Digital DJ Tips member Josh Griffith writes: “It’s that time of the year when we begin to have frequent rain and thunderstorms rolling into our area. How can I weatherproof my DJ gear and sound system set-up in case it starts raining during a show?”
Digital DJ Tips Says:
When booking the gig, first find out if the event is rain or shine and whether it can move indoors. Unless you agree ahead of time, the client probably won’t cover any gear damages. Equipment insurance might be useful here, too. Check the weather beforehand and throughout the event if clouds look ominous.
Unpredictable rain can be worrisome, especially when it comes to the well-being of your favourite gear, so you can opt to bring portable, rugged, secondhand equipment, or use a tablet instead of a laptop. No tablet? That’s alright – laptops can now enjoy the luxury of their very own tent. You could also go the expensive route and buy military-grade weatherproof speakers from Technomad.
A sun-blocking, waterproof tent will be your best friend, especially if you opt for one with side walls. Make sure to pay attention to its weight, as you don’t want it blowing away without a fight: the E-Z UP brand is a good place to start. Also, it’s not a bad idea to invest in tarps of different sizes, along with bungee straps and cable ties to secure them. For a cheap option, a lot of sound engineers and DJs recommend using giant plastic garbage bags that cover the majority of DJ speakers. You might lose a little sound in the high frequencies (and points in the looks department), but it’s better than no sound at all if the speakers end up getting fried.
The approach taken will depend on how bad things get. Slight drizzle and a little wind? Cover everything up and keep going. If it’s a thunderstorm, shut it down and seek shelter. Use a systemised approach, have weatherproof gear nearby, and know breakdown priorities: put away electronics first, then cables, tents, and tables last. This will give you peace of mind when your gig starts looking like the monsoon scene from Jumanji.
How do you protect your gear from bad weather? Any tips we missed? Let us know your thoughts below!