Dismantling the PA System After the Show

Take-down (also known as breakdown, also known as ‘striking’, also known as de-rig...) is much like set-up in reverse, but the set-up order (hardware first, cables last) is often followed when taking down: it is much easier to clear cables away from an empty stage, as cable-ends are otherwise easily trapped under or behind microphone stands, monitors, or any other object that happens to be there. Before you start:

If cables have been taped down the tape should also be lifted before the cables are pulled up, as pulling a cable from the floor with tape still on it usually results in tape getting wrapped round the cable, making it difficult to remove. DO NOT pull on trapped cables, which can damage the cables or cause things to topple.

Although the sound crew can usually start to clear the stage very soon after the performance has finished, the performers may need to clear their own equipment first. Similarly, taking down equipment in the auditorium may be delayed if the audience does not leave (where, for example, the bar is in the auditorium, and remains open for an hour after the performance has finished).

As with set-up, take-down will proceed more quickly if the house lights and stage work lamps remain on throughout.

Our own take-down can usually be completed in about 90 minutes (shorter times are likely to require extra crew). If you are hiring a manned system from us, please allow for this in arranging load-out and lock-up times.

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