There comes a time in every musician/event planner’s life when everything goes wrong. All of the nightmares we have – the neuroses that keep us up at night – which seem unreasonable, finally come true. Despite our meticulous planning, tirelessly preparing, and dedicated execution, something falls down and takes the rest of the dominoes with it.
That happened to me recently. I had planned an event at a local art space for my album release. [I should note here that this space which I won’t name is an amazing organization which does an incredible job supporting and promoting local artists. I have them to thank for so many things.] In this particular instance, I had neglected to touch base with them about the event and when I arrived at the space, no one was there to unlock the room or set up the sound system and projector.
I spent some time waiting and some more time wondering what had gone wrong. But finally, at 6:35 before a 7:00 performance, I hatched a backup plan along with my dad and my roommate. We had already tracked down someone wandering around the building who could unlock the doors (which set off alarms that had to be reset by a different person). We had already poked around back stage pressing buttons to see if we could get things to start working. I even broke into some storage closets to see if I could locate the sound system.
None of that worked so we hopped in the car and headed back to my house. We grabbed my rustic sound system meant for the outdoors (which was actually perfect for a field recording performance) and my TV. We then gathered the audience around the TV like a living room to watch the multimedia visuals while I stood behind to TV to perform the live music portions.
In the end I was actually really happy with it. It was cozy and intimate.
We all face those 6:35 moments at one time or another. The question in that moment is whether we give up or push through. Sometimes it might be wise to just reschedule. But sometimes if we decide to push through, it might turn out that the back-up plan is just as effective or more effective than the original.
When that 6:35 moment comes around again, I just have to remember that pushing through can render an event far more satisfying than when things go according to plan.