Did a gig on the street with temperatures dropping!

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
So last night played a farmers market and watched the temperature drop from 70 degrees down to 55 in two hours. Heavy condensation was enjoyed by all!
All you can do is dismantle, clean and dry, and reassemble for the next gig. But these DW Design drums seem to handle the elements well. Nothing like playing in an intersection!


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Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I played outside yesterday like I do most Saturdays. About 32 degrees. Next Saturday will probably be above freezing, just barely, but following that probably not so much.

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I played outside yesterday like I do most Saturdays. About 32 degrees. Next Saturday will probably be above freezing, just barely, but following that probably not so much.
I don’t mind the cold - it would just be nice without all the moisture in the air. I kept waiting for the PA to short out 😳


Senior Member
A bunch of years ago I played an evening gig outside after it snowed and temp was 26° F. Sidewalks were salted.🤧 I passed around packets of hand warmers. Got home and had to clean/wipe everything😣


Well-known member
Many years ago (say 2011?) I put on a squat party in London on the 2nd or 3rd of January. Turned out to be the coldest day in years and this place was derelict, no heating, holes in the roof, smashed windows etc.
We blew a ton of money at the last minute renting of a bunch of gas heaters, and end result - half the tube lines were down cos of the weather so no one showed up. Cost us an arm and a leg by the end of it, and the gig? Half our gear (electronic) just stopped working, laptops coped but any standalone (we used a couple of kaospads and the like) just gave up...I suppose lucky no one came! :ROFLMAO:

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Fifty-five degrees is downright summery. In my neck of the woods, a few nights have already fallen into the upper-teens, and subzero readings aren't far away. We probably won't see a night in the fifties again until May, and we can even have frost at that late juncture.

I'm in @Al Strange 's camp on the outdoor proposition. I've never really enjoyed it, unless it's at night or under a pavilion/tent during the day. Drumming with the sun bearing down on me is one of the most unpleasant scenarios I can imagine, and I don't like having to monitor forecasts to determine whether the show will go on. I want a roof, walls, and climate control. They're better for my gear as well.


Gold Member


Platinum Member
This past October we played every Friday night outdoors, by the end of the month it would be in the 50s by the last song. You just gotta ear layers, keep some warm bevvies on hand and keep the extremities dry. Because Oktoberfest is a real thing here locally, it's not uncommon to be playing outdoors in such conditions at that time of year.

I played an outdoor gig in Monterey about 15 years ago and as we finished up it began to pour buckets. The next day my wife and I disassembled every drum and stand and wiped everything clean. When she saw how worn my tom heads were, I slyly followed up with "Yeah... and the rain didn't do 'em any favors either." Got all new heads the next day.

Lefty Phillips

Well-known member
I used to busk regularly in Long Beach, but the weather there is pretty much always perfect. If it starts raining or gets chilly, the streets get deserted real quick, so there's no point in going on.

Washington state, people don't care about the rain, so I ended up playing a few times under awnings and such, and it was fine, except my guitar needed to wiped down, no big deal. But, my guitar was set up to endure that sort of environment.

Every time I look at my drums, I notice the completely unfinished insides of the shells and the kick drum hoops and I shudder to think what would happen to them with temperature changes like the OP described, or high humidity.

Why don't drum makers finish the inside of their drum shells? Or, is it just the cheaper kits, like my Stage Custom?

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Why don't drum makers finish the inside of their drum shells?
Excellent question. I've never really thought about it. If you can wrap/finish a shell on the outside, why can't you do it on the inside too? Too cost prohibitive? A perverse effect on tone and resonance? Just not necessary, as the shell's interior doesn't receive as much direct exposure to the elements as the shell's interior? Maybe a drum-maker can enlighten us.

I would think that putting wrap/finish on the inside of a shell would alter the sound for sure though.
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Platinum Member
I had one of those a couple of weeks ago-- outdoor wedding gig in the Cascades. Temp was in the 40s, occasional bouts of heavy rain. We were covered, but the stage was wet, and all the heating units were in the guest area. It was like being in the Ducks marching band again. Fortunately we only had to play for an hour.

Lefty Phillips

Well-known member
Most kits are sealed on the inside with some sort of clear lacquer, including the DW Design series. Clear lacquer on my Yamaha BCANs, Silver Sealer on Gretsch, Granitone on my Ludwig Standards. Wood is still a porous material, though.
Thanks, I suppose it makes sense that lower-end (cheaper) shells wouldn't get finished on the inside. I'm definitely going to stain my kick drum hoops at some point, might add some linseed or tung oil for a bit more protection against humidity and temperature changes.


Platinum Member
I like the summer outdoor marquee gigs.

Anything outdoor in spring or autumn in England is risking it big time here. I hate waiting around in cold, wet conditions.

Never mind the gear there's nothing worse than giving yourself a cold out gigging.

No Way Jose

Silver Member
I won't play in the cold like that. That's almost freezing.