When the venue doesn't give your band's set time.

I know it's happened to a bunch of us, but what is everyone's DOs and DON'Ts in a situation when you're trying to get your load-in/set time from the venue?

Story: We were helping a touring band passing through town to get one more show before they head back to their home state. The gig was going to have 4 bands, small cover charge, 45 minutes sets for each band. However, a signed band was added to the bill and the event was taken over by a radio/promoter. We're still on the bill but we cannot get any set times whatsoever from neither the club nor the promoter so we can tell our audience when to show up. So a regular Thursday night gig somehow turned into a big event being promoted through the local rock radio station.

My band's plan is to show up early, find out who's in charge and the moment we get our set time blast Facebook, Twitter, or whatever and hope that our audience will show up on time. In my experience, I try not to worry and the night ends up being fun as hell but damn I just hate it whenever a venue does this.

Thanks for reading.


My apologies if I posted this in the wrong thread. Please move it wherever the moderators think it needs to be.
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Silver Member
Show up at least an hour before the show starts. Nobody should ever know the specific set times, other than the bands or the ones running the show. As a rule, I NEVER tell the audience set times, and I'll tell you why.

Say, we have a show running from 7 to midnight. There's usually one band on the show, simply because they're going to draw a large audience. If everybody knew exactly when that band was playing, people would show up at that time, and then leave after that band is finished, and all the other bands get screwed out of playing to a decent audience. You've gotta' show support and respect for the little guys, too.

If, instead, you have that band headline, and don't tell anybody what order the bands are playing, and just tell them what time the show starts, you get a bigger crowd for the entire show, and they're going to stick around for the whole thing, because they're waiting for their favorite band.

All we ever concern ourselves with is what time the show starts. The order and set times aren't even discussed until we get to the show.


Gold Member
The best advice I ever recieved was just to be ready to play, and stop playing, at a moments notice. The last original band I was in opened for a "national touring act" at a venue in Sacramento about 7 years ago. We were told that we would go on first at say 7:00, and ended up having another band go on before us, so we moved to like 7:45. The first band went long on their set and took forever to offload their gear. We ended up not going on until around 8:00 and at 8:15 got the light to wrap up. Not wanting to piss anybody off we wrapped up and left the stage after a 15-20 minute set.

I think this is more common than most people would think, and the promoters, venue and most fans are really only concerned with getting the headliner their full set time. I have opened for a number of bands and have found that we rarely get a soundcheck, rarely get enough time to load in/load out, and the headliners never really care. Its all part of paying your dues. Write a hit song or two and you will be the one in charge.