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02 2022

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Putting on an Epic Show

A lot happens behind the scenes at Turning Stone Resort Casino to make our live music performances the best in the region.

In fact, our crews do way more than one might think.

According to Sam Brown, Entertainment Production Operations Manager, production crews work around the clock to load in and load out shows, and they often keep three things in mind: guest safety, artist needs, and the company’s financial and level requirements.

“We need to make sure we keep a lot of different people happy in a variety of different ways,” Sam said. “Of course, we need to do it in a way that doesn’t impact the guest experience at all.”

The production crew’s job begins in earnest a few days before the scheduled show. Before a band or performer even arrives at the resort, our crew of 15-20 will install the stage, hang the lights, set up the soundboard, and deploy the bleachers. Sam estimates this is a full day or day and a half worth of work. This all needs to happen before the artist’s trucks come in.

Once the band arrives, our team loads in equipment. That process usually begins around 7:30 a.m. or 8 a.m., with a team meeting. We tell riggers and stagehands what to do. We divvy our people into different groups to help in different areas: lighting, set, backline (musical instruments), audio, and more.

We set aside some of our people to manage wardrobe and any additional lighting the artist may bring. Depending on the act, this task can be pretty involved.

As our crews are setting up backstage, we deploy another group of people to work on seats. The “seat crew,” as we call them, starts with chalk lines so they can draw aisles on the floor before laying out the actual chairs. Usually this comprises 10 people, not including those who mop up the chalk at the end.

Finally, as it gets closer to show time, we deploy security teams with metal detectors in the main atrium.

Once the doors open, the production crew takes a dinner break, and the house crew takes over. This is the team that makes sure guests have a good experience during the concert itself. This crew includes spotlights and the people who operate them. It also includes the lighting director, the sound director, and the people who operate lights and sound.

Finally, once the show is over, the load-in crew that set everything up comes back to break everything down. Sometimes they can hold off until the next morning. Other times they need to break things down immediately after the show.

“In many cases what took 10 hours to load in we have to pack up and get out in two hours,” Sam said. “It’s not easy, but it’s worth the work to give guests a great experience when they’re here.”

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