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Proscenium and Concert Essay

Thesis statement: A concert would not be possible without considering the importance of an organized and well-equipped facility.

Successful concerts are what performers and organizer and audiences all hope for. This not only means the thoughtful programming of quality music, but also a smoothly run performance and production. Therefore, a lot of planning and making sure that everything is in order is the key to a successful all-out concert (Hudson, 2012). According to Vertudez, one of our interviewees, “Planning ahead of time [is the most important thing in organizing an event]. There could be some difficulties in setting up the facilities if you would not plan ahead of time.”

Concerts became increasingly important to consider the many facets involved in presenting a concert. Concert events have been part of many cultures. Thus, it should require a lot of attention when organizing such events since a lot of participants are expecting a sure blast from it, taking into concern that 18 out of 40 concert attendees consider the facilities before attending concerts.

For a start, it is necessary to determine what is wanted to attain out of the concert. Our interviewees mentioned the purposes of the concert they organized and to whom these concerts are for. This means that the organizers should need to identify the target audience of the concert and write a list of everything that is needed to be done. Preparing for logistics must be at the top of the list. Logistics are all the details that make the event happen. They range from ordering of the foods, if there is, to making sure that clean-up happens after the meal; from finding the right location to making sure that the needed props are ready. In short, logistics are all the little and big aspects that make for an event. The whole procedure of conceptualizing starts with setting up regular meet-ups with the concert committee to organize the aim of the plan (Matthews, 2008).

The general principle behind a facility is to provide an area in which audience can enjoy the concert event in a safe comfortable atmosphere. The facilities and structures are crucial for the whole event. Facilities are the aspect that ensures the smooth run of the concert. Facilities are composed of almost everything that is needed to make an event look perfect. The facility starts with the whole venue itself, the size, the capacity to accommodate people and the structure of the place, basically everything about the whole site. The sitting capacity, entrance and exit are also parts of the concerns of the facilities. Furthermore, the main concern of facilities in the concert is the equipment and sound system for the whole performance of the concert which is basically the highlight of the whole program. A concert is not be possible without considering the importance of an organized and well-equipped facility.

It is always important to plan ahead of time when organizing events like concert. According to Quay (2012), the scope of the event may differ depending on the venue, some principles and practices to reduce uncertainties associated with planning. The venue should be settled first for existing facility available for the event. This is one of the essential factors when researching the feasibility of the project. The decision whether to hold the even indoor or outdoor is important. According to the results of the survey we conducted, 14 out 40 respondents prefer indoor events than outdoors because of the facilities used. Indoor concerts are held in appropriately sized venues for the anticipated crowd with public safety being the primary concern. However, campus facilities and resources should primarily support the event. In outdoor events, the facility should be maintained starting from walkways, sidewalks and entryways. These things are to be considered when deciding whether to hold an indoor or outdoor concert. The booking of the venue should be done ahead of time to assure the usage of facilities (Stamp, 2011).

The decision of choosing a venue lies in the hands of the organizer—taking into consideration the equipment needed—for the audience to appreciate the sound systems used. All the needed sound equipment must be in good conditions before a performance as a sound engineer prefers. The organizer is also the one responsible in discussing venue matters with the owner of the venue (Gross, 2005).

Most of the facilities used in events are actually placed on the stage—the most obvious or center part of the concert. Staging in special events is essential and is actually adopted from theatre specials. Three types of stages are used according to the kind of special events namely thrust, proscenium and aerna stages. Thrust stage does not have backstage area so it requires fewer facilities and the audience area is just in front of the stage. Proscenium stage is often found in modern theatres where large backdrops are required. Arena stage requires the most facility because there are lots of entrances and it is constructed for really special events but audio, lighting and sight-line can cause problems (Matthews, 2008).

Facilities depend on the venue. According to Pendon, one of our interviewees, “…the lights and sounds system requires a certain electric current for the system to sustain its power. Plus the accommodation should be near the venue for the attendees to have convenience and less-hassle in their part.” Another example, for the past thirty years, concerts have been held in our country and there has been quite a number of known venues that hosted local and foreign artists.

Currently, the Philippines has only two main concert venues that can occupy 10, 000 people—specifically, the Smart Araneta Coliseum and the SM Mall of Asia Arena. In 2014, the Philippine Arena is expected to be opened in Bulacan. Even if it is being built by a religious congregation, the said venue can still be available for other big events for it has 50, 000 sitting capacity. These venues have comfortable seats and strict policies which make them best concert venues in the city. They have more available facilities than open concert grounds because of sufficient air-conditioning systems and well-maintained toilets. All of these are considered to put up concert facilities (Concepcion, 2011).

In order for a concert to be possible, it is necessary to need a committee. It is an important factor to consider having to appoint a management team to ensure that the facilities in the concert are in good condition. Furthermore, the team responsible in organizing the facilities should also be divided into specific sections. For instance in the checking of acoustics, taking care of the number of seats as well as the arrangement of it, decorating the whole venue and also the people who will be responsible for cleaning the venue after the event.

To greatly ensure and to be able to control the whole production, setting up meetings regularly would absolutely help. Weeks or even months before the actual event, everything should all be planned and set-upped. Considering a checklist should be put in concern. In addition, it is necessary to find out as much information, concerning the whole production, as possible ahead of time. The committee should always take time to look at every aspect of the event during the whole progress, as well as, set up meetings with the organizing committee regularly from the start of the process until the day of the concert (Hudson, 2012).

Occasions will essentially need a lot of workers to be assigned on specific areas and tasks which are definitely crucial for the event (Health and Safety Executive, 1999). Events may rely on enthusiastic helpers. The crucial aspect is good coordination by the event management team, and close supervision and monitoring of helpers. The organizing group should be able to provide many services and great help in putting up the event. Management of workers and helpers requires clear job functions and responsibilities to be identified. Everyone working or providing services at the event should be clear about what they are required to do, how to do it and when it needs to be done. This can be achieved by preparing a schedule.

Moreover, it is crucial for an event to assure the safety of everyone. An important occasion will absolutely be a success if it will be completely secured by the right and enough service of security (Smith, n.d.). All event organizers must be clearly aware of their responsibilities for the audience and other participants in the event, including the performers. Not only will the number of people attending be significant for the event management, but the activity itself will also influence the safety requirements.

The essential components needed in the concert are the equipments, particularly the electronic devices such as the band instruments and the machines for stage effects. All the important audio equipment used in special events is placed onstage. These includes all the equipment used by the performers such as vocal and instrument microphones, mixers and CD/DVD players as they are the ones to control them (Matthews, 2008). Stage setup is crucial to an effective and streamlined concert. Stage setup will vary in terms of how many artists are involved. Each piece of instrument should have its designated place. It is critical to set up the stage correctly in order for the performers and audience to enjoy best sound quality as possible.

It would be best to plan ahead the setting up of instruments for it to be easily placed on stage. In setting up the amplifiers, it should be placed up on stage orderly. For the speakers on the stage, the main speakers should be placed toward the front of the stage in both sides and facing at an angle to the audience for optimal sound. Furthermore, the stage monitors should allow the performers to monitor the total sound output as heard by the audience. Lastly, in setting up the microphones, the number of performers and instruments that will need it should be considered. The microphones should also be placed in front of the amplifiers.

The other form of equipment, which includes the smoke machines, the lights and others, will be needed to make the show look more spectacular. The lighting plan should have a list of each light, its location and what part of the stage it will light. In any stage events like play or concerts, it is important to attend rehearsals in order to familiarize with the changes of mood and positions of performers onstage. With this, one will know what he or she is lighting and if it fits (Cummings, 2011). Moreover, the special effects such as the smoke machines should be place in where the design of the stage will not be ruined and the performers should not be bothered.

Furthermore, everything should have security plans in order to be ready if some unfortunate dilemmas occur with the electronic devices on the stage. The most common reason of special events’ power problems is grounding. It can cause potential shock to the person manipulating the power system and a buzzing sound in the audio system. A good practice on grounding can be done on outdoor shows. However, it is essential to be familiar with power systems even if one is not an electrician. Just bear in mind to be careful around power systems to avoid accidents (Moody, 2010). Producers must be concerned with the risks involved in the operation of equipment and with safety of their own contracted personnel and participants

Risk and safety should be considered in hosting special events like concerts. Too many event producers and event managers are not aware of facts about accidents that may occur such as standards for allowable stage load. Worse that can happen is for the people to be injured. Other problems that may occur will be on the venue, committee and equipment—all related and concerned with the facility. Moreover, problems occur in setting up concert venues because most are not set-up until the exact date of the event is a few days away. It is hard to predict how the location will look like especially if the place is not really similar. In addition to this, some popular event venues are fully booked that may require errands in setting up and removing equipments and decorations. Because of this, more works are predictably going to arise once the exact schedule of the concert approaches this can cause a domino effect when unfinished preparations of the venue pile up (Quay, 2012).

Although the occurrence of problems is on the venue, it is inevitable for them to occur on the committee assigned to the facility. There are many tasks that should be undertaken and services that should be provided during an event. According to Stamp (2011), the event organizer has the responsibility to manage structure for an event which may differ between planning and technical operations. Another problem may occur when a member of the staff will not be able to attend the event. Once the performers or students are allowed to bring their set of equipment, no one will be able to cater to them when there is a need for trouble-shooting or repairing their equipments. Moreover, lack of crews will more likely cause problems in handling facilities of the concert. In fact, it expands the duties of the other available crews making them even busier.

Additionally, usual problems may also occur in equipment. Normally, artists bring with them their own equipments. This usually include microphones, instruments, effect machines, monitor units and recording devices. Due to the number of brought equipment, there will not be enough time for a crew or organizer to perfectly familiarize with their personal equipment before the performance. However, it is important to at least go through it to be able to manipulate it properly during the performance (Gross, 2005).

Likewise, it is important to assume that a minor incident can have a potential to develop into a major incident if not properly planned for and managed. Thus, all incidents cause crowd disturbances. According to Quay (2012), accidents and problems are unavoidable especially during the actually concert, but if the organizers planned everything smoothly, it will be easier to handle all the facilities.

It is essential to remember providing the audience with guides to the place and markings in the venue, such as arrows or printed labels of places, in order for people to not be lost and find the place that they are looking for, immediately. It is also necessary to ensure that on the day of the event, the person in-charge of opening the site will be able to open it on time (Youth Employment Summit, 2001).It will be up to the kind of event to determine the amount and sort of maintenance and other crucial logistics needed for facilities of the event. However, the design of the venue should consider the figures, such as the numbers, that has been finalized (Health Safety Executive, 1999).

From the interviews conducted from student concert organizers, accidents are usually resolved as soon as they occur. Pendon also say that “Due to preparedness of whatever accident of malfunction that might happen, there is always an alternative or replacement for every facility needed.”

Moreover, venue access is a function of the design of access roads. Such facilities have to be able to cope with the demand. In addition, the design and location of entrances should depend on the numbers of entrances required, where they are placed and the capacity to be handled at each entrance. Furthermore, concerning the stage decoration, it is important to check if it will create a good atmosphere on the stage and it should not get too carried away by the decoration. Simple, elegant and inexpensive decorations should be used. Be creative, but avoid complicated arrangements so that everyone can participate in making the decorations. Make sure to have a good visible banner and that everything fits well with the stage.

With the committee that was appointed, the team must compose of individuals who are reliable. It does not have to be a big team. The most important thing is that the team members share same enthusiasm for the cause; because after all, they are not being paid. Be sure to be surrounded only with people who are constantly positive and encouraging. Most important is that the team can be count on to be supportive throughout the planning and organizing the concert.

In addition, as much as possible, all the details on what equipment would be needed in the concert should be enlisted in order to know what else needs to be provided (Gardner, 2011). The place on stage where the instruments and special effects machines will be placed should be finalized. The position of the machines and instruments should be assured to not bother or interfere with the performance of the artists, the stage decoration and also the view of the audience.

Lastly, it is crucial to double-check if the security that has been assigned will be efficient. The concert security guards should possess an array of skills to keep a venue and its patrons free from violence. They must be observant and alert, as well as, capable of monitoring many people at once. They also need the strength and endurance to spend hours at a time on their feet. All in all, the role of security guards at a concert is to keep both musicians and audience safe.

To successfully hold a concert, practices are not enough. It is important to have a dry-run of the concert for sound check, lights and stage plans, security of the place and cleaning of the venue and facilities. The dry-run of the concert will help a lot in improving the actual concert itself and to foresee a good event. In other words, dry-runs are usually held to identify possible problems that may occur.

It is indeed crucial to perform a sound check in an important event in order to avoid technical difficulties, notably of those with huge number of audience and complex acoustic and other instrumental facilities. In addition, in order to pull it off, an adequate amount of time for checking should be taken into consideration by the creators of the event. In all circumstances, wrong equipment and connections or insufficiently covered circuits may cause electric shock and overloading which can lead to sound failure and result in a fire. With this possibility of accident to happen, a qualified sound engineer should properly check on generators during the dry-run of the concert to keep the facilities maintained in a good working condition (Matthews, 2008).

Most concert attendees notice problems on the facilities especially on the sets of equipment used. Specifically, out of 40 respondents, 25% say that they always notice problems occurring on microphones; 53% oftentimes notice problems with the speakers and sound systems; 50% says sometimes problems occur in the stage lightings; 43% also experiences problems with the seats. Out of 40 concert attendees, 90% of them, or 36, prefer venues with comfort rooms—this means that it should always be considered by the organizers as an important factor in facilities.

Since having performance areas in different spaces is uncontrollable, expected stage design dilemma must be thought of, firstly, in the planned concept. Consequently, planning in advance and thinking of solutions for probably staging problems that may come along the way should be considered due to time problems that may also arouse (Moody, 2010). The dry-run can help in pre-planning as to change some equipment locations on the stage. For instance, it can also bring out more ideas in proper transition of lightings. Basically, the mock concert will help a lot in fixing the lights and stage plans.

According to Quay (2012), the dry-run should also be checking on the security of facilities. There should be an appointed chief steward to take responsibility for all the security matters of the event facilities in case something unexpected happens—taking into consideration more security stewards required to take account at entrances and exits, unauthorized areas, front of stage areas, securing structures or equipment whereas more facilities are located. They are also needed for general tasks such as providing information and managing the flow of the crowd. Thus, the dry-run can impede the safe operation of extra security checks to reduce problems during the actual concert.

After the concert, it is natural for everyone involved to be completely worn out and will immediately want to head home to rest since it is undeniably tiring to put up a concert. In spite of that, it is absolutely necessary to ensure that the venue will be let cleaned and as orderly as before the concert started (Gardner, 2011). To make this task easier, the organizers must have planned and divided its crew members to clean different facilities assigned to them. not all venues are free so there may be next event to be held at the same place so it must be cleaned right after the concert.

After the research, including the interview and survey conducted, it is safe to conclude that a concert is not possible to be successful if the importance of an organized and well-equipped facility is not considered. There is no such event without any facility. The facility should make the event easier to organize rather than cause problems during the event.

The facilities in a concert are important to lessen the effect of too much noise. These facilities include the stage, speakers, sound system and sound power levels which should all be fixed to minimize negative noise impact (Quay, 2012). Basically, facilities of a concert are mainly concerned with the sound systems as one of the core equipment to keep the quality of the event. Failure and accidents with the sound system is the last thing that organizers will likely expect. As the results of the survey show, audiences are also very aware of the facilities used in the concert and the whole concert has high dependence on it.

Sometimes organization is needed for a concert to succeed. Aside from the common concerns such as performers and selling tickets, it is important to consider the security, food, venue, equipment and advertising the event. It is also acceptable to estimate time and cost to be more important than they are (Hudson, 2012). There are also number of policies that govern the use of facilities depending on the venue. If the organizers show disregard for facilities and equipment or fails to abide by such given guidelines, it is possible for them to be denied further use of facilities. It is important to keep the place safe for all the concert attendees and crew members.

The whole research on concert facilities implies that it is very important to preserve not only the crowd’s mood but also the artists’ lively mood and eagerness to perform. Keep in mind to push through schedules because time is really needed the most. Therefore, the facilities should help establish a connection between the audience and the performers and not disturb the ambiance surrounding them since 24 out of 40 concert attendees often think that a concert production depends on its facilities.

References:

Concepcion, P. (2011, March 1). A close look at the MoA Arena. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved September 26, 2012, from http://entertainment.inquirer.net/43183/a-close-look-at-the-moa-arena

Concepcion, P. (2011, January 3). A candid look at the metro’s top concert venues. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved September 26, 2012, from http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/entertainment/entertainment/view/20110103-312321/A-candid-look-at-the-metros-top-concert-venues

Concepcion, P. (2012, July 22). Big deal for big dome. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved September 26, 2012, from http://entertainment.inquirer.net/43183/a-close-look-at-the-moa-arena

Cummings, T. (2011, October 15). How to Set Up Stage Lights | eHow.com. eHow | How to Videos, Articles & More – Discover the expert in you. | eHow.com. Retrieved September 25, 2012, from
http://www.ehow.com/how_4853476_set-up-stage-lights.html

Event management handbook: event planning. (2011). University of Maryland. The Adele H. Stamp Student Union.

Event planning handbook: how to organize an event. (pp. 30-34). (2002). Logistics. YES. YES Workbook.

Gardner, A. (2011, May 19). NewMusicBox » Concert Organization Checklist. NewMusicBox . Retrieved September 26, 2012, from http://www.newmusicbox.org/articles/concert-organization-checklist/

Gross, L. J. (n.d.). A basic introduction to concert sound engineering. Retrieved September 26, 2012, from http://www.tiem.utk.edu/~gross/

Guidelines for event organizers. (pp. 4-28). (2012). Advance planning, pre-event planning, managing the risk, management structure, preparing for the unexpected. Dublin Council: Wood Quay Books.

Hudson, A. (n.d.). How to Set Up a Rock Concert | eHow.com. eHow | How to Videos, Articles & More – Discover the expert in you. | eHow.com. Retrieved September 26, 2012, from http://www.ehow.com/how_7652963_set-up-rock-concert.html

Matthews, D. (2008). Special event production the resources. Amsterdam: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

Moody, J. L. (1989). Concert lighting: techniques, art, and business (3rd ed.). Boston: Focal Press.

The event safety guide: a guide to health, safety and welfare at music and similar events. (2nd ed., pp. 15-20). (1999). Venue and Site Design. Norwich: HSE Books.


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