If you or your community are hosting an outdoor musical event, one thing to consider is what type of outdoor stage to use for the event. One option is to build a stage and a second option is to rent a professional mobile stage. However, a third and much less expensive option is to turn a flatbed trailer into a stage. Flatbed trailers are sturdy and are exactly the right height and width to make a temporary stage.
Things You'll Need:
- Cinder Blocks
- Plastic Tarps
- Stage Lights
Pick a spot. Choose one with high visibility for the audience. Two other things to consider are the power source and a level surface. It takes a lot of electrical current to run a sound system as well as the amps and equipment on stage. The trailer bed needs to be close to a reliable power source. The trailer also needs to be level and flat to provide a secure stage for the musicians and performers.
Place cinder blocks around the wheels of the trailer. Place one block in front of each of the wheels and one cinder block behind each of the wheels. Amplifiers and speakers can easily tumble and fall if the trailer moves during the performance.
Build steps and a ramp on one side of the stage. Steps and a ramp make it much easier for the sound crew and the musicians to do their jobs. Steps may be improvised with cinder blocks, plywood or other pieces of lumber. The number of steps depends upon the height of the flatbed trailer. The steps can be made by simply stacking cinder blocks together; however, the essential thing is that the steps and ramp are safe and secure.
Place a plastic tarp across the top of the trailer. A tarp is not essential but it does protect the performers and the equipment in case of rain or from the sun.
Set up stage lights on the stage. Stage lights are available at music stores and generally come with portable stands. Place one stand on the left side of the stage and one stand on the right side. The portable stands have three legs that unfold into a tripod shape. Unfold the legs. Attach the lights to the top of the stand facing the musicians. The stands have a center pole that moves up and down. Raise the pole to the appropriate height. Tighten the bracket to secure the center pole. Adjust the lights to the desired angle.
Robert Russell began writing online professionally in 2010. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is currently working on a book project exploring the relationship between art, entertainment and culture. He is the guitar player for the nationally touring cajun/zydeco band Creole Stomp. Russell travels with his laptop and writes many of his articles on the road between gigs.