At this point, it’s time to join the crew on stage. The stage set is a big deal because it’s what you’re presenting to the audience. At this point, it will be a hive of action: The monitor engineer will be running out cables to his monitors, and the in-house engineers will be looking around for instructions, as long as they haven’t all gone to the crew room for tea and biscuits. The backline techs will be busy building all the backline and other paraphernalia that has to be set up. You’ll probably be shouting at the lighting techs because they’ve decided to put MAC500s on flightcases that are sitting right on top of all your mic cables, and the production manager will be nowhere to be seen. Somehow, though, the whole team will come together and make the stage look wonderful.
The stage plan and channel list you’ve painstakingly put together will come in very handy now; they help your local sound techs and crew place all the articles you’ve requested on stage and in the right place. All your risers will be in position, your satellite mic boxes will be run out, and hopefully you’ll have microphones on stands next to the instruments you want them on, ready for you to place them. (Of course, this isn’t always the case.) Try to keep everything as neat and tidy as you can; that way, everything will look professional, you’ll know where everything is going, and, most importantly, when the lights go out for showtime, no one is going to be tripping over anything.