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Author Topic: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost  (Read 7049 times)

(BJ) Benjamin Fisher

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Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« on: April 26, 2010, 06:26:57 pm »

I know, dont book them anymore. Or, suck it up.

I'm actually looking for some HELPFUL suggestions.

What do you guys do when a band cancels a gig you are to run sound for, or what do you do to prevent this from happening? I'm tired of getting cancellations the night of, on the way to, or 4 days before. Sometimes its the bands, sometimes its "the venue double booked us" line of crap, etc. What can I do to prevent this while still being reasonable. I understand things come up, and there are exceptions, but what is the best thing to do in a situation like this? I dont want to write the band off entirely. In fact, one band that has done this (tonight specifically and not the first time) hires only me to run their sound, they dont want anyone else...but its really damn irritating when I get cancelled and I could have booked something else and my bills get paid.

Discuss please. I would like some precautions and repercussions.
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BJ Fisher
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Columbus,OH

Greg Cameron

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 06:34:48 pm »

Insist on a 50% deposit up front. That way you're not empty handed if things fall apart.

Greg
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Bruce Gering

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2010, 06:41:20 pm »

The night of? If it's weather related and the venue cancels, or if it's out of the bands control, i.e. the venue...again, let it slide once with a warning that the next time you'll expect to be compensated___________ to cover your loss of rental for the night, and you will expect to be the provider for their next booked show that comes along.

Most gigs I run involve about 50% labor in my quote, usually 2-3 guys, sometimes just myself. 50% is about right, but anything is good. Also, it depends on the relationship with the band that you have as to bring it up in the first place. If it's once in a blue moon and they are regulars...let it slide.
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Sometimes I wish I had a clone of myself so I could enjoy life while my clone worked for me. Thing is, my clone would just keep the money, or worse yet, I would be working while he enjoyed my life!

Bruce Gering

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 06:58:40 pm »

Greg Cameron wrote on Mon, 26 April 2010 17:34

Insist on a 50% deposit up front. That way you're not empty handed if things fall apart.

Greg


...and you will not get that work either, not in a small market/show. but it's all market based even for deposits. Most bands on the small club level in small markets, and even some a step above that, would never pay in advance for the simple fact that they are not collecting any advance ticket sales and that the income for shows comes in a show to show basis.

As the pay scale escalates, so does the need for deposits on shows.

Ben, this is an area where you employ some people skills and it gets interesting. You have to weigh in the factors to arrive at a logical plan on how to handle it. Best of luck to you and I suggest you communicate with the band about the lost revenues and have the figures ready to prove your point.
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Sometimes I wish I had a clone of myself so I could enjoy life while my clone worked for me. Thing is, my clone would just keep the money, or worse yet, I would be working while he enjoyed my life!

Charlie Zureki

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2010, 07:02:49 pm »

benjamin fisher wrote on Mon, 26 April 2010 17:26

I know, dont book them anymore. Or, suck it up.

I'm actually looking for some HELPFUL suggestions.

What do you guys do when a band cancels a gig you are to run sound for, or what do you do to prevent this from happening? I'm tired of getting cancellations the night of, on the way to, or 4 days before. Sometimes its the bands, sometimes its "the venue double booked us" line of crap, etc. What can I do to prevent this while still being reasonable. I understand things come up, and there are exceptions, but what is the best thing to do in a situation like this? I dont want to write the band off entirely. In fact, one band that has done this (tonight specifically and not the first time) hires only me to run their sound, they dont want anyone else...but its really damn irritating when I get cancelled and I could have booked something else and my bills get paid.

Discuss please. I would like some precautions and repercussions.



 Ben, there is no discussion, if you want to be professional, you need to act professional. That means, with a contract, and some money up front as a non returnable, booking fee that will be applied to the full quoted price that you charge.

 If they can't abide by your terms, then find new clients.

 Good Luck, and get professional.

Cheers,
Hammer

ps. remember: "Business is business and friendship is friendship, but when money is involved.....It's F'n Business baby!"  Cool
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Todd Black

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2010, 07:46:01 pm »

as I have stated in the past, are you a promoter or a sound guy? Promoters take risk of loss due to shows getting canceled, bands not showing up, venue catches fire, whatever. Sound guys (should) get paid. Does the band fill up with gas, then tell the gas station their show is canceled and they cant pay for the gas? No. Get your money, and if you cant get a deposit and pay or play contract with your customers, then you need to reconsider working with them. Decide if you are in business or doing this as a hobby.
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Jeff Wheeler

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2010, 07:50:38 pm »

I had a customer who did this routinely.  At first I just let it go.  After 3 or 4 times I told them, look, this costs me money.  I can work every weekend for other bands if I want to; but I have dates on my calendar for you and I honor them.  It happened again a few weeks later, a Friday-Saturday when I turned down $700 of other work because I was already obligated to the flaky customer.  At that point I told them I needed a 50% deposit for every date they booked, and stopped offering them a favorable price, and I erased all their bookings from my calendar and told them to get me a deposit promptly if they still wanted my services.

This was all earlier this month, but I seriously doubt this band will use me again.  I don't care, because they only play 1 or 2 nights a month and their cancellation rate was about 30%.

My understanding is the cancellations pretty much all came from band drama, and I don't need to deal with that shit.  I understand if it's not within their control -- venue cancels, weather, illness, whatever; but I have work to do and money to earn, and I have zero respect for band drama interfering with my income.
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Jeff Wheeler, wannabe sound guy / moonlight DJ

Steve Hurt

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2010, 08:19:34 pm »

I'm with Jeff.  Band drama is something I have no patience for.

If it's a particular club where a double booking happens, don't take gigs at that club without a deposit and tell the band exactly why you are asking for a deposit. Some clubs have a habit of this.

Also agree with Bruce, in my area, asking for a deposit for a bar sound gig, means you don't work.  

Bar gigs are talked about as the dregs of sound for a reason!

(and bar gigs are most of what I do)
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Dick Rees

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2010, 08:29:45 pm »

Steve Hurt wrote on Mon, 26 April 2010 19:19



Bar gigs are talked about as the dregs of sound for a reason!

(and bar gigs are most of what I do)



I think they opened for my band once......
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Mike Reilly

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2010, 09:59:57 pm »

benjamin fisher wrote on Mon, 26 April 2010 18:26

I know, dont book them anymore. Or, suck it up.

I'm actually looking for some HELPFUL suggestions.


But these are really your only options - in the medium to long view, that is.

Which is to say, you have to think hard about whether the advantages of working with a particular band (number of gigs, income, connections with venues & festivals & other bands, so on & so forth) outweigh the lack of work & income when they cancel on you.

If so, then you essentially suck it up.  If you gripe at them (in a professional manner, of course) it's possible that they might voluntarily slip you a few bucks, or pay you extra on your next few gigs, or try to make it up to you in some other way.

If it's not worth it, then just flat out tell them, "I'm sorry, you're unreliable clients and I can't continue to book jobs that fall through at the last minute."

In the short view, if you haven't gotten a deposit, you're SOL, and I agree with Bruce that getting deposits for bar band gigs is unlikely.

Quote:

hires only me to run their sound, they dont want anyone else...


This is flattering, but flattery doesn't pay the electric bill.  Don't make too much of this.
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