Booking #Storytime

Literary festivals: if you’re thinking of booking #Storytime, but you’re not sure how suitable it might be for you, here’s some basic information to get you started. Please read it through and make sure it’s right for your venue and your festival.

Fee: We charge £400 plus travel and, if required, overnight expenses. (This means I can pay the band!)

Venue requirements: We have played in a number of different venues: theatres;  cellar bars; churches, halls, lecture theatres, hotels, etc, and we can usually accommodate most kinds of venue as long as they meet with our basic requirements.

We need a suitable space, with a ceiling height able to accommodate the projector screen (say about 12 feet); a safe and sufficient supply of power and enough room to seat an audience of 50 – 300. The band needs space to set up: kit drums, keyboards, bass guitar, pedals, flute, mikes, PA, lights, projector and screen. (These things often take up more space than organizers were expecting!)

Tech requirements: Unless otherwise arranged, we bring our own PA, lights, projector and screen, which we control from the stage. Sound and lighting support is not necessary. All our equipment is PAT tested.

Stage plan
Stage left rear – Matt (bass, bass pedals, small 3 octave MIDI keyboard)
Front (to left of centre) Joanne (vocals and flute – at lectern – this includes her vocal mic on a gooseneck)
Centre stage rear – Kevin (drums and vocals)
Front (to right of centre)  – Paul (synth, Nord keyboard and Memotron keyboard)
Electrical requirements
Here’s what we will need, but we always carry plenty of 4 and 6 way extensions so unlikely to be a problem. All mains electrical equipment is PAT-tested with a current test certificate.
4 sockets at bass position (bass pedal board, Moog Taurus pedals, MIDI keyboard, music light)
1 socket at front vocal position (music light)
2 sockets at drums position (laptop PC charger, music light)
6 sockets at keyboards position (Nord keyboard, Memotron keyboard, synth, keyboards submixer, keyboard effects, music light)
Channel list is as follows:
1 Bass drum mic
2 Snare/ hi-hat mic
3 Drums overhead left mic
4 Drums overhead right mic
5 Vocal mic Kevin
6 Vocal mic Joanne
7 Vocal mic Paul
8 Flute (on-instrument mic)
9 Bass DI
10 Moog Taurus pedals DI
11 Keyboards DI L (from sub-mixer)
12 Keyboards DI R (from sub-mixer)
Visuals
The entire set is accompanied by a visual presentation of still and moving images.
This is created as a PowerPoint 2016 presentation, stored on 2 laptop PCs (duty and standby backup).
The images are advanced when required by Kevin from behind the drums, using a wireless presentation pointer.
Both laptop PCs can be interfaced to whatever projector is in use by either wired HDMI or wired VGA connection (we use HDMI to our own projector).
Backline
None required – the keyboards, bass and bass pedals are routinely DI’d into the FOH PA and we rely on the stage monitors during performance.

 

Parking, access and safety: We need parking for two vehicles, with access close to the venue for loading and unloading. This takes time; the access point needs to be safe and legal. If the venue is on an upper level, there needs to be access to a goods lift or similar – some of the kit is very heavy. Basic health and safety regulations should apply regarding the band members and their equipment.

Facilities: It would be preferable, though not essential, to have a Green Room, or similar, in which to change before and after the performance, and in which we could safely leave valuables.

Timings: Unloading the equipment, setting up the show, testing and sound checking will take around two hours. This means a two-hour get-in time, and about an hour afterwards to pack up the gear. The set itself takes about one-and-a half hours, with no interval: if you’d like me to sign books, etc. at the end, it’s better to allow for two hours. That means five hours in the space: two to set up; two for the show; one to get out of the building.
Books: I’m more than happy to sign books if audience members bring them: if you’d like them to be on sale at the venue, please contact a local bookshop, or go directly to the publishers (Gollancz) to organize stock.