A Day In the Life with Ryan Williams

August 28, 2017

August 7 through 13, Charlotte was “golf crazy” with the 2017 PGA Championship being played at Quail Hollow. With as much action off the course as on, CSM Production had a hand in one event held at nearby Carmel Country Club.

As a private affair, American country music singer and songwriter Cole Swindell performed for members of the club. Led by one of CSM’s concert gurus, Ryan Williams, we assisted with staging, sound and lighting for the special occasion. So, we hijacked Ryan’s schedule to see what it took to produce this event.



Tuesday, Aug. 8


Brad Smith (senior director of live shows) meets with the client to discuss weather concerns. The concert may move to a tent with a decision to be made on Wednesday.

Wednesday, Aug. 9

12:07 p.m.

After discussion, we are staying the course with the original plan.

2 p.m.

I emailed Cole’s production manager about his arrival times.

3 p.m.

I arrived on site and met with Chris Cook, director of facilities, about the concert plan.

3:30 p.m.

The remaining CSM crew arrives.

4:30 p.m.

Stage is positioned in the designated location.

5:20 p.m.

After initial prep work, the stage is ready to build.

7 p.m.

Generators arrived on site. It’s time to hang PA.

8 p.m.

The lights are up except for the lekos … waiting on Clay (Kincaid). Oh wait, lights are coming back.

9 p.m.

Who isn’t hungry by now? Dinner is served up the hill.

9:06 p.m.

Fried Chicken is on the menu. "Is that gravy?" No, that's balsamic. Good job, Nate. 

10: 15 p.m.

And the trucks roll out for the night.

Friday, Aug. 11

8 a.m.

Out the door, and I need water for the crew.

8:40 a.m.

Good morning, Carmel Country Club. But wait, Cole’s bus is an hour out which means he is missing his tee time. Oops.

9 a.m.

I show the production manager for Cole the stage and discuss logistics. He also brought his clubs and wants to swing a few.

10 a.m.

Brad brings the box truck up to the band’s truck, and they begin cross loading.

11:15 a.m.

The first load of band gear arrives at the stage with only half a truck to go.

11:48 a.m.

Last of the band gear is now on stage. Let’s get going! 

12:30 p.m.

Half of the crew take a lunch break. Man, it smells good.

12:55 p.m.

The rest of the crew breaks for lunch while sound check gets started.

2:19 p.m.

The band has wrapped up sound check, and guess what? The sprinkles have started.

5:15 p.m.

The rain hits. Enough said.

6 p.m.

The forecast is showing more rain on the way despite it slowing for now. The opener for Cole is doing sound check now.

7 p.m.

Wyatt Durett is now on stage. Wyatt is a singer songwriter. You’ve probably heard “Colder Weather” sang by the Zac Brown Band. That’s a song written by Wyatt.

8 p.m.

Next up is Adam Craig, another up-and-coming artist from Tenino, Washington.

9:17 p.m.

Carmel Country Club President Ty McBride presented a check to Folds of Honor CEO and Founder Major Dan Rooney for $25,000 benefitting Folders of Honor. 

9:22 p.m.

Cole Swindell takes the stage! A slight rain starts halfway through the set, but no one seems to care, Cole keeps going, and we are under tents. Play on! 

12:30 a.m.

The bet is made. Brad and I make a bet on when the truck will be out. He said between 2:45-2:55 a.m. and I said 3 a.m. or later.

1 a.m.


2:10 a.m.

The stage is closed and five minutes later rolls out.

2:25 a.m.

Can you believe it? More rain!

2:50 a.m.

With all the rain, the stage gets stuck on the wet hill. So, Chris Cook brings in a small tractor with a chain and pulls everything out.

2:58 a.m.

The stage is off the hill and Joe pulls out with the last trailer.

3 a.m.

The team picks up the turf guard and more importantly, I win the bet!

3:20 a.m.

We are out of here. Thank you, Carmel Country Club.

Cole Swindell, Carmel Country Club, PGA Championship, Quail Hollow, concert, production
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