Outdoor gigs in the Florida heat

rondrums51

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How many of you have had your gear damaged from working outdoors?

I'm driving up to visit a guitar player friend next week at his gig. His band is working in an outdoor courtyard in St. Petersburg, Florida. It's 85 degrees at night this time of year. I don't envy the drummer. I may or may not sit in, depending on the heat.

Several years ago, I did a steady outdoor gig at a restaurant one block off the beach in the heat, humidity, and salt air. I copped a cheap drum set because I didn't want to take my good drums out there. They had fans on us, but it was a sweaty gig.

I did the gig for about 6 months. The drums needed a cleaning, but my hardware was really bad. There was dirt and grime packed into every little crevice on my stands and pedals. Took me forever to clean it all up.

I also did a gambling ship gig way back in the 90's where we had to play outside on the top deck. Not only were we dying in the heat, but the salt air ate all the chrome on my nice Ludwig set.

Nowadays, I refuse to work outdoors unless there is a backline set provided. Plus, it better pay damn good.
:occasion5:
 

repete

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My band plays outside a lot here ( south florida, east coast ) with a few gigs on the inter coastal no there's really no ocean mist to worry about.
My gear has been holding up pretty well -
 

High on Stress

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Had the wrap bubble on a black drum kit. Was told we’d be under a roof but it was outdoors and fully exposed. It gets hot in MN is the summer. So hot I could barely touch the cymbals afterward. Melted the wrap on a set of Pearl Exports. Thankfully not my best kit. After that I got some beat up Ludwig Thermogloss drums for outdoor gigs.
 

ZackPomerleau

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I play full time in the St. Pete area, a little bit south. Four gigs a week at least, and I'm almost always outside. It's hot but I've never had issues with my drums.
 

paul

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I've been playing my rewrapped set since 2001, indoors and out, with plenty of outdoor gigs in the Texas summer. Even when we're sitting in direct sunlight they've handled it pretty well, but that's the only situation where I'd worry much.

I had a regular Sunday afternoon gig several years ago where we played on a patio for three hours in 105+ degree heat. Conditions were tough, but the band was exciting, and lots of fans onstage made it bearable.

Again, if you're in shade you should be fine, regardless what kit you use. In direct sunlight and heat, I'd worry.
 

Toast Tee

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I played a bunch of outdoor shows in S Texas (basically the same weather). Days can be brutal. I've played on floating stages (bars on docks). I was down there for years. I suggest packing your hardware too, as it will burn ya!
Storms would roll in, boats would pull up, the kit I used, and still have use, had no ill effects at all. Everything was covered, but when the storms blew in off the water, things got wet.
Suggest stick wrap, if you don't wrap em. The worst part was being blinded by the never ending sweat.
I had a great time playing those shows.
 

Tornado

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The humidity will eventually destroy your chrome hardware.
 

mkelley

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I played a series of gigs a few years ago in the "Redneck Rivera" of the Florida Panhandle, and it was probably as humid as what you experienced in St Pete. Each place was near the beach and was like playing a gig underwater. My kit did ok, I did have sand in my s*** for a few months despite cleaning all the stands and pedals. Luckily, I used my old beater Premier that was solid enough for playing a handfull of shows but not something I invested heavily in. The pay was far worse than the humidity.
 

Toast Tee

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Did you guys all have cases for your hardware. Day shows in that heat, seriously will burn ya. I made that mistake once.
It doesn't get hotter, or more humid than the Houston/Galveston area. The Gulf water will get in the 90's. I played with the same kit from 2003-2010. I didn't treat the hardware, or kit any different than I would in NY. I had no problems with any part of my setup. Well, I did lube my pedal a bit more often than normal.
I still have the kit, and no signs of any damage at all in terms of rust, or anything like that.
Yamaha hardware, and kit handled it great.
 

Tornado

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Did you guys all have cases for your hardware. Day shows in that heat, seriously will burn ya. I made that mistake once.
It doesn't get hotter, or more humid than the Houston/Galveston area. The Gulf water will get in the 90's. I played with the same kit from 2003-2010. I didn't treat the hardware, or kit any different than I would in NY. I had no problems with any part of my setup. Well, I did lube my pedal a bit more often than normal.
I still have the kit, and no signs of any damage at all in terms of rust, or anything like that.
Yamaha hardware, and kit handled it great.
I'm sure not all hardware is made equal. My early 90s Pearl hardware spent a good amount of time in non-climate controlled places, and got rained on more than a few times in epic Texas thunderstorms. They are they heaviest rust coated stands ever made. The drums themselves remained in amazing shape, lacquer finish not even phased by it.
 

Toast Tee

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I'm sure not all hardware is made equal. My early 90s Pearl hardware spent a good amount of time in non-climate controlled places, and got rained on more than a few times in epic Texas thunderstorms. They are they heaviest rust coated stands ever made. The drums themselves remained in amazing shape, lacquer finish not even phased by it.
Exactly! I did have some boom stands get funky on me, but the kit itself wasn't phases.
What part of Texas? I've spent time in both Florida, and Texas. Dallas gets hotter temp wise, but Houston is like breathing polluted soup. I don't know how people lived there before AC? Florida is similar.
I left Houston, and it was 94. I landed in Vegas at 110, and didn't feel nearly as hot.
 

Tornado

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Exactly! I did have some boom stands get funky on me, but the kit itself wasn't phases.
What part of Texas? I've spent time in both Florida, and Texas. Dallas gets hotter temp wise, but Houston is like breathing polluted soup. I don't know how people lived there before AC? Florida is similar.
I left Houston, and it was 94. I landed in Vegas at 110, and didn't feel nearly as hot.
Dallas area, specifically Denton.
 

Toast Tee

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Dallas area, specifically Denton.
Cool N Texas?
You get nasty heat, hail, tornadoes. Some of the best drummers up that way. A kit that can handle Denton, is bulletproof.
Pearl makes some nice sounding, durable kits. I still practice on a mid level Maple Custom. It's been in a dank basement, flooded, and minimal problems.
In the 90's I had a Maple/Mohagany/Maple kit, I wish I never parted with.
 

shiek_yerbouti

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This pic was from a gig down in Islamorada. The stage is a floating dock that actually rose up considerably higher with the incoming tide by the end of the night. The July Florida heat was brutal. It had just rained an hour before we set up and the carpeting on the drum riser was soaked like a sponge. I almost didn’t set up my kit that night. Finally I just put the tarp down double layered and set up on top of that. Why am I playing on a floating stage in the July Florida heat, which is soaked and has no cover overhead with my precious Ludwigs? It makes no sense at all. It all worked out fine. There were some clouds that rolled in at the end of the night and at the fist tiny drops of rain I got my stuff outta there! I really should have a beater kit for situations like this.

IMG_1010.JPG


Another story...When I was with the Blues Brothers cover band we had a steady monthly gig at a bar that was located on the water. The owner always wanted the band to be set up poolside. I hated playing that gig, because it was another situation where a Florida rain deluge could destroy our equipment. Thankfully that never happened. However, on a Memorial Day day show we did there during the day there was a guy who decided to cannonball into the pool. His big splash landed on the mixer, keys, and a PA speaker. He shorted the equipment out and we had to stop and get things dried up before they would come on again. For about a good 30 minutes there you could tell he knew he was the biggest jerk of the day. Thankfully my kit was out of range for his cannonball! What a d#!$.
 

gwbasley

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I rarely do outdoor gigs...for all of the previously mentioned reasons. I only have one drumset and they are 55 years old...not worth taking a chance for a hundred bucks. Occasionally one of our good customers will hold an outdoor event but we will onlydo it if we are under a bandshell or in a pavillion.

The sun is more directly overhead here in Florida and can be as damaging as the rain...it can buckle wrap, especially a dark co;or. Again, not worth it for a Hondo!
 

ConvertedLudwigPlayer

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We are likely retiring in about 6 years and I have recently been surfing the web for places in beach communities on the Gulf side of FL. I hope to be able to find some people to play with and gig a little. As I pare down the gear I currently have I have been thinking it might be smart to hang onto my Pearl Fiberglass toms (14, 16, 16) and find a bass to play with them thinking they should be great to handle the humidity and old enough that it they get some moisture they will hold their tune just fine.
 
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DanRH

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That’s a gig for a JM kit! I wouldn’t dare take a wrapped kit in that direct sunlight, especially Florida.
 

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