Is there a major difference in difficulties in an outdoor show compared to one that’s indoors?
There isn’t actually. What changes is more the scale of it. The biggest factor of an outdoor show is obviously the weather. But the fact that you’re doing something in a stadium or outdoors means the number of attendees is going to be much larger than at a normal arena. You’re trying to create a certain level of intimacy with the artist for all those people. So your equipment choices tend to be slightly different, as in higher powered lights and a higher quantity of video screens that may extend further back to help people in the cheap seats, so to speak, help see the stage better.
Earlier, we talked about artists people in the industry do and don’t like to work for. Is the same thing true of venues?
God yes. Every venue brings its own specific group of challenges, and you have basic perimeters that you have to work within at every one. For instance, one of the most basic things you deal with on a large concert tour is trying not to, what they call, “breaking the dasher line.” When you’re putting a concert tour on, you’re usually basing the width of the stage on the width of a hockey rink, because nearly every arena in the United States doubles as a hockey rink now. When you go past the hockey dasher boards or past the width of the rink, you’re breaking the dasher line. What that ends up doing is that it usually pushes you into the seats. For the average person, you think, “Oh, that doesn’t sound like a big deal,” when you’re laying out big, long sticks of lighting trusses and scenic trusses and the support structure that’s going to hold everything that’s on the stage, you have to have labor technicians stand in the seats trying to put stuff together, while there are people on the floor putting stuff together, and it becomes difficult to do. Each venue will pose a new challenge in that regard, and you just have to deal with some venues ultimately become world renown particularly easy or difficult to work with.