Editorial : Slaves state that they don’t post set times, are they right to do so?

As a live music promoter this subject seems to come up a lot and its been highlighted again recently after Slaves posted this post on twitter, its been shared around and stirred the pot again, all interesting stuff.

So…..The benefits of not posting set times to a live show are based on the premise that if you don’t know what times the band are on you will get down early to make sure you don’t miss them.


The negatives of this could be that music loving people that travel to gigs on public transport need to plan their journeys and like to know the times the band are due on so they can plan trains / bus’s home etc.

Both valid reasons, in reality though and I’m talking purely from my own experiences as a gig goer and a Live event manager is that the general public will just do what they want to do what ever way you choose.

Not advertising set times hasn’t in my experience brought more people through thorough the door any earlier. On the unsigned scene the people coming to gigs are usually mates of the bands, the bands tend to tell them the times they are on anyway. Bands should always encourage their fans/friends/family that are coming to see them to come early and catch the support acts. I totally wish more bands would do this but again in reality it doesn’t seem to happen.


Advertising the set times does have a knock on effect. You see that the band are on at 9pm you head into town early for 6/7pm, nip for a pint before, it gets to 8pm and you think about heading on to the gig with the good intention of watching the support band, but daft Dave has just rocked up with another round of shots so you think fuck it ill just get there for 9pm as you know you won’t miss the band and you can enjoy those silly little green drink things. Maybe that’s just me.

So what do we do? I don’t have the answers, Its good to debate these things and come to some kind of unwritten rule on what is best to do for all parties.

So what do you this guys? Debate below in the comments or on our facebook post and let’s get to the bottom of it.

[mc4wp_form id="331"]


  1. Martin Clark

    November 18, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    As someone who’s been to more gigs this year than there have been days so far (and who always watches the supports unless I know from previous experience or online research that they’re “not for me”) this is all very well up to a point – but I always like to know:-

    a) What time doors will actually open (at some venues this can be 15/20/30 or more minutes after the time stated on the ticket). If it’s wet or cold this isn’t fair on the customers.

    b) What time the first band will take to the stage? It shouldn’t be necessary to stand around for an hour before there is any live music at all (as is often the case at an otherwise superb well-known venue near me).

    c) What time will the live music end? People often need to know whether they can catch last buses or trains.

    It’s not unknown for me (and others I know) to attend two gigs in one night. All set times are essential on these occasions.

    Finally there’s many a gig in Manchester (and to a lesser extent Leeds and Nottingham) I would have liked to have attended (and been willing to buy an advance ticket for) had I known for sure that it was an early curfew (to facilitate last trains back to Sheffield). It’s annoying in these cases to subsequently read posted set times stating that the headliner is on at 9:15 – when it’s either too late to get over the hills or the show has already sold out.

  2. Carl Maloney

    Carl Maloney

    November 18, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    well said Martin mate, If only there were more commited gig goers in the world like you.

  3. Martin Clark

    November 19, 2018 at 1:32 am

    Thanks Carl. I hate to say this but given the strange lack of enthusiasm for free gigs (whereas I’ve just returned from a well-filled Leadmill Main Room – with all age groups well represented – for Shame) it overall has to be better to provide stage times to encourage friends & family to attend at least for part of the evening. Given the “collective inertia” affecting humans in ‘groups of more than one it could take until halfway through the next band’s set for the said F+F to move on – and in the meantime (if they stop yakking at each other for five minutes) they might realise the next band is actually pretty good.

    Tonight was my 370th gig of the year. I genuinely appreciate stage times being provided and applaud promoters such as yourself who do this. I want to check out new bands and stage times help me to do this to the maximum possible extent. I’m lucky enough to be able to afford to buy two (normal ‘small gig priced’ i.e. less than a tenner) gig tickets if I want to watch two or more bands at different gigs so why make it so difficult for me to do this.

    Would any of the promoters, bands or gig goers supporting Slaves’ unhelpful position accept the following hypothetical situation/ You buy a ticket to be conveyed by train between Sheffield and Manchester. The train operators tell you to turn up at 7:30pm but we’ll only allow you to make the journey concerned when we feel like it. The guard for the train you hoped to catch is still familiarising his or herself with the equipment so you may just have to stand around outside in the pissing rain (not in a waiting room) while we finish off whatever we need to do. Then go for a chat and a fag outside before condescending to allow paying customers in. I know that the railways are shit in many respects but even they wouldn’t have the same sort of callous disregard for paying customers that many (by no means all!!) venues and promoters seem to have.

    Post door times and stick to them. Post the time the first band will take to the stage – and stick to it (not the all too common “give it an extra 15 minutes in case more people come in” and let people know the latest time the gig will finish. We don’t all drive and last trains & buses can leave even major cities before 11pm.

    It’s no wonder most people don’t go to gigs these days. Help us out please.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Popular

To Top