Playing gigs in people's gardens

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It always sounds like it could be fun when they book you. "Come and play with your band in our garden, we'll put up a gazebo..." The reality in my experience is bad weather, muddy garden, gazebo too small, electric string 30 metres long from the house, van gets damaged by pissed up guests scraping past it, 50 guests turn up so nowhere for them to park. They all stand around chatting through the first set, second set they all start dancing and enjoying the band 30 minutes before you are due to finish. This is followed by protests about why you can't carry on for another couple of hours. Then you have to pack up in the dark trudging through the muddy tracks back to the van. As you can probably guess, I had this gig today.....rant over, I feel better now.
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  • StrangefanStrangefan Frets: 1899
    Indodnonenand it was the total opposite, really fun and we camped out after, I would do a decently sized and arranged one again in a heartbeat! 
    www.deadhappyband.com
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  • uncledickuncledick Frets: 112
    It always sounds like it could be fun when they book you. "Come and play with your band in our garden, we'll put up a gazebo..." The reality in my experience is bad weather, muddy garden, gazebo too small, electric string 30 metres long from the house, van gets damaged by pissed up guests scraping past it, 50 guests turn up so nowhere for them to park. They all stand around chatting through the first set, second set they all start dancing and enjoying the band 30 minutes before you are due to finish. This is followed by protests about why you can't carry on for another couple of hours. Then you have to pack up in the dark trudging through the muddy tracks back to the van. As you can probably guess, I had this gig today.....rant over, I feel better now.
    You forgot the complaining neighbours and visits from the police.
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  • AlexCAlexC Frets: 538
    Went to one of these garden gazebo bashes a few years back. It was for midsummer night. About a quarter of the guests were musicians so it was hours and hours of jamming with some great singers. I even ended up playing some strange jazz-folk fusion with some Poles. Then everyone crashed out for a few hours in some tents and we packed up in the daylight. Great fun! Perhaps late September isn't the best time for these things.
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  • koneguitaristkoneguitarist Frets: 2563
    Did a great one a few years back in Seavington nr Ilminster bikers back garden, 150' long at least, built us a small stage and he built a proper bar in his shed. All his mates carried our gear and it was great fun. Long time but worth it, win some you lose some on gigs. 
    Asked to play someone's house once, thought it must be a big house but was literally a terraced house with just enough room for band let alone audience. 
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  • miserneilmiserneil Frets: 4054
    I managed to avoid one this summer, a lady got in touch and asked me to play a garden party she was holding for a few friends in an affluent area near Birmingham. I would play during canapés and prosecco...I said it was no problem and we agreed a price. Her only stipulation was that if it rained on the day she would cancel it, I said that was not a problem but if it was  cancelled l would still require my full fee. She took umbrage at this and I didn’t her from her again.
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  • dindudedindude Frets: 4548
    Always loved the damp (no pun intended) acoustics of a nice garden gig.
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 1955
    Must be nearly 30 years ago we used our PA and lights for a mini fest in someones back garden. Typical semi, stage area was the concrete apron in front of double garage, thin tarp for shade drawn over the top. We set a frame tent to the side as a mix station and crash pit for the three of us running it. Bands came from as far as the west country and that London to play. I did a simple accoustic type duo with my mate to kick things off and then settled to running sound. In our little tent we had a beer cooler (IDK where from) and I'd aquired a whole barrel of lager in payment of bookkeeping services with a mate at a pub. During the day and evening the three of us essentially drained that barrel (there was a little left and we gave away about 5 pints). To say I was relaxed in the early hours is an under statement, the hostess tried to take advantage of my body but I don't recall much. In the morning I started to clear up but the act of bending over to pick up a lead renderred me dizzy as I was still very drunk.
    The gig party was by private invitation and many folks knew one another and it was a very jovial atmosphere on the summer solstice. The Neighbours were all spoken to before the event (and invited), indeed the event took place each year for several years. Rock n' Roll.
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  • mudslide73mudslide73 Frets: 1441
    I played our drummer's bbq with the full band in his back garden about 15 years ago. The neighbours were all invited and we took out some fence panels to use their gardens too. The houses backed onto some allotments so there wasn't any fuss about the volume. We used a full padding pool to keep the beers cold. All done and dusted by 10.30.

    A few years ago one of my neighbours had a karaoke party/bbq at full volume until 3am. They'd got a stage erected with v powerful lighting. The police came to get them to turn it down but the neighbours cranked it up again as soon as they left. They didn't even invite us:)
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  • gubblegubble Frets: 936

    Had the OP's bad experience of this a few times before.

    Also had a similar experience of a mega rich family who booked us. Huge stage hired in, decent electrics nearby. OK the load in and parking was a PITA but it turned into a great night.

    During the 2nd set most people were rather tipsy and were intent on stripping off and jumping into the pool. After we finished playing ended up at a silent disco in the inflatable pub they'd hired.

    Great Gig that was.

    Almost beat the woman who in a local club wanted to hear more of the band so offered us a grand to go back to her house and play the whole set again in her kitchen. That night was something i'll never forget.

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