Driving for events company

Alright drive’s?

After some fruitless searching on here I’ve resorted to posting instead

I have been offered a job with an events/production company as a driver. I’ve only had my license about 18months
and the majority of my work so far has been supermaket stuff. I’ve been invloved with various bands, P’A companies and
DJ’s over the years but nothing on this scale, and being in band myself this kind of work could be right up my street. Nothing like a bit of rigging to
sooth the soul :slight_smile:

This company has two tours on the road at the moment with one full time driver and two that regularly fill in as and when needed and they are looking for another full timer.

I was wondering if anybody could give me a bit of an insight into the job. I can imagine there would be plenty of waiting around and free time
inbetween driving but my main concern would be how do the shifts pan out to comply with the regs?
If you’re parked up at a venue for two days for example, are those days classed as rest, poa?
Do you start your shift at the same time every day?
Supermarket work is easy, 8-12 every day with regular 11 hour daily rests so I’ve never delved into the world of X amount of time away
and working out your weekly/daily/24hr or split rests so I’m not really sure what to expect on that front. :unamused:
So any help ( if you can ) would be appreciated


You need to ask euromat he is man for concert trucking

Alot the work will be night running to the next venue as well as regular 2 man shifts. Don’t think for one minute the job is easy as said get in touch with euro mat.

Usually you start off as a fill-in driver doing double drive shifts which usually means fly in dive fly home. There is usually a long pecking order at these places too

Thanks guys. It’s not big rock band type of work and apparently no loading or unloading. At the moment the two tours are a Judy Garland show and The Jersey Boys playing at UK theatres.
Night driving isnt a problem for me but thanks anyway. I’ll get intouch with euromat :slight_smile:

Hi Matt,

I did it for several years and I absolutely loved it- the best years of my working life. I’ve done tours for Xerox, the English & Welsh Cricket board, Walt Disney, The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, BP, Unipart, Astra Zeneca, Sky TV and numerous others.

I’ll be the first to admit it’s not for everybody. For a start, you tend to do very little actual driving, and everybody mucks in to do whatever is needed so if you are too proud to mop a floor or go off and get sandwiches for the crew, make the tea/coffee etc then it’s best avoided.

I would find myself doing anything and everything, from assembling an exhibition stand single-handed, handing out gifts and promotional items, going off in a taxi with a jerry can to get diesel for the generator, climbing on the roof of a trailer to put flagpoles up, cooking an English breakfast- always a treat for everybody when 1000 miles away from home. Everybody mucks in, I’ve seen the European General Manager of BP roll up his shirtsleeves and wash down a trailer by hand.

When I totted it up, I think I’d been to 28 different countries on exhibition work, I used to get loads of time off to go sightseeing, sometimes all I had to do was spend half an hour getting the stand ready at the beginning of the day and half an hour closing it down at the end, sometimes I would man the stand and give demonstrations to the punters, there is absolutely no job description and no concept of fixed hours. Although I generally didn’t work a great deal, I have “ghosted” a few times, i.e. worked through the night getting an exhibition ready before opening day.

The most important thing is to be able to get on with other people, you do work as a team and sometimes somebody just doesn’t fit in for one reason or another and they never last very long.

You can be away for a long time, I’ve been away for over three months on tour before, so it’s best to be single with no ties.

As I said above, I loved it, I’m too old for it now, it does require a lot of energy and drive, but I’d go back to the days of event work in a heartbeat!

Hey Matt

I currently do work for a PA/sound company as a truck driver. Mainly music tours.

It’s a great industry to work in but here’s a few bullet points.

  1. To answer your main concern, I’m on rest when parked up. You’ll end up having to do “shunts” without a paper chart or card in. Some venues aren’t able to have you stay in one spot. I’ve been advised to keep any movement to a minimum but if I need to move back or round a corner then keep it slow and controlled. I hate to do it but sometimes playing the jobsworth “sorry mate can’t move it I’m on rest break” card has to be done.

  2. Be prepared for some hard graft. I’m under no reL obligation to unload or load the truck but I do anyway as its good fitness, wakes you up and keeps you in the good books with the crew. You’ll make loads of contacts in this industry and you’re more likely to be remembered by someone if you’re willing to get involved.

  3. Be prepared for hours and hours of nothing. Literally nothing. It’s the same life the guys doing sound and lights. You need to find something to fill your day wether it be watching films, going for a jog, doing yoga, visiting local landmarks or whatever. I’ve seen people who do all sorts of things to kill time. If you were to show your actual driving hours to a trucker in a “normal” job they’d probably laugh at you. The hardest part is fitting rest breaks in. Next time you see a poster for a tour, try and think about where you’d fit in your daily and weekly rests, it’s surprisingly difficult sometimes!

  4. Be a nice person to be around. You could end up on tour with the same people for months, maybe even a year. No matter how you’re feeling or what’s gone on in your personal life, don’t take it out in other people who will already be stressed, tired and ready to snap.

  5. If the opportunity to take a shower presents itself, the take it! Too many venues don’t have working showers. I’ve often gone for a shower after the load in only to be told that the hot water isn’t working.

  6. Can you live in cramped conditions on a budget for a long time? The tour I’m on at the moment started on March 3rd and finishes on July 4th and i usually get home maybe 3-4 days a month. As soon as this tour finishes I jump onto festivals all through the summer then I’m back in tours in September and onwards.

  7. Do your vehicle checks, really regular. If your truck breaks down, has a blow out, gets stopped by DVSA etc then it’s not just a late delivery to a company. It puts the tour at a standstill and completely screws everything up. Think of it like, the sound guys are responsible for getting good sound every night, you’re responsible for the truck being 100% every day and getting half a million quids worth of gear from A to B. To some it’s a lot of pressure. Always be vigilant and make sure you’re locked up.

Any other questions leave them in this thread and I’ll find them. I don’t want to scare you off. As I say it’s a great Job to be in. An acquired lifestyle but if you can do it and do it right then it’s amazing. I’ve met and worked for some great artists, some of which I’ve been a fan of for years. You see a whole new side of how a show works and you’ll make numerous contacts and friends who you’ll always see in the most random places doing the most random gigs.
But yeah, leave any questions in here dude, I’m parked up all day tomorrow so I’ll try to answer.

A mate down the pub starts tomorrow on concert tours, apparently he’s off on the 1 direction tour. Somehow I think he won’t last the tour as he has little class 1 experience, in fact he didn’t drive trucks for a living prior to being offered this job, despite holding a class 1 license for many years. So IF he sticks it out it’ll be interesting to see if he ends up in Europe as he’s never driven there

Excellent answers from both Harry and Hammy :slight_smile: Just what I was hoping to hear

I’ve worked with bands from the age of 17 so I know all about setting up PA and lighting rigs. Shimmying across tri lite running cables,crawled under stages and loading different sized vans and I loved every minute of it. A job got in the way of it about 10 years and had to give it all up, tho I have managed to get back into playing in a band the last few months.

As I said it’s not big rock band type of work, tho I think this company did have the American Eagles tribute tour last year (cant remember the bands name). At the moment it’s UK theatres on both tours. 100+ year old buildings in the middle of City Centres :unamused: and if they’re blindside it’ll get very sweaty in the drivers seat :slight_smile: but I’d be more than happy to muck in with anything. I’ve already done one day for him and that was into Bristol to pick up 26 flight cases with video screens in them. I had a phone call in the week asking if I would like to go full time as he’s getting busier apparently. I’m not sure if he covers Europe tbh. It’ll be interesting to see if pierre’s mate get’s on with Europe, I’ve never even had a passport so that’ll be even more interesting.

I suppose planning route’s and guesstimating where you’re likely to be for breaks and hotels would play a part?
Not like the supermarkets where it’s ‘there you go drive, follow these instructions’.
Is there much or any pressure to be at a venue at a certain time?
Any hassle of Councils or Traffic Warden types on waiting restrictions?

I suppose planning route’s and guesstimating where you’re likely to be for breaks and hotels would play a part?
Not like the supermarkets where it’s ‘there you go drive, follow these instructions’.

The company I work for come up with a driving hours schedule for me. We sit down and come up with a rough/basic plan. Things always change but it’s good to have a guideline. We’re constantly back and forward with emails updating it as sometimes you might only get a reduced daily or reduced weekly rest in so its things like sorting out where and when to compensate. The guys in our office are really on it with the driving hours regulations.

You’ll also start to develop a memory bank of venues. The tour I’m on at the moment, I’ve done 90% of the venues 2 or 3 times before. So I know which ones are accessible overnight, which ones do or don’t have a proper loading dock, which ones require me to unload then move round a corner or whatever to a parking space etc. all handy experience and it helps you to plan things when you know what to expect.

Is there much or any pressure to be at a venue at a certain time?

Most of the time I’ll start driving as soon as the trucks loaded and get straight to the next gig. This isn’t always possible as it could be a gig without a truck parking facility, there could be big show loading out preventing you from getting there, or you might be parking up somewhere else for a weekly rest. It all depends on the venues but 99% of the time I drive straight to the next place overnight.

Any hassle of Councils or Traffic Warden types on waiting restrictions?[/quote]

Surprisingly no! It should be pre arranged by the venue and the tour manager if you need a permit. In the event that you do get a ticket, just accept it and contest it. You’ll probably be at a council run venue anyway and they’ll squash it.

Even in central London, there’s a venue called the Cadogan Hall, and parking outside it involves suspending certain numbered parking bays. I wasn’t 100% sure which one to be in last time so I just parked up and got up early. Saw a traffic warden, explain I was here for the gig and was I in the right place. He asked me just to roll back a few feet so my front wheel was inside the number 2 box and I’d be fine.

Like most things, a good attitude towards a traffic warden or a policeman will always help. But they realise you’re there for the gig, you’re not dumping your car somewhere while you’ll “only be 2 minutes”.

I do it full time. Alot of hanging around for sure. In the last 10 days I have been parked up for 6 days with just a 20 minute drive in between. Then a 2 day drive home. I’m off again on Tuesday to Norway for about 10 days or so round trip, most of that will be parked up.
Sometimes get to stay at hotels at or near the venue, and occasionally meals are provided. It can be a lonely life, so you better be happy in your own company if you work alone for example.My Mrs is beginning to dislike the days alone though.
But I love it. Sod driving around flat out all day in a van! :wink: