It’s hard to imagine sometimes through the flurry of sports cars and sunglasses associated with the rock star lifestyle, but every big musical act had to start somewhere. For most of them, despite the emergence of TV talent shows like The X Factor, their first gigs would have been at a local pub, club or bar.

The pub gig represents the first rung on the ladder to superstardom for any budding rock star; The Beatles had The Cavern Club, while Iron Maiden were regulars at the Cart and Horses in East London. It’s a true institution, and a pub gig is a good deal for all involved; artists get a bit of exposure and cash while the venue owners get money from admission fees and increased drinks sales.

Gigs held in a small pub or club venue are generally thought of as being a bit technically deficient, with a couple of poor stage lights and a dodgy PA system. However, it’s fair to say things have changed over the past few years or so.

Increasingly, small venues are upping their game and providing a gig experience comparable to that of larger, music-dedicated venues. How are they doing that? Through investing in permanent stage lighting and high quality sound systems.

For any pub, bar or club serious about their live music offerings, professional equipment is a must. However, with economic times as hard as ever, the prospect of investing in equipment can seem daunting. So what value does professional equipment offer?

For most small venues, a single lighting rig will suffice and, unless you happen to be hosting Muse for the evening, the chances are you won’t need to put on a particularly elaborate light show. However, having a proper lighting rig rather than a couple of floor lights looks adds an edge of professionalism to your venue that will build your reputation and have bands clamouring to grace your stage.

In the long run, installing a stage lighting rig permanently also works out cheaper than hiring out equipment so it makes good financial sense if you hold gigs or live performances on a regular basis.

One of the big complaints that always surfaces from gigs at small venues is sound quality. Obviously a small venue with a small budget will never rival the sound quality of a large venue with a multi-million pound budget, but having sound hampered by a bad PA or poor mixing can damage the reputation of your venue and potentially affect future business.

It doesn’t cost the earth to set up a decent sound system for your venue; a quality PA, a couple of speakers and a mixing desk are usually all you need. Most bands will insist on using their own amplification, but it always helps to have a couple of amps spare. Good sound is vitally important to a musical act, and being able  to offer it will give you a significant advantage over your competitors.

If you’re thinking of transforming your dreary venue into one that bands across the country will be fighting among themselves to play at, give PG Stage a call on  0161 830 0303 for a quotation and advice on exactly what you’ll need.


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