5 Tips on How To Enjoy (and Survive) New Year’s Eve Gigs
On the last day of the year, we not only look back over the year and anticipate what the new one will bring, but most importantly, we try to enjoy ourselves. However, even on this day, some people have to work. These are not only policemen, firemen and doctors, but also musicians. The following five tips will help you enjoy New Year's Eve gigs and, above all, survive in health.
1. Play to the best of your ability
You might feel that the audience is listening less and less as the night goes on and the alcohol level rises and that it doesn't really matter how and what you play. However, this may not the case. Usually, your first serious mistake is noticed by a nitpicker who will drunkenly point it out to everyone present. So, if a mistake is made, try to cover it up subtly or, on the contrary, make it funny. Of course, musicians also want to have fun on New Year's Eve, but you don't have to be a subject of mockery on this particular day.
2. Try to stay sober during the performance
This rule is a little harder to keep on the last day of the year, but you should try. Nothing against some beers, which you usually sweat out quickly while playing, but if you don't recognise your own songs anymore, or if everyone is playing something completely different, rest assured that the organiser will probably get a different band for the next New Year's Eve. The dangers of modern technology should not be underestimated either – almost everyone has a mobile phone with a video recording function, and a YouTube recording of your concert (which you may not even remember), where you can barely stand up or worse, doesn't reflect well on you.
3. Keep a safe distance from overly excited fans
Having a mash pot of enthusiastic fans below the stage is great, but on the last night of the year, you need to be a little more careful. Your supporters may be more "exuberant" than usual and their behaviour can be erratic. To be on the safe side, place your pedalboard, instruments and equipment a few inches further away from the edge of the stage than you are used to. Alcohol can arouse some people's curiosity, and their wandering hands, eager to find out what happens when they press that button or pull that cable, can ruin your otherwise perfect performance at the most inconvenient moment. Not to mention the fact that there can be much worse "accidents", when someone vomits into your pedalboard, for example. Unfortunately, I know this example from (fortunately not my own) experience.
4. Beware of explosives near the stage
New Year's Eve tends to involve pyrotechnics. If it is handled with extreme care, why not. If you want to add some fireworks to your performance, there is no objection either. It's perhaps a good idea to get a professional to do the show. Having firecrackers exploding uncontrollably on stage during your gig is probably not what you wish for. But what if the audience assumes the role of self-appointed pyrotechnicians? If you're playing in a club or other enclosed space, you should be fine – hopefully, no one will try to set off any fireworks there. But you may find yourself playing your gig outside and then things can get hairy. So if someone wants to take their firework frenzy to your stage, you'd better leave the grounds. Alternatively, contact the organisers and ask them to ensure order and safety. Your health comes first, and your instrumental equipment is probably not cheap either.
5. Don't make any rash resolutions on stage
Of course, to some extent, you can reflect on your musical successes on stage (just beware of unnecessary boasting), and you can certainly promise your fans new recordings or music videos in the next year (if you are actually going to make some). Other, more or less personal resolutions (I will lose weight, stop smoking, stop drinking, start practising more, start working out, start saving money, etc.) or various "big" statements should be kept private. For one thing, the fans probably don't care that much, and it's not good to have too many people witnessing your hasty resolution.
So, if you're going to spend this year-end on stage, try to follow these five rules and enjoy the music, just like you will all year round.
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