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Setting Up Stage with Cable Management

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To give a memorable performance on stage, several types of equipment are usually needed, and this is where cables and their efficient management come in.

A disorganized or cluttered stage can be very annoying for everyone involved. While it sends the wrong message and gives a bad first impression to the audience, similar to the feelings we would get when we walk into a dirty workplace, a clean stage is not just so much better to look at and work with, but it also enhances productivity and the overall experience. Here are a few professional tips that should help with managing and clearing up any stage should the need ever arise.

Zone Establishment

What this entails is the organization of different equipment into different sections. This is not limited to equipment alone as instruments and cables should also have their own defined regions. This could be as easy as dividing the stage into two or three zones, for example, right, left, upstage, downstage, etc.

Simply put, you have to figure out all the different parts and elements and make sure they are all in different places/zones. Professionals recommend the usage of Stage Plots/Stage Layouts for this. A stage plot is essentially a map of the stage – and this shows everyone where everything should be.

Minimize the Amount of Cables Downstage

As much as possible, cables should run from the back of the stage to the front, as having a lot of cables at the front of the stage (downstage), is what leads to clutter. If it can not be avoided, it is best to aggregate all the cables into a single run and take it as far downstage as possible.

Minimize Cable Runs

This begins with making sure that all cables in the same zone or region follow the same path in order to avoid interference and clutter. Ensure cables from one zone don’t cross into other zones with the usage of wireless equipment recommended where possible. A very useful tool that helps in this regard is Velcro. Velcro cable wraps can assemble all the cables going from or to different zones into a single run. This is advised when dealing with equipment that possess eight or more sources; for example: drums. Using Velcro fasteners with your drums would create a single cable run back to the main wires and keep individual cable runs contained.

Floor Pockets/Boxes

This applies to professionals who operate out of a permanent facility; floor pockets are a way to eliminate clutter by burying the grouped cables underneath the stage.

Cleanliness

This is pretty self-explanatory. It gets hard to keep things looking efficient and organized on stage. Despite this, one should always try as best as possible to keep a neat stage when there is a surplus of cables. Cables should be neatly coiled at the source.

Overall the stage should be kept clean as it is a reflection of all who use and work with it.

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