The Heat Is On (Keeping Cool While Gigging)

Cool, loose clothing
Promark Active Grip sticks (wow they work great when it's hot)
We have been doing outdoor gigs for decades in the heat and humidity. Lots of good advice here; set up slowly, drink lots of liquids, have a large fan, towels, no booze, dress for the weather, and try not to wear yourself out playing. I frequently go in the car or inside a building on break with the A/C blasting to cool off. Last Sunday, we did a pool gig, and it was 90 degrees and humid. I wanted to jump in the pool the whole time.

I can remember gigs when it was over 100 degrees with saturation humidity. Those were torture. One was a town park gig, and the rec director didn't even provide water. It was 103 in the shade. We learned to bring our own water from then on. Twenty-five people showed up, and they all congregated in one shady spot.
Besides all the aforementioned, and alluded to by Bermuda, is bring a fan whether indoors or out. I purchased one of these and it's a godsend and compact enough to fit in a hardware bag. It's hybrid powered so you can either power it by a 18V battery or plugged in. I have a slightly older version of it that is 2-speed. Works extremely well perched on the floor adjacent to the throne.

This is the big brother:

Spring for a higher amp-hour battery like a 4ah or 6ah, it'll last you all gig on the highest speed. I believe (as of this writing in July 2023) Home Depot is still doing Ryobi Days which can save you some dough on their fans and batteries!
As others have said, Gatorade is awesome. I've been bringing one to gigs for some time now, and if it's an outdoor gig I'll bring a few. I have also kept a small fan in my gear box for years now, it tilts, and move enuf air to make a difference.

I try and wear short sleeved button up style shirts rather than tshirts, I find them to be cooler. Shorts if possible. Indoor or out, in the hot summer months.

I also read about milk being better at hydrating than water, tho I would never drink it at a gig. But the day/night before, and earlier the day of, if possible.

As for alcohol...well...I know it's best not to. In most cases this is true, let alone hot outdoor gigs. But damn, a cold beer or twisted tea is awfully good on a hot day. I still keep the Gatorade going, too. (It helps, anytime I'm drinking.) I usually try to hold off till at least halfway thru, and only have one till the show is over. And not every time, either.

What I keep forgetting is to bring a towel! I've played some gigs where friends there took small towels and dunked them in cold water, and gave them to me to put on my neck, in between sets, and even to wipe my face between songs. That's something to think about having on hand if it's gonna be a particularly hot day.
Well timed thread - definitely going to utilize a lot of this. I've got a run through TX and up through the Bible Belt in a couple weeks and really hoping that the heat wave down there is manageable. Going to put a ton of these to good use.

Also picked up some tricks from living in the high desert:

- Linen clothes are great when it's hot out
- Swim trunks for commute/load in. That mesh keeps things cooler and dryer
- Long sleeved white shirts that breathe (linen). Had a crew of landscapers flip me shit in Spanish one day for wearing a tank top and sweating my ass off. All those dudes wear light colored long sleeve crew necks all summer long. Get something that is made to be sweated in so that airflow can regulate your temp.
-Take a decent sized shammy cloth, soak it in water, wring it out, and then throw it on ice. When it's time to play drape it over your neck. They'll usually stay cool for 25-30min. If you can bring your cooler side stage you can swap em out halfway.
-Breathable underwear. If not to stay cool, then to make sure that the smell of your bits doesn't reach Defcon 5.
Get yourself a serious blower-style fan like this. I've played many gigs above 100°, and this is the only fan that will do the job. Trust me. Normal fans aren't gonna cut it for hot days like that.

Drink plenty of water . Potassium/calcium tablets will steer you away from the possibility of kidney stones and/or severe leg cramps in the middle of the night . Freeze a plastic bag of wet facecloths put in your cooler . Around the neck works good . Do the same with terrycloth headbands .A big golf umbrella on a spare cymbal or mic stand in case you have the misfortune of performing on the ' frying pan ' . As mentioned a battery powered personal fan too .
In regional gigs over here, we just can't play outdoors in summer......

Towns record 50 to 51 degrees Celsius in daylight.

The small wheatbelt farming towns are just deadly.

Night gigs outdoors are a better option for sure.

Playing on a riser looking out over some farmer's wheat crop with a few floodlights on the stage with kangaroos hoping around is pretty awesome.
I'm on the gulf coast, so the breeze helps, and especially playing under a roof or awning. Had my first paying gig on Friday in over a year and felt some endurance issues. But I had a terrible day just prior, driving 500 miles to go to a funeral. Also it didn't help that I was late to the gig ("Avoid Tolls" option was on in Google Maps) and so was stressed out getting setup.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. It's full on marina gig season right now. Four hour shows are the norm.
Here in southern AZ, festivals are on & while the patios are covered with misters going, it's still 100+ in the shade.
I have a 64oz jug and a high speed fan next to me & I know that it's just part of the deal.
Won't last long & then we'll be back in the cooler times for fall shows.
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Take a decent sized shammy cloth, soak it in water, wring it out, and then throw it on ice. When it's time to play drape it over your neck. They'll usually stay cool for 25-30min. If you can bring your cooler side stage you can swap em out halfway.
I don't gig, but where i work it can get freaking hot. I put mine in the freezer and shape it in a U that fits my neck....and have one in the freeze to switch out.
I swear, it cools your blood going through the jugular! You can feel it cooling your body.
Harbor Freight used to sell these little cloths in a tube. Good stuff!
I found the opposite-of 'usual' thought --Cover yourself----- to be true. Almost long sleeves- cover---

think of the Desert .. Arabs in the desert right? Full length flowing gowns; keep skin covered;
keeps body cool.

Stay tuned for more interesting tidbits
while I wait for a used brass Gretsch 5/14 to pop up on Reverb for under $200
should be any second now..
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