What is backline gear?

When a band goes on tour, they are carrying their entire lives from city to city. In addition to clothes, hair product, crossword puzzles and loads of snacks, they’re hauling their gear!

For the majority of touring bands out there without the luxury of their own crew, every night is the same routine: stop at the nearest Taco Bell for some cheap grub, get to the venue, unload all of the gear into a dark room backstage with little to no room to move, get the drums out of the road cases and mostly set up, get the guitars out, tune them up and get them ready to rock! Once the band before yours plays that last epic face melting song and ends their set, that’s when the fun really begins. They want off the stage, and you want on… with little to no room to maneuver.

Now imagine if this was a festival, or a gig that had a more than just two bands on the lineup each night. Visualize the sheer chaos behind that stage when one band is backing up their trailer to unload, another is trying to pull out to leave, another is onstage about to wrap up their set, all while another is rushing to set up their gear behind stage! It can be a complete mess.

Not to fear, backline gear is here! In order to make these hectic situations easier for both the bands and performance spaces, many venues provide a standard set of gear. This usually includes the pieces that are most frustrating to move on and off the stage – drum sets, bass amps and sometimes guitar amps. All of this gear stays mic’d up and dialed in with the venue’s sound system, making it a lot easier to plug in, have a quick sound check and get rocking!  With backline, all the band needs to unload are their guitars, basses and drum sticks, which are much easier to manage!

The goal of providing backline is to make life easier for everyone. Of course, if a guitarist really wants to use his or her own amp, the venue most likely will accommodate their request and make it happen.

Backline gear is not to be confused with the Sound System, which includes PA speakers, monitoring systems, power amps, mixers, microphones, microphone stands and all of the cables and connectors. Most venues that host live music will provide this.

This is the second year Full Compass is providing the backline gear for the “World’s Largest Outdoor Music Festival” – Summerfest! Because we sell so many different types of gear, it’s a great opportunity to put it all on the stage together, as it’s meant to be!

This year, you can see gear provided by Full Compass from some of the world’s leading brands on the stages throughout the festival. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter  and Instagram for specifics, and how you can get your hands on gear played by countless big name bands after Summerfest is over!

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