Monday, September 20, 2010

Catering to the Bands- What it is like.

This past weekend I got to do my first catering shift where I cater for a concert (I work for my school catering, this is not something I do all the time). At Viejas Arena on the campus of San Diego State, I was able to cater for Tegan and Sara, New Found Glory, and Paramore who were on the Honda Civic Tour. What a process it is to do catering for a show!

Catering does not begin on the day of the show, it actually begins the day before as we set up the entire suite at the arena in preparation for the next day. I did not realize that trucks and everything arrived at 7:30am on the day of concert, but I found that out when I had to work the early morning shift, running around setting up bagels, coffee, yogurts, donuts, the whole breakfast selection.

In the morning it runs virtually slow as truck drivers trickle in followed by a few crew members and friends of the bands that come off the tour buses early. I didn't even get a glimpse of any of the bands until way after noon, where they finally leave the bus and come for lunch (which we set up quickly after having to take down the set up for breakfast).

The hard part about this tour was that many of the members were vegan, so lets just say they were a little picky about what was being served, so after a few special requests, we finally made the bands all happy as they ate.

It was a very cool experience overall, not just serving the bands, but seeing the preparation and the steps involved to having a concert set up. Every day they roll into an empty arena with no stage and they begin the set up from scratch. Once they build the stage, they roll the truck back with all the stage setup: lights, fog machines, stands, speakers, the whole bit. After they roll out all of the equipment, instruments begin to come out of the truck. Seeing everything is kind of crazy because every band has their own guitar rack and drum set and having an entire tunnel filled with top of the line music equipment will make any music fan get somewhat giddy, and being equipment of some big name bands, hard not to get somewhat star stuck.

The whole experience will continue once again as I get to cater this week for Muse at Viejas Arena and then for Gym Class Heroes as they roll into Open Air Theater. I hope this week in music has a lot in store for me.

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