At Milestone, we had our big Christmas services the week of Christmas: 8 Services at our Main Keller location. Because of so many services, everything we did needed to be repeatable easily and reliably. For a couple months we had planned to do Drummer Boy at the top of service. With the shear number of Drums, people on stage, microphones, in ears, etc, it made the most sense to do this at the top of service so we could set the stage and double check all of the audio inputs and in ears. So that was our plan!
However, if any of you have worked in church long enough, you know things never go as planned. Our first Christmas service was on Wednesday night, and on Monday at 5pm, our team had made the decision to move Drummer boy to the middle of service. Immediately we went into sort of a panic mode of how do we pull this off. We didn’t want to cut any corners. We wanted to mic everything correctly and we didn’t want to fake anything. So we came up with this – The Drum Sled (TM- haha).
Now these pictures were taken after the fact and after we had returned our snares, so the cables and such are a bit nasty. But essentially, we cut a piece of plywood, and pre-placed each drummer station with the drums they needed, the microphones in the correct place, and in ear cables in the right spot. Some of the drums were heavy, so we put the sleds on furniture casters (since we have carpet – we call them “moving men”), and attached a piece of rope through some eyebolts to be able to easily pull the drums on and off stage. This enabled us to load in stage, patch in mics and in-ears in under one minute (under the cover of a video), and clear the stage in under 30 seconds.
The other thing you’ll notice is that marked back stage with bright neon green gaff tape. This is small, but super important. Go get some bright neon gaff tape for backstage organization. With so many things coming on and off stage over so many services, we needed to dedicate back stage space for functionality and for safety.
Last minute changes always come up, no matter what church you serve or work at, and no matter how good your team is at pre-planning. The trick is to be flexible, and always be willing to come up with solutions. Those are the type of team members you want. And our team knocked it out of the park with a simple idea to solve the problem.