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Anyone ever play a Tough Mudders event?


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We booked two days of doing one of these events coming up in a couple of weeks. Decent money (not spectacular) but it's for two days (we rarely do a two-day gig anymore) and it was a weekend we weren't likely to book on such short notice anyway.

 

Should be easy, if a bit strange for us, as these certainly aren't going to be dancing/partying crowds. But I imagine we'll still have fun. Tough hours though. 10 AM - 3PM. My voice doesn't really work that early in the AM!

 

Anyone ever play one of these before?

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We booked two days of doing one of these events coming up in a couple of weeks. Decent money (not spectacular) but it's for two days (we rarely do a two-day gig anymore) and it was a weekend we weren't likely to book on such short notice anyway.


Should be easy, if a bit strange for us, as these certainly aren't going to be dancing/partying crowds. But I imagine we'll still have fun. Tough hours though. 10 AM - 3PM. My voice doesn't really work that early in the AM!


Anyone ever play one of these before?

 

 

I had to look up what it was. I'll be interested to hear what you think it was like.

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I had to look up what it was. I'll be interested to hear what you think it was like.

 

I don't expect much audience interaction from people competing in an obsticle course :lol:

 

We've done similar things in the past where we're the band playing at the end of bike race or running event or something. I expect it will be something similar although...who knows? What's interesting is they typically have a band playing at all these events and they are willing to pay decently ($2500 a day) so I'm thinking they must find SOME sort of value to having a live band there besides just being background music?

 

Who knows? I'll report back. Should be interesting one way or another. What will be most interesting if we end up hating playing the first day...how will the 2nd day go for us?

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....so I'm thinking they must find SOME sort of value to having a live band there besides just being background music?

 

 

My bet is that for every actual participant - there's an entourage of 2-3 people (wives, kids, girlfriends, parents, buddies) who are stuck standing around somewhere near the event's center of mass - waiting while their contestant is out negotiating the obstacle course. Given that the average time to complete the obstacle course is approximately three hours - that's alot of time for the entourage to kill.

 

With entry fees ranging from $90 to $200 - these events have a budget to work with. It's no surprise that they're hiring live music to the mix for a little more "high energy". Keeping the participants AND the entourage happy makes for more repeat customers and successively bigger events.

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From someone "in the field," let me propose this: be ready for minimal crowd interaction, but VERY appreciative people. As a mountain biker, runner, and idiot who loves things like the Spartan Race, you're not the main focus here, but every one of us stretching out in the grass and drinking that post-race beer appreciates the band. Talk up how awesome the competitors are, give them huge props, and know that they're tired from, you know, the Tough Mudder and don't want to dance. But we all love the background music! Consider it a bad-ass jam for your band and rip it up - more rock than pop. :)

 

Here's me two weeks ago at the Spartan Race in Amesbury, MA.

 

533003_2297402090969_1395843217_n.jpg

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Played the Mudder Dash in Houston back in March... it was pretty crazy but also sometimes quite lame. The crowd kinda sorta gave a {censored} sometimes, but mostly they didn't care... I was happy to have the honor of playing my own electric guitar version of the Star Spangled Banner (way more "in" than Hendrix's interpretation). And it was hotter than hell. I was in the shade most of the time and I still got sunburned. But when people did come up they were complimentary. It was exciting, as always, to get to play on a larger stage to a bigger crowd through a truly "pro" PA system, but it would have been more fun had the event been organized better and the music been either at the start or finish - the course was a little too spread out for it to fully be the "soundtrack" of the event, and mostly people were just walking by the stage instead of hanging out.

 

Good luck! Hydrate and wear sunscreen!

Brian V.

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We played a Warrior Dash, which was the same kind of thing. The stage was right at the finish line, next to a bunch of tables holding more bananas than I've ever seen in one place.

 

It was pretty much like what everyone else said. Big crowd, pro PA, lots of non-participants hanging out listening to us. People weren't going nuts, but they enjoyed hearing us, and we got lots of compliments.

 

This event had multiple bands over two days, starting around 11 a.m. and going into the evening. Each slot consisted of two 1-hour sets with an hour break between them. We played one slot each day. It was in our home area, so we commuted.

 

For our part, we had a great time. We've been hoping they'll have another one close by.

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We played a Warrior Dash, which was the same kind of thing. The stage was right at the finish line, next to a bunch of tables holding more bananas than I've ever seen in one place.


It was pretty much like what everyone else said. Big crowd, pro PA, lots of non-participants hanging out listening to us. People weren't going nuts, but they enjoyed hearing us, and we got lots of compliments.


This event had multiple bands over two days, starting around 11 a.m. and going into the evening. Each slot consisted of two 1-hour sets with an hour break between them. We played one slot each day. It was in our home area, so we commuted.


For our part, we had a great time. We've been hoping they'll have another one close by.

 

 

Warrior Dash is certainly similar to, but not the same as Tough Mudder. As I understand it (having worked on a couple of contracts for these extreme races), Tough Mudder is a more "extreme" event. Those who have actually participated may have a more informed perspective.

 

I have attended a couple of Warrior Dash events hosted by one of my clients. Great fun, and a cool event. From my limited anecdotal experience, the music was definitely part of the "vibe," but secondary to the event itself. The participants are usually exhausted (probably more so at a Tough Mudder event?), and mostly not in the dance/party mode. The spectators are usually there to support the participants, so likewise are not dancing/partying to any great extent.

 

But it is a cool event, with a great communal vibe, and should be a fun gig.

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Gig report:

 

Overall, it was a fun gig to do---except for one factor. It was unbearably hot those two days. Near 100 degrees. I can't believe those people did that stuff for 4 hours in that sort of heat! And the stage was situated as such that the sun kept creeping over the stage as the day wore on. By the end we're all backed up on the drum riser until the point came where even that didn't keep us in the shade. I shut down my keyboards for the last set and just called out all songs I play guitar on for fear they would shut down. The girls took turns working the front of the stage and getting people involved, but that was just some crazy/stupid heat to play in.

 

But the event was cool. Several thousand people in attendance over the two days and, like the above post says, the music is there mainly to add to the energy and the vibe. But they have a GREAT energy at the event and kudos to the organization for understanding the value live music brings to such an event. We were treated well, and the gig was easy (heat issues aside), and it was fun to go out in bit more of "concert" mode for a change. Nice big stage, plenty of power. Hopefully they take some of our advice about checking out the trajectory of the sun when setting up the venue. A lot goes into pulling those events off and they run them at two-a-week most weeks. Good organization. We'll be happy to play for them again in the future if they want our services.

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Very glad to hear it went well, David - and you can feel free to make the "plus, the scenery is AWESOME" comment.
;)

 

:lol: Yes, I should have added that. Hundreds of young, fit beautiful girls there. And the girls were commenting on all the great eye-candy they got to see as well, so I should probably include the young, fit beautiful boys in that too....

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Welcome back David.

 

Thanks. I've just been taking some time off because I've been super-busy with my day-gig and the band's been busy lately as well. And my wife was complaining I was spending too much time on my computer so I told her I wouldn't. :lol: I've got some unexpected free time this morning as I'm waiting on a car repair :mad: so I thought I'd check in for a bit. I'll probably be gone for most of the rest of the month (at least) until things slow down a bit.

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