IATSE Local 18 primarily works live events, so we’ll describe a typical concert or touring theatre production. Members arrive at the venue early in the day to unload the trucks carrying the touring production’s equipment. All the workers are split into individual crews handling various components of the production – set, lights, wardrobe, etc. The crews unpack the equipment, then begin to construct the temporary set or staging. Lights and speakers are hung and costumes and props are laid out according to the directions of the crew heads traveling with the production. Once the full “package” of touring equipment has been installed, the “load-in” section of the job is complete and many crew members go home.
Depending on the production, several members will remain to actually operate the concert or show. Our members may run the sound or light consoles, manage actors’ wardrobes, operate spotlights, or perform numerous other tasks necessary for the production.
Once the concert is over or the touring show has completed its run, the “load-out” process begins. Many members return to take down the temporary equipment and pack it back up in touring road-cases. Depending on the size of the production, this can take as little as two hours or as long as two or three days. But in the end, the equipment is all returned to the tour’s trucks, and IATSE local members say goodbye to the touring crew as they head to their next destination.