Dark Suites for Sound Check & Event

Q:

How do arenas handle keeping it dark in the suites during sound check for artists and when the suites themselves are dark for the event?
 

A:

This is one of the things that every arena inevitably struggles with. At our arena, we have our suite TVs set up on an override system that allows us to cut power to them during an event if need be. We only do this during very strict shows. For most of our shows, our service team makes a lap around the suite levels to dim lights and remind guests that TVs are not to be on during the performance. We have teams on the floor to help us watch for this during the show.

As far as sound checks that are blacked out, our Event Services team does a great job of communicating with show promoters to warn our catering teams ahead of time. That helps them make arrangements to do what can be done ahead of time (drinks, snacks, etc.). In turn, this saves them time between the end of sound check and the opening of doors to arrange the fresh food.

A:

When an artist requests the suites to be dark during a show, we have our suite attendants shut the lights off at the start, and we have a flyer/tent card in all suites communicating the message. Our ops powers off all TVs at the start, and we hope that the flyer doesn’t encourage suite guests to turn them back on.

We pick and choose our battles with this, and typically don’t have an issue with them being turned on again. If a suite guest complains about this, we will encourage them to keep only one TV on, which is a smaller TV close to the entryway door and not the three main large TVs that we have closer to the suite’s seats/stadium bowl.

A:

At our arena, we have small blue lights for all concerts during sound checks and the show itself. The promoters are used to them being on, similar to fire exit lighting. The suite attendants also have tiny plug-in night lights.

A:

At our arena, we have doors on the suites that remain closed, and we have a loge area as well where we close blackout curtains. Lights and TVs are all remotely controlled by one point of service and shut off as well during sound checks.