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Front of house (abbreviated FOH) is primarily a theatrical term, referring to the portion of the building that is open to the public. In theatre and live music venues, it typically refers to the auditorium and foyer, as opposed to the stage and backstage areas.

"Front of house" has also come into use in the food service industry, referring to the area where the general public dines. In this context, the kitchen is referred to as "back of house".

Live venues

Lighting and sound operators, excluding the monitor engineers, are normally positioned front of house, surrounded by the audience or at the edge of the audience area. From this position they have unobstructed hearing and a clear view of the performance, enabling the operation of the main speaker system, show control consoles and other equipment. The front of house speakers are the main speakers that cover the audience, and the front of house desk is the desk that generates the front of house audio mix. The front of house desk may also produce foldback (monitor) mixes for the monitor speakers onstage. The audio engineer that designs the front of house sound system is the system engineer and this role is often separate from the person who operates the desk.

In stage lighting, any lighting fixtures that are on the audience side of the proscenium arch are referred to as being FOH.

This term can also refer to the individuals whose primary work is dealing with patrons, including house managers, ticket vendors, bartenders, merchandise vendors, ushers, and museum attendants.

See also

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