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#2337687 - 09/07/11 05:34 PM Cancelling gigs.
Griffinator Offline
TPS cook & bottle washer
20k Club

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 20318
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
Situation that has nothing to do with me, but rather a friend who runs a local club.

Band agrees to play on a certain date. Interestingly, band asks owner if written contract is desired. Owner, who has never had significant issues with bands backing out of shows, declines and suggests verbal agreement is sufficient.

Band, roughly 5 weeks prior to show, announces to owner they can no longer perform, citing another club (which happens to be in close vicinity) offering them an "exclusive" deal in that particular city.

Band later revises story after it is discovered that band will also be playing another club in that city later on that month, and claims they cancelled the one show and took the other one as a "thank you" to a club that has "treated them well", despite several members of the band playing in other bands who pretty much depend on the jilted owner for steady gigging.

Distilling this down to the likely reality tells me that club B offered band more money to play there than club A.

My questions to the forum at large:

1) Would you cancel one gig to take another gig (in the same location) for more money?

2) If so, how much more money would have to be involved?

3) If yes to #1, how far in advance would you consider it to be reasonable to make such a move?

To me, even a month is a bit close to bail just for more money somewhere else. Frankly, unless it was a substantial difference (2x or more), I'd play the gig I agreed to play, especially that close. It's one thing if I book 6 months in advance, and 2 months later I get an offer for a substantial pay raise. It's completely different if I book 4 months in advance and bail 3 months later for an extra hundred or two, even if the club that is offering is a regular stop for me.

Thoughts?


Edited by Griffinator (09/07/11 05:34 PM)

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#2338496 - 09/11/11 12:32 AM Re: Cancelling gigs. [Re: Griffinator]
J. Dan Online   content
Bannination Free Since '08
10k Club

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 12310
Loc: St. Louis, MO
Griff, we run into this all the time and are currently struggling with a decision.

We book up clubs very far in advance (2012 is booking up now). Private parties and festivals come up, and some bars realize they missed the boat. Generally 6 months or more cancellation is a no-brainer. I would never under any circumstance cancel less than a month, and realistically not less than 90 days unless it's a really big deal. A contract is a contract - if they sign, we honor, period!

Ok, another twist... We've played a club regularly for 7 yrs and always pack the place. A competitor opened across the street and we do well there. Club A is dead when we play club B. Club A offered to pay more if we don't play club B. Haven't made a decision yet. I'll keep you posted.
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Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2338517 - 09/11/11 05:22 AM Re: Cancelling gigs. [Re: J. Dan]
Griffinator Offline
TPS cook & bottle washer
20k Club

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 20318
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
The "another twist" is basically what this situation seems to be, as my friend's place is a few blocks from the place that pretty much paid them to not play there.

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#2338692 - 09/11/11 11:59 PM Re: Cancelling gigs. [Re: Griffinator]
J. Dan Online   content
Bannination Free Since '08
10k Club

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 12310
Loc: St. Louis, MO
I wouldn't cancel one bar gig for another bar gig under that scenario. We're talking about next year and the gigs have not been booked yet. If we decided to negotiate something, we would come to an agreement before booking gigs in either place.

The one casino we play has in their contract that you can't play another casino within something like a 90mile radius. Initially there were really only 2 casinos booking serious gigs, but they were right across the river from one another. You basically played either one or the other, not both. The one we didn't play doesn't do bands anymore - they went to dueling pianos. However, 2 other casinos across town (on a different river) have bands. One band was playing multiple places and getting away with it, so we approached the casino and they've allowed us to okay the others too. O now we play 3 casinos, but they are in different parts of town

Back to this club- there have been a couple other venues pop up in the area specifically targeting their crowd. They tried to pull something similar and say that if you want to play there, you can't play within a 6 mile radius. I think the feedback from most of the bands was, ok I guess we won't be playing there anymore, but we'll play at your competitors. So it kind of backfired on them and they had to back down. Now their approach is to offer us more money to do it voluntarily. We'll see.
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Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2442622 - 10/02/12 09:47 AM Re: Cancelling gigs. [Re: J. Dan]
PinkFloydDudi Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/11/12
Posts: 456
Loc: Rochester, NY
1) Absolutely
2) No set amount necessarily. I'd say around 20% more though.
3) 1 month. It is in our contract that we can cancel before that time with no penalty, but typically for bars and clubs - they don't put any effort into promoting the show before that anyway, so they don't really lose anything.

Your band is a business. Apply this same idea to gas stations. Will you always go to the same gas station if you have to pay 20% more for gas? Most people would not, they would go to whatever gas station is best for them.

I would recommend being honest though, and giving the original club the chance to beat the other price =)

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#2445582 - 10/15/12 11:56 AM Re: Cancelling gigs. [Re: PinkFloydDudi]
joeljjison Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 138
Loc: London
Don't accept a gig you will be willing to cancel. If you operate with this policy you won't run in to this situation since you will have enough money. Band cancelling on venues should be due to reasons such as how the venue is dealing with them, or terrible occurrences.

Is it really worth making more money and gaining a reputation as unreliable? The venue now have to communicate with someone else to address a situation they thought was fine.

I agree with one month.



Edited by joeljjison (10/15/12 11:57 AM)

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#2446154 - 10/17/12 11:47 AM Re: Cancelling gigs. [Re: joeljjison]
SpaceNorman Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/07/06
Posts: 1308
Loc: Michigan
I honor ALL the gigs I commit to play - at the price I committed to playing them for. Period. For me, it's not about the money - it's about personal integrity. In my 30+ years of playing I've cancelled exactly 2 gigs that I had committed to play. They were a Friday and Saturday night gig that I had to cancel after being admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery on Thursday morning.

If I commit to doing something - I follow thru.
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The SpaceNorman

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#2460595 - 01/05/13 10:40 PM Re: Cancelling gigs. [Re: SpaceNorman]
robare99 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/05/13
Posts: 3
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: SpaceNorman
I honor ALL the gigs I commit to play - at the price I committed to playing them for. Period. For me, it's not about the money - it's about personal integrity. In my 30+ years of playing I've cancelled exactly 2 gigs that I had committed to play. They were a Friday and Saturday night gig that I had to cancel after being admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery on Thursday morning.

If I commit to doing something - I follow thru.


This.

When we are booked we are booked. We don't want to be known as "the band you can book, unless something better comes along. That being said, it's first come first served.

Believe me, it hurt to turn down a big payday because I was already booked but that's how it is.

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