If you have ever played a festival or multi-artist event where you weren’t the headliner, then you have most likely experienced plug & play. As an artist manager, I prepare our artists for most scenarios they will encounter ahead of time. Even so, its interesting to see the stressed look on their face when they realize they aren’t getting a soundcheck.
Here is a little advise that should go a long ways in any artist career. When you are booked for a festival or multi-artist event, plan for that very scenario. Most of those scenarios only allow for shorter sets. If you can pull off your set without a stage full of musicians, then do so. Without a sound check, do you really think a five piece band will sound great? If you have some unusual piece of gear you normally play with, can you play without it? Don’t throw anything at the production crew that is out of the norm. If you do take the stage with a full band and something is whacked with the sound, are you prepared to instantly transition to an acoustic set? You should be. Making that quick transition could turn a potentially disastrous show into a great set.