As anyone can attest after attending a major Country artist’s show, live stage production is phenomenally complex and sophisticated, a many-headed monster with lots of moving parts that take an army of personnel to control. Aesthetics, logistics and economics are the drivers of production design, so regardless of the visions any particular tour wants to explore, these key considerations apply to bringing those visions to life.
Carrie Underwood sings during her “The Play On Tour” in 2010.
Photo Credit: Matthew Baron
Production is a Team Effort
From concept to implementation, production design involves lots of skilled personnel from many disciplines, including the artist and artist’s management, production manager and stage manager and the production designer. Each participant, in turn, has a support crew, so coordination between all parties is critical.
At the head of the team is the production designer, who is ultimately responsible for coming up with a design that not only presents the artist and his or her music in the best possible light, but can also carry out that mandate from night to night, venue to venue, even country to country, for months at a time. It is vital to choose a production manager who is up to this task.