The trend of qualified and compensated stagehands no longer working summer venues continues with the news of PRR getting the labor provision (notice I didn’t say contract) for The Smirnoff Music Centre in Dallas. Yup, that’s right, the guys you know and love from the AAC will now be there at Starplex to help you get your show in and out of the building. The hands will be working for less than $13.25 an hour and with no minimum, no benefits and no overtime unless they work 12 consecutive hours.

Live Nation or who ever they are this week is well on their way to providing us with the least experienced, least motivated and possibly most dangerous summer on the road.

What we do is dangerous, tiring and requires a certain amount of experience and attention. The venues and promoters are close to going to Manpower to provide us with people to load trucks, hump gear and handle our precious equipment. They will save money on the bottom line even if it kills someone… and I’m afraid that is what might happen. Realize that the people who are helping you in Dallas may not know how to lift, know what a safety is and may not even care.

Watch out.

UPDATE: In the spirit of transparency I need to say that I am associated with IATSE Local 127 who previously provided labor to the venue. The opinions stated are mine alone and this post serves as a notification to my touring friends that this particular venue has had a change in labor provider, which is going on all over the country. It does change how you approach a work day, when the people who have a history and working knowledge of a building are no longer there.