The Day of the Show - Host Perspective


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The day of the show will be busy, exciting, and hopefully a lot of fun! Here are a few things for Hosts to think about ahead of time to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible:

Hosting Checklist

The day of the show will be hectic enough, so we’ve created a handy checklist for hosts to use! Take a look and print out your own copy:

Load in / Soundcheck

You will need to do a soundcheck for any artist using amplification (a PA or amplifier). Discuss the needs of the artist before show day. If a sound person is required, be sure that everyone knows who’s responsible and if a fee is required, who’s paying for it.

Soundcheck requirements can vary as wildly as the show itself. A solo artist using only a microphone and PA may only take five minutes, while a full band (or multiple bands) could take longer.

A good rule to follow: Aim to finish soundcheck at least 1 hour before the show is scheduled to start.

This gives the artist time to relax before the show and the host time to welcome guests at the door.

The main goal during soundcheck should be ensuring that the overall volume of the performance isn’t too loud (or too quiet) for your guests. Excessively loud shows can be painful and even cause hearing damage. While it can be hard to find a level that works for everyone, you can consider offering foam earplugs (available at any pharmacy) for guests who find the show too loud.

Managing the Door

It’s important to have someone greeting your guests as they arrive, both in public and private spaces. This person will be responsible for checking names off the guest list and facilitating any door sales. Provide the door person with a float of small bills for anyone who may pay in cash at the door and needs change.

You can check in guests with any of these methods:

  • Manually check in guests using the Audience Manager

  • Print the PDF or CSV guest list and cross off names

  • Scan the QR code of your guest’s tickets using your mobile device’s camera

It’s a great idea to be there to welcome guests, tell them where the bathrooms are, and let them know who to ask if they have any questions or problems.

To ensure that the artist is fully compensated for any cash ticket sales made at the door, the host can ‘buy back’ tickets in the Side Door ticketing system using a credit card or mobile pay at the end of the show through the door sales ticket link.

Read more about managing the door here: Managing Ticket Sales and Audience Manager

Welcome Speech Before Performance

It’s always a good idea to welcome guests and introduce the artist before the performance. As a host, this is your opportunity to review important things like emergency exits, bathrooms, and house rules, and to establish the vibe of the show.

Don’t forget to mention your mailing list, the merch table, and maybe even say a few words of how this event came to be.

Pay special attention to your audience. If you have limited seating, try to prioritize a place to sit for those who might need it most.

Thank You / Show Wrap Up

After the show ends, we recommend addressing the audience briefly to thank them for coming and thank the artist. This is also a great time to mention your mailing list and the artist’s merch table.

Finally, if you’ve enjoyed hosting, we encourage you to let your audience know about Side Door and share your experience as a host. If anyone else is interested in hosting a show, send them our way!

Photos From the Show

If you or any of your guests took any photos, we would love to see them!

You can post them on social media and tag us (@sidedooraccess on Twitter and @sidedoor.access on Instagram), or upload them directly (click here).

If you’re comfortable with it, it can be fun to document your shows - we suggest a group photo of the artist, host, and the audience to document the community you’re building!