Here are a few tips and my experience of venues / lighting and sound
I have put on a few shows and been to a lot over the past 8 years and I don’t just go to see the bands play I study the venue and how it works
My first ever show I was advised to talk to the sound engineer and a case of beer will help in certain circumstances too. You will get a better service as you are interacting with them on a personal level and not just an employee taken for granted at the venue.
A lot of bands will assume that they will do a good job because you are playing there. Same with the lighting engineer. These guys can make or break your set so please don’t take them for granted
Example – a band was doing a CD release and invited a record company and scout to the show – it was being videoed / recorded and all was planned. BUT they did not talk to the people who help create the show. The supporting band had and bought their own sound guy to work with the venue engineer and their set was good but the headliner’s band didn’t go so well . The scout walked out after the 3rd song but stayed in contact with the supporting band.
Some venues have guareenteed quality of sound and lighting but others will slip due to persona and attitudes of the individuals (this I experienced on my 2nd show) If they don’t like you, they wont help you and give basic and most likely the levels will be out and you sound awful on stage.
It depends on attitudes and communication.
Remember – they decide to either make you sound /look amazing or sound/look like crap on the night. So while loading in – find them, talk to them and ask them for their help to make sure your set is a good one