Every serious musician knows that putting on a great live show takes planning and work to pull off. But for some reason, some bands hold the belief that successfully playing live only requires a great performance, and that things like showing up on time is something that doesn’t apply to musicians. The truth is that when bands don’t act professionally at shows, it not only hurts them, but also the venue, audience, and other performing musicians. Here are three things that happen when your band is late for shows.
The venue staff gets frustrated
When bands show up late for shows, it throws sound engineers, show promoters, and bartenders into a tizzy. Some shows are more loosely organized than others, but arriving late usually impacts venue staff because all performances are time-sensitive events. Even shows that only feature one performing act are run on a schedule meant to serve the audience who show up to the venue. Most shows include two or more artists, which makes band tardiness a hugely frustrating ordeal for venues to grapple with. Your band might be amazing and able to bring out hoards of adoring fans, but none of that makes you immune from drawing ire from the venues you offend by arriving late.
Other performing acts have to accommodate
If you’re looking for a way to earn a bad reputation with other musicians, getting to a show late is a good way to do it. One of the consequences of show tardiness is other bands having to cut their sets short or being asked to share equipment in order to accommodate the late band. One simply has to put themselves in another band’s shoes to understand how frustrating a situation like this can be, but many never do. Showing up to load in on time also ensures that you’ll be able to watch the other bands play, and that literal show of support is a massive benefit for unestablished bands looking to build relationships in music.
People in the audience get antsy
Have you ever gone to a show and were frustrated at how long it took for the bands to play? Tardiness might’ve been to blame. When you show up late for your performances, the schedule gets thrown off and there’s usually significant delays. This impacts the experience your fans are having in a negative way, which makes all of the performing acts’ jobs a lot tougher for the night.
There are lots of reasons bands are late for shows, and they can’t always be avoided. This especially applies to artists driving great distances between shows on tour. But if being late is something you and your band can avoid, it’s something you absolutely should. You might not think of it like this, but shows are collaborative efforts involving many different people. Being professional is a way to help these collaborations run smoothly. Yes, you owe it to your fans, other performing bands, and the venues you perform at, but your commitment shouldn’t stop there.
Patrick McGuire is a writer, musician, and human man. He lives nowhere in particular, creates music under the name Straight White Teeth, and has a great affinity for dogs and putting his hands in his pockets.