The success of a given show depends heavily on several factors, most of which are out of our control:
Every day we play at a different time, which we only know about an hour before the gates open. There seems to be a sweet spot early in the afternoon where kids are warmed up, into it, and still full of energy. Weather/temperature also come into play significantly here. Early set times are great for us, but generally* we don’t want to play the very first slot, as often the place hasn’t even filled up yet. On the other hand, you don’t want to play too late in the day, due to:
-Bigger Bands We May Be Competing With On Other Stages
For example, today we’re playing at 6:50, the same time as Streetlight Manifesto and New Found Glory, so we may have a pretty thin crowd tonight.
-Lineup On Our Own Stage
There are a few bands on our stage whose styles don’t *exaaaaactly* match ours, so if we end up playing immediately before or after them we can end up with a pretty significant crowd loss. From a crowd-maintenance billing standpoint we’re much better off playing before Bayside or We Are The In Crowd than Vanna or Senses Fail.
Sometimes our stage is tucked away from much of the action, and you almost have to know where it is to get to it. Other days we’re playing out to a bunch of foot traffic between the main stages and other activity, so we get seen and heard by a lot more people.
*In New Mexico our first-slot show was actually a great set – our stage happened to be right by the entrance so we got to pull in just about everyone who was entering the grounds. It seems like we converted a lot of new fans that day. If only they were all like that!