Easy Setup Stage Lighting – No Space Behind the Band

How do you put together a lighting rig that can go together and be setup QUICK for your band or church? In this video, we cover what to do when you’re literally up against a wall!

If you are coming into a venue, particularity as a gigging musician, and you come to realize that there is absolutely no space to work with behind the band how do you work with that? This scenario actually happens more often than people realize!

Making it Work

Even if you have a tight stage are to work with you can still use some great lighting techniques to make your show really pop.

Front Wash Lights

The first thing to get organized are your front wash lights. If you do not have room for a larger lighting fixture in the front corner of your stage, then you have the option of perhaps taking a small strip light on a bar and lighting your whole stage with that.

It is becoming more and more common for bands to use single lights or blinder type lights. Lights like these provide a quick and easy set up and don’t take up a ton of space. One thing to be sure of considering when you decide to use a strip light as your front wash is to ascertain that it is bright enough and wide enough to meet your needs prior to purchasing it.

PARs are another great option for front wash lights depending on your workable space. There are some manufacturers who make them with a really wide front lens that works great for small stages.

Small Moving Heads

Another great option to work into your stage setup are small moving heads. You may find them to be a little bit bright for an extra small stage area but if you do choose to use them, you can get a really good amount of lighting with only a couple lights.

Placing these moving lights on the side of your stage is the best way to make the most use out of them because this placement really opens up your options. They can be maneuvered to light the person on stage, backlight the band, put them in more of a “crowd blinder” type of position, light the back wall, the ceiling, etc. This versatility can go a long way to make your show everything that you envision without taking up a ton of space with too many lights.

If you decide you want to add a little height to your moving lights to reach different angles you can easily set these up on a road case or another type of bin and this will work quickly and easily to get your lights off the ground.

Side Lights

A last option you can work with on a small stage are making use of some side lights. You can use strip lights here on the side of your stage to light up the band or musician just to add a little extra color to the stage or back wall.


When it comes to a small stage, what you really want to think about when planning your lighting choices is how you can set things up quickly and efficiently and have it work well. You don’t need a ton of lights to make a small stage look amazing. You may find that you have to compromise the use of lights in one location or another but can still make great use of the areas you do have to work with. It’s all about figuring out the dynamic of the space you have available and being strategic in your set up to make everything look as amazing as possible for every show.

About the author