When the Sundogs are hired to play 3-3.5 hours of music at a wedding reception, that’s all that most of the audience sees. What they don’t see is the significant time and labor that goes into preparing for the gig and packing up afterwards. For an in-town wedding reception performance that begins at 8:00 PM and ends at midnight, here is the typical schedule:
- 1:30 PM Band members and/or sound tech inventory instruments and PA equipment and load vehicles.
- 2:30 PM Band members leave home.
- 3:00 PM Band arrives at venue. Carry in and set up equipment.
- 4:00 PM Thorough sound check, adjustment of monitors, etc. Note: A full sound check includes trial performances of selected songs at full volume. The time set aside for sound check must not conflict with other activities scheduled in the same building!
- 5:00 PM Stop before guests start arriving; leave to eat dinner and/or kill time.
- 7:30 PM Return to venue and wait to cue to go on.
- 8:00 PM Begin performance; take three 15 minute breaks in a 3.5 to 4-hour period.
- 12:00 AM End performance; begin dissassembling and packing up equipment
- 12:30 AM Carry packed gear to vehicles and begin loading
- 12:45 AM Drive home
- 1:15 AM Arrive home, begin unloading gear.
- 1:30 AM Finished unloading.
To summarize, each band member typically dedicates 12 hours of their weekend to a typical in-town wedding reception. If the gig is out-of-town, then the transportation time is greater. If the gig is much more than an hour away from Madison, we will usually spend the night in a local hotel and drive home after breakfast the following morning rather than take to the roads at 1 AM.