AdvanTAGES of Various STAGES for your Live Music
By Tristan Whalen-Hughes
When booking live music for your event, the quality of the band, their energy and musicianship, should always be first and foremost in your mind. There are, however, other things you may not have considered that can subtly (or drastically!) change the atmosphere of an event, such as the length of the event itself, the lighting and ambience, and even the stage or performance space! Different types of stages or performing areas can hugely impact how the audience experiences and engages with the music. Below, we’ll go over several different stage options and what atmosphere they can help create for your event.
The most budget-friendly option if your chosen venue does not already have a dedicated stage space, you may decide to put your performers directly in line with your dance floor. This tends to make for a much more intimate atmosphere, regardless of the style of music being played, and allows for more of a connection between the musicians and audience. That being said, having no stage is not all sunshine and rainbows. This option, while allowing your guests a closer connection to the music, also offers little to no separation or protection for your performers. Spilled drinks, out-of-control dancers, and aggressive party guests all have a direct path into the musicians’ space and can cause problems.
Low Riser Stage
While not as intimate as having performers and audience eye-to-eye, a stage lifted slightly above the level of the dance floor can still effectively allow your musicians and audience to connect while providing a small amount of separation and protection from disaster. Things to bear in mind when choosing a venue with a stage (or renting a stage for your venue) include the size of the venue space (watch out for low ceilings!) as well as the size of stage required for the performers. A very small venue might simply be unable to fit a stage of any size, and a large band may require more stage space than you would expect. On a personal note, I would also recommend looking into stages with a lip around the edges for extra protection, if at all possible, as I’ve seen enough performers slipping off the edge of stages, and a fall from any height, even a small drop, can be disastrous.
Fully Separated Stage
This option is for those who really want to feel like the music at their event is a “show”. Having a full-on separated stage, putting the performers at a height significantly above the dance floor, sheds the idea of an “intimate musical performance” in favour of a big party festival atmosphere. There is no denying that this kind of musical dynamic is its own kind of crazy fun, and there is little to no risk of performers and dancers getting all tangled up, but the cautions of the above low-rise stage go doubly here. This kind of stage is particularly effective for large venues and outdoor events where space is no object. These larger stages also tend to be, unsurprisingly, the most expensive option to rent.
Whether you decide to go with a more “intimate” setting for the music at your event, or a festival “show” is your atmosphere of choice, we’re already thrilled that having live music is part of your plan. Nothing beats that exciting feeling, that dynamic performance, that you can really only get with live music. If you’re in the Ottawa area, below are some local options we trust to provide excellent stage rental services for all sorts of events.