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September 2, 2015

Five Tips for Playing An Outdoor Festival on an Extremely Hot Day

Outdoor concerts are a fun experience for both bands and audiences. Outdoor venues, however, raise their own challenges. Extreme heat is one of them.

Here are our five takeaways from playing in 90+ degree heat earlier this summer.

1. Keep Gear in the Shade

Plan ahead, don’t expect the venue to provide shaded storage for your gear. Guitars left in the sun will face constant tuning issues. Metal gear may become dangerously hot to the touch. Most worrying of all is the potential heat-related failure of amplifiers, the PA, or other essential electronics.

2. Use Tuners With Daylight-Visible Displays

Since you’ll be tuning often — likely under bright conditions — be certain that your tuner’s display is visible under bright daytime conditions.

3. Stay Hydrated

In extreme heat conditions, it’s important to proactively hydrate. Remember, if you’re feeling thirsty, then you’re already dehydrated.

4. Prepare to Sweat

Bring extra towels and bandannas to wipe sweat from your hands, brow, and strings. Drummers should consider additional stick wax, and guitar players should consider strings with higher friction.

PRO TIP FROM SWEDBERG GROVE “Black guitars may radiate more heat than white guitars; guitars made of ice may be best for first set (before guitar melts)”

5. Empathize With the Audience

If you’re hot, the audience is hot too. Use this as an opportunity to connect, and make it a memorable part of the show.


We’ll be playing outdoors at the Hamley Steakhouse in Pendleton, Oregon this Saturday (9/5/15) at 6 PM (where a chance of rain is in the forecast).