How much/what electrical danger performing on a covered stage during rain?

I've heard of performers being electrocuted by a mic. If someone is
performing on a covered stage when it's raining - not necessarily with
lightning - or any other time for that matter - what should be
checked/in place to make sure there's no danger to the performer(s)?
(Other than not performing) Asked another way, what potentially COULD
create a dangerous situation that some flunkies involved with stage
operations/sound who don't know better might not check or just might
fall between the cracks even with pros?
If someone doesn't like to just assume "it's all taken care of" and
wants to be sure a loved one or friend who's performing is safe, who
should they typically talk to and what questions should they ask and
get clear answers to and/or what should they personally inspect?
Any other stage safety issues that experience has taught you to be
aware of?
Thanks for all input
Reply to
HiC
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Using a wireless MIC seems like an obvious solution.
Also, turn the volume down, to prolong your hearing for a few more years. And I've heard that spilled beer can be a slip hazard on stage, beware.
Dave.
Reply to
David L. Jones
For the most paranoid, see all those cables? They contain electricity.
It is the volts that hurt, but the amps that kill. A phantom powered microphone should not have much in the way of amperage, worst case, go wireless they simply don't have the power to begin with. the real concern really is every amplifier, every speaker, every speaker cable, it only takes half an amp to kill a human, and it is not unusual to have 20 amps running in a cable near the stage, again, go wireless, use in-ears they simply don't have the power to kill. Anything you can do to limit the number of cables on and around the stage, preferably to 0, limits the current available on stage. If you can get the number of cables to 0, just use wireless, and keep the transmitters out of the pool, I'd be willing to wear the wireless headset (IEMs in, even), holding the wireless mic and jump into a pool, at least I'd be willing to do it once (if someone else pays for it), it sounds like an expensive experiment to me. Joe
Reply to
Joseph Ashwood
"HiC"
** All brass players are MORONS.
** When sound gear gets wet - it becomes lethal.
Some gear gets more lethal than others but YOU cannot which is which.
The ONLY safe move is to shut down all AC power and play acoustic.
....... Phil
Reply to
Phil Allison
More likely the equipment that the mic is connected to.
I would bet that a guitar player is much more likely to receive an electrical shock from an electric guitar amp than from a PA system (via the microphone). PA systems seem more likely to be properly grounded, etc. while guitar amps are a much more unknown quantity (particularly old "classic" ones.)
That is such a complex and open-ended question I would think it would be irresponsible to try to create some sort of comprehensive checklist. Especially for something that could potentially be life-threatening.
OTOH, if the opening act doesn't get electrocuted, would seem to be a better chance that the system is at least somewhat "safe". :-)
There are certainly ways of measuring leakage current, testing grounds, etc that play a role in ensuring that a system is operating safely. But it generally isn't something that a performer can do. You must rely on (and put your life into the hands of) the operators of the systems.
I wouldn't perrform in the rain or if there was any water on the stage, etc. It would appear that you are at the mercy of the producer and his choice of competent engineering for electrical / lighting / sound systems.
Reply to
Richard Crowley
any mains powered electrical equipment operated in the rain is potentialy lethal unless it is sufficiently protected from water geting in.
it might not hurt if the microphone got wet, but if the amp it is connected to got wet ... fizzle hiss zap
do people still use mic cables much for anything larger than a pub performance ?
Colin =^.^=
Reply to
colin
If its tipping down with rain, would the audience still be there? Might be no need to perform in the first place.
Just a thought...
Chris W
Reply to
Chris Whealy
Its not "usually" the sound system that creates the hazard its the guitarist who has a groud fault or has snipped off the ground lug from his power plug or is incorrectly using a edison adapter wo creates a hazard condition when his improperly grounded rig meets the right condition and a properly grounded rig the current flows from his source(amp) out his guitar cable into his guitar now all he has to do is touch his strings and a mic stsand of a properly grounded system toallow the current to complete its journey to ground right through his body
"most" sound companies are accutly aware of proper electriacal protocol most musicians are not George
Reply to
<tbmoas58
It is absolutely essential that all the power circuits have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protection, and that these be tested during the initial installation. It's also a good idea to surge protect all the equipment plugged directly into the line. All of the handheld electricals should have a UL double insulation rating.
Reply to
Fred Bloggs
"Fred Bloggs"
** Complete insanity !!!!
It is COLOSSALLY DANGEROUS to use a class 2 item after it has become WET !!!
The Bloggs goon is a complete MORON !!
....... Phil
Reply to
Phil Allison
The reason that this kind of thing happens is either because the ground on the electrical power service is bad, and nobody has checked it, or because somebody has specifically defeated the safety ground on some piece of equipment.
A special case of the safety ground problem is the old guitar amp that never was built with a safety ground, just a 2-pin plug. Some of those are even hot chassis. You plug it in, and the chassis may be floating way above ground, and when you pick up the guitar you are too. Touch the grounded mike and you get a shock. These amps need to be fixed and modern grounded cords installed on them.
Hire competent sound crew. If you ever, ever see a 3-to-2 prong "cheater" or an cord with the ground lug lopped off, you are not dealing with a competent crew and it is time to leave before someone gets hurt. Look at the backline amps too.
If this is an outdoor festival, there is probably a seperate group of people in charge of power distribution and management. Talk to them.
You mean like stage risers that collapse and injure people? --scott
Reply to
Scott Dorsey
best bet is a wireless mic.....if there are no wires attached to it, you are basically totally safe.
next best bet, if you have to hold a wired mic, do not touch anything else metal and do not have your feet wet.
if the mic should be live, you won't be shocked unless you touch another metal object or you are grounded through wet feet...
if there is lightning around I would use ONLY a wireless mic. touch nothing that is wired or connected to anything.
Mark
Reply to
Mark
Absolutely. This means putting the stage in a fairly well-protected tent (which means lousy acoustics, sorry about that), double-insulating the power system and covering all camlocks and junctions with plastic sheeting. It means careful grounding, GFIs, and it means a power dispatcher who wanders around with a meter checking ground fault currents so he has a good idea when the leakage is getting to the point where a GFI may pop.
It's easy to keep the equipment dry. But keeping the _people_ dry is the hard part.
Sure, thousands and thousands of feet of the stuff. It just works, unlike wireless systems. --scott
Reply to
Scott Dorsey
I all honesty I have not in 20 years of live sound seen a single"live mic" I have experiacedproperly grounded mic when a "live" guitar player touches the properly grounded mic he get a shock but its NOT THE MIC that has the juice its the player who is"live' AND THE CURRENT FLOWS TO GROUND THROUGH THE MIC BUT THE mic does not SEND THE SHOCK TO THE PLAYER gEOGRE
Reply to
<tbmoas58
For example, you can see the umbrellas in the audience and when you see the shots from behind Bianca - who was the warmup act for Hall & Oates, you can see it's coming down pretty good. Apparently the performance was moved to this covered stage because of the weather.
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She's using a wireless, even so, could there still be any other potential hazards to her or others?
Reply to
HiC
"Fred Bloggs"
** That is CRIMINALLY INSANE BOLLOCKS !!!!!!!!!!
It is COLOSSALLY DANGEROUS to use a class 2 item after it has become WET !!!
The Bloggs goon is a TOTAL MORON !!
....... Phil
Reply to
Phil Allison

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