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Author Topic: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost  (Read 7050 times)

James Feenstra

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2010, 11:57:17 pm »

I generally have a 48 hour cancellation policy for one offs, and longer for touring

you cancel 48 hours or less before a gig, I still get paid at least half because I've already scheduled my time for whoever is hiring me

for touring, if the run gets canceled a week or less before I actually go out, I still get my first weeks pay considering I've probably advanced the better part of the tour by then and should be paid for my time
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James Feenstra
Lighting, Audio and Special Effects Design

Duane Massey

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2010, 12:34:53 am »

Don't be afraid to ask for a cancellation fee, and explain is simple terms why you feel it is fair. Establish this policy, and explain it up front. If you can't get a deposit in your area, give them one swing of the bat; if they cancel and don't pay you the cancellation fee, don't work with them again.
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Duane Massey
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Stuart Pendleton

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2010, 10:17:42 am »

What you have read here is correct and should be followed if possible.  I was in your position a few years ago and remember similar issues.  I did begin to work regular with a few bands and got to know them well.  We negotiated a compromise deal that has proven to be OK in my situation and might work for yours.  

I was carrying a heavy rig at the time (more than this geezer could move alone) and had to pay help every night from my fee.  Helpers wanted pay even if the gig was cancelled, exactly like we want.  The deal with the bands that I decided to stay with went like this:

I will lay off my helper.  A minimum of one and generally two of the band will arrive when I do on my schedule and assist with all load in, lifting, placement, and will learn to follow my instructions and assemble the rig with me, to include lighting.  At the end of the night, a minimum of one and generally two will stay until my trailer door is closed and will learn to carefully dismantle and pack the gear.  They learned to roll cords my way, and where every item was packed.  

My load in/out time was cut in half (that was 2-3 hours per show.) They learned a respect for what I do and provide, and why I charge the rates I do (which are cheaper than many here, but more than bands like.) I made more money per show because expenses dropped and I invested less time.  At the end of the year, the cancellations were offset by the extra revenue when shows went as planned.

Then I picked the band that worked the best with me, did the most help, and paid the most, and most importantly had the best chance of long term success.) I told them my company would give them an exclusive service contract if they kept me busy, held up their end of our deal, and kept politics, grief, and misery to a minimum.

By the end of the first year with them, the band had improved and the rates for the band went up a LOT (we started doing playing for more than twice what we were getting before.) The band just started raising my pay because they realized the effort I put in and because they could afford it (I get from 25% to 200% more each night now.) They also attributed much of their success to my PA/lights and didn't want to lose their advantage. If someone threw a tip on the floor, they also gave it to me ($100 bill more than once extra at the end of the night...)

Make them share the work when times are good so that when they are bad, you won't hurt as much from it.  Sorry this was so long, but maybe you can come up with a "deal" with the bands that are the most reliable and seem to have the most future (read that as best chance of paying off on your investment.)

Good luck and I hope you can sort this out.  If you can take the legal contract route with deposits, you have to be inventive.
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Jayson Sladen

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2010, 11:47:28 am »

OP - hit them with terms and conditions document, and a contract, and a least 10 - 20% deposit severals weeks before the show or on booking, whichever is sooner.

Anything less than this you are asking to be messed about, and setting out your stall as amateur, in my opinion.

Good luck.
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Ryan McLeod

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2010, 12:30:43 pm »

+1 for what Stuart said... it mirrors my own experiences (but I did manage to get the bandleader to fork over for the extra loader  Very Happy
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Greg Cameron

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2010, 02:41:22 pm »

Bruce Gering wrote on Mon, 26 April 2010 15:58

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.


...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.


And there's the rub. It sounds like the OP is losing out either way regularly. Damned if he does request a deposit or if he doesn't. I guess that's when it's time to decide if it's worth it or not. Really, if the gigs are that small, I suspect a 50% deposit is a relatively small dollar amount. If they can't cough it up, walking away might be in his best interest if the show is sketchy to being with. The venue I do the majority of my business at isn't that big, ~500 capacity. But I usually don't have problems collecting deposits when requested. Fortunately, it is a small town and I usually don't need one.

Greg
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Scott Smith

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2010, 04:19:28 pm »

Greg Cameron wrote on Tue, 27 April 2010 14:41

And there's the rub. It sounds like the OP is losing out either way regularly. Damned if he does request a deposit or if he doesn't. I guess that's when it's time to decide if it's worth it or not.

All markets are not the same!  It just depends... and it may depend on how "hungry" you are for work, especially if someone else will meet the local needs.
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(BJ) Benjamin Fisher

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2010, 04:42:17 pm »

I am a sound guy, not a promoter. This is how I support myself.

I've seriously considered enforcing deposits a long time ago, but these bands in this local bar scene are not only poor to begin with, but they are making chump change from the bars. I cant start a revolution, so this is just how it is. I will probably lose 90% of my gigs if I charge a deposit. Great idea, but wont work.

I need to let these bands know what this does to my schedule/pay when they cancel, and from now on make more of an effort to inform the bands of this when they first book a date with me. I need to make sure they know what happens to ME when they cancel. And anyone with half a heart will understand, musician or not. Business has been slow enough as it is, so finding a last minute replacement is little to none (of course when I already have two gigs back to back like last weekend Rolling Eyes )

Trust me, as someone mentioned, I am NOT flattered that one particular band only uses me for sound, but it is a good thing for me. Then again if they like me that much they better start doing something to make me want to keep coming back or else they will have to find someone else.

James, you say you get paid atleast half due to your "48hr  policy". You enforce this how? Just like any other clause in any sort of "contract", how do you enforce it without making it into a bigger deal than what it is. KEEPING IN MIND that these are shitty bar gigs.

Thanks for everyones posts, I'm thinking it all over.
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BJ Fisher
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Dick Rees

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2010, 05:03:38 pm »

I think they're getting you confused with the drummer.
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Bill McIntosh

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Re: Bands Cancelling, Money Lost
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2010, 09:57:43 pm »

My contract specifies a deposit, which I vary (or even waive) depending on the client.  If they cancel, no refund.  But to be fair, if I cancel or don't complete the event, they are entitled to a full refund.

That way they see we both have skin in the game.  It may not make a difference in your case, but is something to consider.
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