Outdoor events

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rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
14,536
10,577
115
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
#1
I'm working today at a Bed&Breakfast. The bride is a lawyer, who obviously read my contract. In my contract it has clear provision that on outdoor situations we MUST be covered and protected from rain. She apparently has ignored that part and told the planner that I'm going to be setup outside, near a patio where she wants her dances held. I spoke with the planner and made it clear to her that I don't setup outside, un-protected. It's in my contract. She agreed and thought it was a dumb idea to begin with. I have another event at the end of the month, same situation, different venue. I've got to setup outside (unless it's rainy and then they have a tent in another part of the property). Same contract, client also ignored it.

I know I can stand my ground, but the fact is this is a subject that comes up a couple of times per year, year after year. It won't go away, period. I'm wondering how you guys view this problem and how do you handle it? I keep plastic with me, and can throw it over my gear, but it just doesn't seem "professional". It would be less of a problem if I used passive speakers. Just cover your DJ table and you're gold, but I use actives, so I've got a DJ table and 4 separate powered units (2 tops, 2 subs). It's frustrating.
 

steve149

Urbane Legend
Sep 26, 2011
20,015
28,178
115
Prospect, CT
#2
I bring my own pop-up tent and will put it up if rain is a possibility. I have large contractor trash bags that I will pull over the speakers if needed. I can run in the rain (and have for some athletic events like road races) if needed. I won't run subs unless everything is clearly out of danger from getting wet.

I don't do weddings, so the aesthetics aren't normally an issue.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
14,536
10,577
115
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
#4
I’ve kept an ez up tent in the trailer for years,
I did for a while, but frankly I think an ez-up is more trouble than it's worth. Any kind of decent wind, even with it weighted down, and it's gone. Not to mention, it sits in the van for a while and it gets molded. I keep painter's plastic in my van and usually have garbage bags for the speakers (I'm out right now, gotta remember to re-stock). The vast majority of clients see the contract provision and do honor it, but then there are clients like this one who wants what she wants and doesn't give a sh$t whether it affects someone else or not. I'm really kinda apprehensive about today to be honest. They have too many people for this property and folks are going to be scattered all over the place and in different, disconnected areas. Add to that, there's no way to wheel in my gear (no flat surface). We're going to have to un-pack at the van and hand carry everything to where it's going to be setup. Weather is calling for 0% chance of rain so I may go ahead and setup un-protected.
 
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steve149

Urbane Legend
Sep 26, 2011
20,015
28,178
115
Prospect, CT
#5
Weather is calling for 0% chance of rain so I may go ahead and setup un-protected.
You know what can happen when you have "unprotected sets" ...
 

adj2ent

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 20, 2006
343
578
95
58
Long Island NY
#7
I have a couple different size ez-ups. Even the smallest withstood pouring raining. They do have to be secured because wind will blow them away. But the big issue is if I am outside and it rains who will I be playing to? They usually have alternative plans/locations. But once the equipment is setup it is not usually moved in the middle of an event. I have seen events where even under a tent weather has been so bad it killed everything. That has never happen to me but I have had to stop the music, turned off the power and go indoors during lightning storms. Now with my larger Outdoor movie systems it is designed to go though rain as long as it is not blowing rain or lightning in the area. In some areas people as hearty (or kind of crazy). I have seen them watch a movie in the pouring rain and cold. One time it was so cold & windy we couldn’t use the screens so they watch it on the (red) brick wall. You can’t make this stuff up.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
14,536
10,577
115
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
#8
I have an EZ-Up too. I think the easiest way to resolve this (if you think it's becoming a bigger issue) is to bring it up during initial discussion with the client.
I do have this discussion with clients. In this case, I didn't bring it up since during our discussions, she was going to have me inside the house. Later, she tells the planner (venue owner) that I'm going to be outside. The planner called me, we chatted, and I let her know that I don't play outside, and she completely agreed. Shen then thanked me for giving her an 'out' to tell the bride that we were going to do it the way the planner had recommended.

It's really not an on-going problem, just a mild irritation. I don't really see a way to resolve it completely. I have it in my contract, occasionally have to stand my ground, and occasionally do an outside setup. It's part of the thing that makes me want my own venue.
 
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rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
14,536
10,577
115
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
#11
Are you expecting it to rain? Or, do you enforce a cover requirement even if weather is good?
A few days ago it was 40% but today it's changed to 0% chance of rain. If there's a chance of rain, I'll enforce the covering clause. On rare occasion, I'll skip it.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,769
8,707
115
Oklahoma City
#13
I don't do outdoor events... period. There are just TOO FEW perfect weather days/nights in Oklahoma. It's either too cold, too hot, too rainy, too much hail, or too many tornados. When I had the Alto speakers with molded plastic cabs, there was a chance, but with the EVOX-8's, they're just too expensive to risk damage.

A pop-up tent is OK, but unless you have a very small one, you can't set it up by yourself. And if you have one small enough to set up alone, it may not offer enough protection. Just too many reasons NOT to do outside events and not enough benefit.
 
Last edited:
Likes: ittigger

wifedj

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 20, 2008
390
303
65
#14
When you know of the potential you should add a provision to your contract that establishes the acceptable contingencies and costs for protecting equipment from exposure to elements, any elements you deem potentially harmful including, but not limited to direct sunlight/heat/wind/etc., regardless of the venue's provisions or the client's changes/demands/requests.

Simple language that even lawyers can't finesse.
 
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ittigger

Hundred Acre Industry Icon
Feb 1, 2011
14,549
11,152
115
Western Maryland
#16
When you know of the potential you should add a provision to your contract that establishes the acceptable contingencies and costs for protecting equipment from exposure to elements, any elements you deem potentially harmful including, but not limited to direct sunlight/heat/wind/etc., regardless of the venue's provisions or the client's changes/demands/requests.

Simple language that even lawyers can't finesse.
Lawyers can finesse everything - that's why there are so many of them. It all depends on your 'interpretation'. If it was as easy as you say, they would all be out of work.
 
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Jas

DJ Extraordinaire
May 22, 2013
1,447
1,681
115
#17
I don't like the problems that can occur with outdoor weddings either. I bring a tarp to throw over equipment if it comes down to that. Garbage bags can go over speakers if needed. Insect repellent is a must too.

Wind gusts can practically blow large tents down, even large ones. The force of nature is unpredictable and can be extreme. Had an outdoor wedding (in a tent) last year with torrential rain all day. The tent had a few leaks near my speakers and water gathered on the floor in a few spots. Got soaked bringing in my equipment. Hated it!

My contract has an act of God clause - nothing about the client supplying the DJ with a tent. And of course I talk with clients about contingency plans in case of rain.
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,769
8,707
115
Oklahoma City
#18
When you know of the potential you should add a provision to your contract that establishes the acceptable contingencies and costs for protecting equipment from exposure to elements, any elements you deem potentially harmful including, but not limited to direct sunlight/heat/wind/etc., regardless of the venue's provisions or the client's changes/demands/requests.

Simple language that even lawyers can't finesse.
Lawyers can finesse everything - that's why there are so many of them. It all depends on your 'interpretation'. If it was as easy as you say, they would all be out of work.
I have many clients who are lawyers. Most of them make changes to the contract. Early on, it helped me improve my contract for free. Now, when I do a repeat event for one of my lawyer clients, I use the same contract they signed the previous time. Funny thing is; they almost always have MORE changes.
 
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rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
14,536
10,577
115
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
#19
Update on my gig last night. I was able to setup just inside a doorway, leading out to the patio where the bride wanted her outdoor dancing. Now after we solved that little problem, it came to light that we'd have guests in 3 different rooms. I ended up putting 1 QSC K10 in each zone, all hard-wired together. The spaces were small; 20X30 for the patio (dancefloor), then the two indoor rooms had fairly low ceilings on them. This setup would've really benefited from a good wireless rig but I was able to daisy-chain my speakers with a couple hundred feet of xlr cables between them. GE and cake were real challenges as they were on the other end of the house and completely out of sight and I had to wade thru guests to get there. The night ended up being a huge success. The client did not expect the level of party she got and was gushing by the end of it. I have pics of the room, but apple is taking forever to email. I'll post them if/when I get them on gmail.
 

IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
2,653
1,610
115
56
Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
#20
my new yamaha dxr speakers came with weatherproof covers that you can play withthem on - nice.
still no help for the console area - or me.

I have a wedding today - reception inside, ceremony is supposed to be outside but the forecast is for thunderstorms...about the time of the ceremony. Argh.