Frequently Asked Questions – AKA – Things to know so we have a mutual love fest:

Q: Our drummer is underage / can I bring my sister to see me play who is 19 / I just had a baby and really REALLY need a day out can I bring him in?

A: Unfortunately not. All patrons, band members and crew must be over 21 and have legitimate id. You will be id’d. Regardless of what other clubs do or your impressions of ABC laws, you must be legally of age to enter El Rio – NO EXCEPTIONS.


Q: Can I load in / sound check / set up gear early? Where do I load in?

A: You will receive a confirmation email with all the details regarding your show including load in. You will not be able to get into the club before your load in time.  Please stick to that schedule. 1 hour arrival before you want to play/start is typical. If you are playing the back room, come in first and the tech will show you a rear room door to Mission St. to load in from. Do not load in from our front door unless you are playing the front room or patio.


Q: Can I do my own sound so I don’t have to worry about the tech fee?

A: No. We do not allow bands to do their own sound. We like our neighbors and want them to be able to sleep at night. Your tech is welcome to work with ours though. If you are concerned about the sound we suggest you come by the space and check it out. You can also check our gear page here or email your concerns to our booker at


Q: What is the Tech fee? Why do I have to pay it?

 A: Hopefully you do not have to pay us anything. This is our goal and it should be yours as well. On your night we will have a minimum number requirement (which includes guest list), 40 on Tues, 50 on Weds, 60 on Thurs, & 100 on Sat. If you meet or exceed this you get 100% of the door money to divide as you like. If you bring under the required amount we then take the tech fee from the door money and the rest goes to you. It is our way of covering our losses if the night is slow. Remember – you get 100% of the door if you meet your numbers, which is pretty rare. Most clubs take 30% off the top regardless. We want you to make $$! Be realistic about your draw. If you cannot bring out at least 40 people you should work on building your audience and book with us at a later date.


Q: After I confirm my show with you I just sit back, relax and 300 people will come to see me perform, right?

A: No offense but probably not. We ask that you promote your show to the fullest of your abilities. You are responsible for your own press. If you would like a list of folks to contact email your booker and they will pass one on to you. Feel free to bring us flyers for your show. We will include you on our website, guardian ad, club email list and weekly voicemail msg for the club. Make sure to look at any posted info we have regarding your show for typos, especially our web site. That is where all the press gets grabbed from.  If you are planning on posting flyers for your show around town make sure you check the regulations. You may be fined by the city for posting flyers in areas deemed illegal.


Q: Can I play another show at a different club 4 days before the one I already booked with you?

A: No. Like every other club in the world, we expect a 2 week blackout window on either side of your show. Do NOT book other local shows elsewhere within this period. It will affect your draw.


Q: I need to cancel my show! What do I do?

A: Contact your booker immediately at and come up with a plan. Perhaps the other bands on the bill can find a replacement for you. Perhaps you already have a replacement (this is the best route to go). PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND – If you cancel your show for any reason within 48hrs of your scheduled show, you will still owe us the cost of our tech for the block we have agreed upon.

Q: I left my drum throne / cymbal bag / bass head / etc there! What do I do!

A: Contact your booker immediately at Chances are the tech has found this item and has put it aside for you to collect while the bar is open (any day after 1pm).  We hold these items for 30 days. The sooner you collect – the better. After 30 days we donate to Community Thrift.