MAHWAH, N.J. – Indie-rock band Chattaway were the only act at DIY music festival Wynd Fest to fully prepare their performance within the schedule’s designated 12-second timeframe for equipment setup, promoters confirm.
“We’ve been running behind all day because these prick bands can only carry one amp or one drum to the stage at a time,” said lead sound engineer Cory Highland. “But Chattaway was a different story — they seem to actually know what it takes to be on a fest.”
Festival organizer Devon Seitz detailed that, to maximize efficiency, main stage sound technicians have been thoroughly trained to loudly sigh, roll their eyes, and do absolutely nothing at any request from a performer — as well as frantically point at their wrist watches whenever eye contact occurs.
“This is a DIY event, for Christ’s sake! We don’t have the time, nor the resources, for some primadonna who needs a second vocal mic on stage or some special treatment like that,” said Seitz. “That’s why Chattaway are the only band that can be sure they’ll be asked back next year.”
Chattaway bassist Josh Chambers shared his secret to handling tight DIY schedulings with ease.
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“As soon as the band before us is finished, I typically sprint out and clothesline whoever is standing in my spot with my amp head, and kick his gear off the hilt of the stage, so I don’t have to wait for him while he takes his sweet time,” said Chambers. “That’s usually approximately 1.6 seconds — leaving me a full 10.4 to leisurely plug everything in, tune, and adjust my levels.”
Vocalist Shana Edwan later expanded on what sets Chattaway apart from other bands.
“It’s surprising that a lot of bands don’t realize this… but as long as you don’t make a single mistake, expect literally nothing from the sound guy, and make sure absolutely nothing at all goes wrong, ever, setup should take a few seconds, tops,” said Edwan. “Keep that simple hack in mind, and your setup will be a total breeze.”
UPDATE: Halfway through the festival, Seitz was forced to announce that any more bands that ran over setup time would risk having their payment — 5% off official festival merch and drink tickets valid only for club soda — revoked.
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Article by Jamie Lawlor. Photo by Kat Chish.