Top 10 Items to Bring to a Gig

September 20, 2011 by CHAUVET DJ

by Allan Reiss, Product Manager for CHAUVET® Club/DJ 

It has happened to the best of us: you arrive at your gig and start unpacking all your equipment when you realize you forgot something crucial in order to run your light show. It’s almost a guarantee that the hotel where you’re DJing the wedding doesn’t sell DMX cables in their gift shop and there’s not a whole heck of a lot you can do. Before you leave for any gig, run through the checklist below to ensure you have everything you need to run your show flawlessly.

1. Lights. How can you even think about setting up your light show unless you have the main ingredient? Make sure you pack all of the fixtures you intend to use, even the one you’re unsure about.
2. Controller. Whether you decide to use a control board or software program to control your lights, make sure you bring either the board or your laptop. It would be a real bummer if you spent hours programming a show and forgot your controller.
3. Spare controller. Because electronics can fail, especially at the most inopportune time, it is always a good idea to have a backup controller on hand.
4. DMX cables. If you plan to control your lights with DMX, don’t forget to bring enough DMX cables to daisy chain all your fixtures together.
5. Truss or stand.  You could just stick the lights on your DJ stand and run them from there. Or you could step up your game and bring your portable stands or truss system so your lights are mounted properly.
6. Clamps. When mounting to stands or truss, it is very important your fixtures are properly secured. Clamps are the answer and your fixtures will stay where you position them.
7. Zip ties or electrical tape. Having a bird’s nest of cables lying around is not only unsightly, but a safety hazard. Keep loose cables tied together with zip ties or tape them to the floor with electrical tape.
8. Fog or haze machine. If the venue permits, bring your fog or haze machine. Adding a little of either will drastically enhance your light show by making all of the beams visible. Just be careful not to set off the fire alarm.
9. Extension cord. If you are set up in a location far from an electrical outlet, come prepared. Don’t forget to tape this cord down with your electrical tape.
10. Triple tap. There’s a good chance you will need to use more than one outlet. A triple tap will give you more power options and is always good to have.

Unless you have really cool friends who will be happy to drop their plans on a Friday or Saturday night to bring you a cord, I suggest you run through this list before heading to your next gig. If you forget something, you may not produce the show your client is expecting. Remember, good word of mouth is your greatest (marketing) tool in your arsenal.


Filed Under: Lighting for Mobile DJs