This weekend is the first contest in the history of the IPA (Indiana Percussion Association) that requires an outside warm-up. Those groups who have performed in Dayton for WGI Championships or participate in circuits in warmer regions of the country know this is a normal process. The outside extended warm-up can be very beneficial to preparing for the large arena environment. But for those who have not gone through that process before, here are some tips to make sure the experience is smooth and beneficial for everyone.
- KEEP A VERY CLOSE EYE ON THE WEATHER. Be prepared for cold, rain, wind and heat.
- Take jackets and coats to warm-up. Have a parent push around a large plastic trash can for the kids to ditch their jackets as they enter the arena. They might not need them, but it’s better to be prepared. Standing in a parking lot freezing before your final performance isn’t going to help you have a relaxed, confident performance.
- Be prepared to change on the bus. If you aren’t showing up in uniform, don’t plan to go inside to change. This may be a possibility, but it is usually much easier and quicker to take turns changing on the bus.
- Have plenty of plastic tarps. We all hope for perfect weather conditions on contest days, especially when the warm-up is outside, but that isn’t always the case and its best to prepare for inclement weather. Don’t just bring a couple huge tarps to park the equipment under. Bring smaller tarps that can stay over the electronics carts while rolling from warm-up to the arena.
- Have plenty of bungee cords. You’ll need those tarps strapped down if it’s windy!
- If it’ll be sunny and warm, make sure to bring water. An hour in the sun, on asphalt, can wear the students down quickly.
- If having your electronics on during warm-up is important to you, TAKE A GENERATOR. There might be power available in the warm-up lot, but don’t plan for it.
- Keep electronics dry at all costs!
- Be aware of the Inclement Weather/Tent Schedule and use your time in the tent if you have any concerns about the weather. This includes very cold and/or windy conditions.
- Finally, directors and staff – Since this is the first time for everyone at this venue, get there early and take the time to walk the flow in and out of the arena so you’re familiar with it. Also, allow enough time for your student performers to go in and watch a couple groups so they can get the feel for the arena, along with the on and off the floor flow.
Good luck to everyone performing in the IPA State Championships this weekend!