Preparing for the Show

200602 Side Door Illustrations-29.png

Click to Return to the Host Toolkit

Any space can be a venue, but it’s important to think about what you need to do to prepare your space for the show. Here are a few things to consider:

Artist’s Input

First - Ask The Artist! Talk to them in our chat to go over what they might need to be most comfortable in the space.

General mood

There are a few subtle things you can do to ensure that the mood of your space helps the audience focus on the show.

House music:

House music is a great way to set the mood when guests arrive, but it’s easy to forget to turn it off when it comes time for the artist to begin the show.

Lines of sight:

Make sure people can easily see the artist from the main audience-area. It’s frustrating for an audience member who gets stuck sitting or standing behind an obstruction, especially if the show is sold-out.

Green Room

It’s always nice to have a private space for the artist to prepare before the show. This can be an office space, bedroom, or anywhere your guests won’t be.

The green room should have:

  • Water

  • A mirror

  • Snacks

It’s a nice gesture to reach out to the artist you’re hosting in the Side Door chat to discuss their expectations before the show and if they have any diet restrictions, food sensitivities, or allergies.

Merchandise Space

Merchandise sales are really important to artists. They offer additional revenue and an opportunity for people to connect with them and spread the word. Having an area in your venue dedicated to merch sales is always appreciated.

Put your sales hat on - you want the merch table to be:

  • Easy to find

  • Well lit

  • Located in an area with space for people to gather and look at the items for sale

Consider having a friend or family member volunteer to run the table.

Stage Lighting

A little bit of decorative lighting goes a long way! Mini lights are an easy and affordable solution. Photo by Scott Munn

Lighting is one of the most common things that hosts overlook. While it is very important that the audience can hear the artist, having decent lighting of the stage area plays a surprisingly big role in making a show feel like - a show!

Does your stage area have separate lighting from where the audience will sit?

Even a subtle change in lighting can be enough to send a visual cue dividing the ‘stage’ from the rest of the room.