Helpful Harp Hint Tuesday: Outdoor Complications
As I sat in a pavilion by a lake in the wind on Saturday, I was making a list of all the complications brought about by outdoor events. I'd forgotten my hat, thinking I'd have the shelter of the pavilion, forgetting that the hat helps with keep hair out of my eyes in the wind.
1) Set up surface: Ask your client if there's a level surface for your set up. Whether you take a pedal harp or lever harp out, a level surface is important.
2) Shade: Harps don't react kindly to the heat of direct sun. Include something in your contract that allows you to set up in shade.
3) Wind: Wind complicates life.
Music clips: Be sure to have wind clips or clothes pins to hold your music in place.
Choose music with no page turns because wind clips are going to make turning pages quickly impossible.
Set up with your harp with the strings out of the wind so that the strings don't hum with vibrations set in motion by the wind.
4) Temperature: Both high heat and extreme cold make it difficult to perform and difficult to keep a harp in tune. Consider including a temperature range in your written agreement.
5) Hat: Hats are handy for shade, especially early or late in the day when the sun is low in the sky. They're also handy for keeping hair from getting in your eyes.
6) Bug spray: Depending on your location and time of year, bugs can be a problem. If you're allergic to bee stings, prepare for that too.
7) Rain: Do you know your clients plan for rain? Be sure to ask. Not every event has an alternate plan. You need to know what happens in the event of severe weather and your written agreement needs to protect you and your harp.
8) Availability of the site: Some sites rent for relatively short periods of time. You need to know when you'll have access for set up.
If you're ready for the complications of an outdoor event, you'll be more likely to enjoy the event as much as your client and their guests. A little planning will minimize complications.