What is BACKLINE?

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I tend to think of it as simply rental gear. I do a bit of stagehand work for a couple of local music festivals (one I help organize and am on the board of) and any rental amps, keyboards, drums, etc are considered "backline." If it's something that a venue owns than it's "house" equipment...
 

Markkuliini

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Backline and house kits often mean 2 bit different things. Although I hear them mixed up so the time.

House kit = drum kit that the venue/restaurant etc. own, and the kit often sits at the stage all the time. Quality-wise it can be anything, often misused, missing parts etc. On cruise ships these can actually be pretty decent and in good shape.

Backline kit = a rented kit on a festival or event, that's provided by a rental company or sometimes by a local drummer who happens to have that exact kit that the artist is requesting.
Quality-wise is often high end, and usually in good working order.

Weirdest backline kit experience was on smallish town festival in Latvia. They had 7 backline kits to choose from, all mid to high end, complete with cymbals and hardware. Everything in top shape.
All the bands could choose one, the kits were build on risers during the day, and just rolled on and off stage to keep change overs as short as possible. It was pretty cool experience, I didn't know what to expect playing in Latvia.
 
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Markkuliini

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I tend to think of it as simply rental gear. I do a bit of stagehand work for a couple of local music festivals (one I help organize and am on the board of) and any rental amps, keyboards, drums, etc are considered "backline." If it's something that a venue owns than it's "house" equipment...
Beat me to it. Lol.
 

bolweevil

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The singer in one of my bands uses the term 'backline' to mean the headline band sets up drums and amps closer to the back of the stage, then the opening band sets up drums and amps in front of that. Whatever the term, it's nice when we're the closer to already have the kit set up so there's no rush between bands.
 


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