Smallest and largest stages/venues you've played

alparrott

Platinum Member
Saw a couple of gig picture threads and got a little curious to see what everyone's answer would be if I challenged you all to post pictures of the smallest stage or venue you've ever played, as well as the largest.

My smallest is obvious to me (and probably many drummers from my area). The Vogue, a small wine and brews bar in Chelan, Washington was famous for its tiny, tiny stage. Perfect for a lone guitar player or even a duo on stools; much more challenging for a full band with an actual drummer. My band the 509s was cramped as a 3-piece, but that never stopped us from bringing in extra people to Christmas charity benefits every winter ... somehow we still made it work. The stage itself was postage sized - I believe 8x8 with a corner carved off up front. To this day most musicians I know use the term "Vogue" as a measurement ("wow! This stage is pretty big! Must be at least eight Vogues!") The small size meant I was literally crammed in the corner and would almost certainly hit my elbows on the wall at least once in the evening.

1662297846325.png1662297970409.png1662298211256.png


As for the largest stage, there's several contenders, but I think the honor narrowly belongs to the Performing Arts Center in Wenatchee (honorable mentions to the Golden State Theatre in Monterey, CA, and the Riverwalk Pavilion in Chelan). I think this is about 60 Vogues at least. (Pictured here at yet another Christmas benefit, which is probably 60% of my recent resume at this moment.)
1662298607146.png1662298756820.png1662298828139.png


Let's see what you've got! Balanced in a truck bed? Spread out on a half-acre stage? Shoved in a corner? Show me!
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
Smallest, probably a local bar, George's Majestic Lounge inside stage. My drums barely fit on the stage. Everything else went on the floor. The outside stage is huge:
20220904_142142.jpg

As for largest, I've played Cains Ballroom:
20220904_142007.jpg

And Tower Theater:
20220904_142113.jpg

I've also played the main stage at Milwaukee Metalfest 13, and some big stages in some pretty unmemorable venues.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Largest was Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami as part of Hurricane Relief in 1992.

Largest venue as headliner is probably the Hollywood Bowl.

Smallest might be the Doll Hut in Anaheim, CA which is a smallish bar. Somehow they fit bands in there, mostly to punk and rockabilly audiences. Last time I was there was 2009.
 

1 hit wonder

Well-known Member
Smallest will have been an anonymous pub in SE London. Between the fag machine and the ladies' toilets. You know the sort of thing.

We no longer have fag machines in the USA that I know of. Maybe inside a private membership club.

Largest I've played may have been 3000 at a biker rally. Then a couple of 1500 seaters. Nothing too big. Nothing too small either.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Smallest were a few bars, but all had a small stage at least. Largest that I remember was a theater of some kind, and the acoustic reverb was a nightmare. I was lost most of the time (on guitar), all I heard was a rumble. The only clear and defined sound was the sound of cymbals. That one was a local battle of the bands. I didn't care who won I just wanted it to end.
 

drumnut87

Silver Member
smallest was a pub in my hometown, i was crammed in!

biggest up to now was a 2000 capacity festival north of me (though rain stopped most of the crowd coming, below is the only pic i got from the stage)
615888_464725430245165_964256017_o.jpg116265347_1480363625504482_5310874691936761241_n.jpg
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Smallest is probably the Trumpet which is a jazz pub if there's 20 people in it's full. You have to walk through the band to get to the toilets but it has live music 7 days a week and the beer is really good. Ironically the smallest gig was the hardest I've ever done.

Biggest would have been some of the huge bike rally's I used to do. Did a gig to 3000 in the biggest marquee you've ever seen.

Warwick Castle gets a mention just for the sheer size and grandeur of the place. Did the Grand Hall surrounded by 500+ year old suits of armour and cannon. Nothing quite like driving underneath murder holes arriving at a gig. Didn't wanna suck to much, they'd got a dungeon and an oubliette
 

Neal Pert

Well-known Member
I did a string of shows with oldies acts in 3000 seat theaters across NY state a number of years ago. Danny and the Juniors, the Tokens, Ray Peterson, etc. That was fun and at times very stressful, as we didn't get much time to rehearse-- 20 minutes for each act for a half hour set. I've done one-offs in festivals that were bigger than that-- maybe 5,000 people.

I mean, in high school I also played in the Tournament of Roses parade, but I don't think that counts.

Smallest stage I have ever played on/near was at Pascale's in Syracuse. Couldn't get a drum kit on there in any way. But the room was pretty big and opened into a bigger restaurant.

I've played a million tiny places including private house parties. My Y2K New Year's party was in a little room in a family's house with a jazz/fusion trio. No one ever came in to listen but they payed us a thousand bucks for the trio and gave us a couple bottles of Dom Perignon at midnight.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
The Maracana in Rio was in the Guiness Book Of Records for the largest audience for a single act.
I read that as the Macarena in Rio was in the Guiness Book Of Records for the largest audience for a single act.

Now I can't get that image out of my head
 

ravenson

Member
17, 000 - Logosland, Cobden Ontario , early 2000's - " Soulfest " . Shared the bill with TobyMac .

Smallest ? Lots of those , for example - Lauberge de la Lievre , a country bar over on the Quebec side outside of Buckingham. We had a house gig there every Friday, Saturday and Sunday . Huge parking lot and as we rounded this wide corner on the highway we'd be hoping and praying it'd be full of cars . Nope . Just the bartender watching hockey on the TV .

During the week it had strippers and I'll bet there were more vehicles parked outside for that . Best part was the mirrors on either side of the stage . It was fun keeping time with myself . Watched my foot alot . We'd play pool with strippers who stayed the weekend .
 

Alex Sanguinetti

Silver Member
I played many major concert halls (Phillarmonie, Gasteig, etc.) with symphony orchestras to jazz trios to living rooms with small jazz groups.

Of course I prefere the living rooms and small clubs...where everybody plays acoustic...here a couple of photos.

Alex synphonie sinfonica ENGLISH.jpg

3a68245e27d12e9f8e83669c09c8cba9

a0ce7f12ff8af3141dd713af42a850a8
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
I did a string of shows with oldies acts in 3000 seat theaters across NY state a number of years ago. Danny and the Juniors, the Tokens, Ray Peterson, etc. That was fun and at times very stressful, as we didn't get much time to rehearse-- 20 minutes for each act for a half hour set. I've done one-offs in festivals that were bigger than that-- maybe 5,000 people.
Oh, so it's YOU why my old band could never get gigs in NY! :D How long ago? I was doing oldies shows on bass from 98-18. Do not miss it but sometimes I miss the people...well some of them anyway :D
 
Top