that you can play into the night.
Private events are sometimes the most fun because people tend to be more relaxed and laid back than a formal event. Dress for the event in comfortable clothes, and bring bug spray, sun block, a sweater, and a change of clothes for playing vs. setting up.
Interact with the crowd, get them dancing, spotlight the kids, thank the hosts for a great time and make the time memorable by being professional and giving a solid performance. And don’t forget to take a taste of that roasted pig! Mmmm good!
Chainsmoker on July 10th @ Tirillo Annual Pig Roast
Thanks Tammy & Johnny – What a Blast!