Planned Maintenance

This is some thing we would all like in our venues, but how do we make it happen. We see equipment lying in corners waiting to be repaired as we dash past,setting up for another show. This is often the case in small, community venues. There never seems enough time, money or staff to repair things. When you do get a chance to dismantle an item to have a go at repair you get interrupted by a client, and lose the screws that you had removed several hours ago. so what is the simple solution to this dilemma, I wish I knew. Various venues actually approach this in different ways. It often depends on the budget that is available. Venues have been known to set one day aside at regular intervals to address any maintenance issues. Other venues have plenty of staff on hand to do running repairs. So what should the smaller venues do. Well first off don’t start repairing something if you have little time before the next event. Nothing worse that a bunch of uncompleted projects lying around. I have often seen this is those venues with not enough staff or money. You see lanterns in parts with screws, bolts etc scattered over the work bench or any other flat surface. After a few days you have no idea what came from where. Then there are does cables lying in the corner not in their normal place. Are they faulty or not and there is four corners of them. So having a place to put faulty equipment would seem like a good idea and one that everybody should adopt. What about those lose batteries lying on the bench are they new or flat or for rehearsal. Surely it is not that hard to throw away a flat battery even in a rush. To help the maintenance process you actually also need to keep your venue as neat and tidy as possible, that way you can find what is wrong quicker. Smaller venues need to actually fix things as they break or send them off to the local fixer up person. Often smaller venues have less equipment and therefore having a piece of it not working can actually put a hole in the technical operation of the venue. Maintenance is not always about repairing what is broken it is also about making sure that the standard set ups, like lighting rig and audio rig, are always ready to use when a client walks in. There is nothing worse than taking up a clients valuable time re-focusing the rig to standard or re-patching the audio back to normal.

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