What’s the rule on canceling gigs?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by LGOberean, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Recently there was a thread about a member’s first time ever cancellation of a gig. He called it off because his duo mate had a house fire or something like that. Some here disagreed with his decision not to go on, even if solo instead of duo.

    My situation today was different; the proprietor of an establishment cancelled the gig. The gig was for today. I had rehearsed songs for hours; I had just finished loading up my guitars and gear into my SUV when I got the news of the cancellation. So, cancelled by the proprietor, two hours before start time.

    So what would you guys do with that? How would you respond? What’s your rule on being cancelled on with very short notice? I will fill in the details on why she cancelled on me with just two hours’ notice in a bit, but do y’all have a rule for such an eventuality? Do reasons even matter or change your rule?
     
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  2. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just Mark it down to experience and never play there again without payment up front.

    Sometimes crap happens in people's lives not evident to you .
     
  3. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    No extenuating circumstances to consider?
     
  4. GibbyTwin

    GibbyTwin Tele-Meister

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    That's up to you, in my opinion. Depends on the relationship you have with the venue and the likelihood of repeat work. I'm sure there are some that will chime in all ready to hold the venue responsible but as Dacious voiced, sometimes stuff happens. It all depends on the reason.
    What happened to my band recently (February)...in December we accepted a gig to play at a Valentine's dance. About a week later we received a booking for the same day as the dance at a tavern we usually play which we had to turn down due to the previous dance commitment. Two weeks before the Valentine's dance the venue canceled due to lack of ticket sales (private club). We had a contract but unfortunately did not have a clause regarding cancellations (that has since been remedied). I don't feel that we should have come away with nothing because the organization did not sell enough tickets, but more so that we turned down a sure thing to play their event. But since there was nothing mentioned up front about cancellations and we do get work for that organization a few times a year we didn't want to jeopardize the relationship by asking for partial payment. Going forward for these private affairs there will be a deposit to hold the date and forfeiture of some of that deposit for cancellations close to the event date noted in the contract. If the organization had to cancel due to a problem of some kind of serious nature we would probably let it go because we all have things happen that are beyond our control, but for something like ticket sales (knowing the membership) at a private club (and especially when other work was turned down) I feel they owe something.
    My opinion only, I'm sure others may think differently.
     
  5. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    A semi-pro function group I dep with agrees a contract in advance with up to 50% in case of a late client cancellation (I.e. in last month before). It’s a good plan if you are charging a lot (got lots to lose elsewhere) or take bookings months out.

    For a bar band.. yep. It’s more about the circumstances or realities of it and the relationship and if it’s worth salvaging something through negotiation. I generally go in assuming most people are reasonable. Usually we have just picked another date together or got prioritised in the rota. We lost one recently as they had a noise complaint about a previous band and needed to get sound proofing done. We will play it later.

    The circumstances are everything in this case I think. Was it respectful?
     
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  6. Gigante_Miguel

    Gigante_Miguel TDPRI Member

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    The etiquette around here seems to be that if something comes up, and you’ll Be unable to show up for your set, it’s a good thing to find a replacement on your own.
     
  7. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    In oz there used to be a powerful musicians union. Minimum $75 per person per hour ( that was in the 70s).
    That cancellation was way too late. Charge the owner and see how you go. If he doesn't respond well see if your local paper will name and shame him and tell any others you know to refuse offers based on your experience ( make sure they quote you/bands name). That'll make him think again.
     
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  8. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Reason given for the cancellation? The club burn down? Outbreak of ebola or SARS?:eek:

    With only two hours before the gig, there should have been some sort of compensation. JMHO.

    Assuming it's a verbal/handshake agreement. No written contract.

    Even when I was in the musicians union and had contracts. It was still hard to collect on things like this.
     
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  9. Daddydex

    Daddydex Friend of Leo's

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    Best you can do is use it for leverage in future negotiations. This is assuming you want to play there again. I would certainly take his circumstances under consideration. If it was valid, like a family emergency perhaps, you might just let is slide. If he double booked and bumped me he probably won't see me again.

    Dan
     
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  10. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    At least you hadn't already travelled for three hours, when you arrived and found the Venue boarded up...
     
  11. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I always liked the getting to the venue and someone else's gear is already on stage.:mad:
     
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  12. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Okay, here are the details of the incident, including some pertinent background on me and my history with this venue.

    Last year this venue, located by a marina in a nearby coastal town, re-opened after Hurricane Harvey. They probably make a big chunk of their money from liquor sales, but they also serve burgers & home cut fries, nachos, etc. The proprietors of this venue (husband/wife team) have been active in reviving this area that was so hard hit.

    Last summer they began to host live music on the weekends. Brad, a musician friend in the area who always has his ear to the ground about such things booked a Saturday night with them, and when I read about it, my wife and I came out to hear him. He called me up at his break and had me play and sing 4 songs using his guitar and his gear while he went to...ah...go make room for more beer. On the strength of those four songs and Brad talking me up to the proprietors, I got offered a gig by the wife (Mia). So last summer I played 2-3 gigs there, an outdoor gig at the marina.

    Then in early September my wife and I took a vacation, and Mia talked about booking again a week or so after we got back. But I injured my shoulder, so when she called I had to tell her that I couldn't take the gig. Turns out, I tore two tendons in my left shoulder. Fortunately, it didn't require surgery, but it did take months of physical therapy and time for healing, and so it was January before I started booking gigs again. Mia recommended me to a brew pub in another nearby coastal town, and I got that gig because she put in a good word for me. I played a Valentine's Day gig for them.

    Mia then contacted me about another gig, and booked me for a Sunday afternoon Market Day they were hosting with other area businesses. Well, that weekend was rained out. Mia offered me the gig set for last night instead. When yesterday came, no rain but high winds. Mia messaged me via Facebook message, and I quote,

    So that's "the wherefore and the why" of yesterday's cancellation. And yes, that Facebook message came at 5 pm, 2 hours before the scheduled 7 pm start time. I was both disappointed and sympathetic.

    I am sympathetic because I know firsthand how windy it can get. This marina is right on the water on the north side of the Corpus Christi Bay. There are few buildings providing windbreak. On the night that we went to hear Brad perform, the winds were a factor. The marina has a number of picnic style tables with pole mounted umbrellas, and the winds that day took our umbrella and turned it into a sail! :eek: And yesterday was a windier day than that. I checked: 26 mph sustained winds, with wind gusts near tropical storm speeds. So Mia's reason for canceling was no lame excuse. And her notification of cancellation did come with an offer for another booking in two weeks time.

    Still, I was disappointed and frustrated because I might have been free for another gig. I hadn't had any other offers for that Saturday night, but then again I had posted about it on my Facebook musician's page, so one could posit that I got no other offers because those checking my page knew I was otherwise engaged. And f course, I had rehearsed for hours, and 5 pm was when I started loading my SUV with guitars and gear. After I had it loaded up, I came in to get on Facebook once more, to just message Mia as a courtesy, to let her know that I was on my way. That was when I discovered her message. (I don't have Facebook on my phone; I probably need to correct that.) If I hadn't done that, I would have made a 35 minute drive only to discover then that the gig was cancelled. We've often communicated via Facebook message, so there's a precedent for that, but under the circumstances, I think it would have been wiser of her to call or text me on my cell phone. I guess she does everything from her phone, like so many do these days, and just assumed that I do as well.

    Oh, and they pay me well. And while the tips from the patrons at this venue are not the best I've ever gotten, they can be really good. So all in all, I took the cancellation in stride, and made the booking for Saturday the 27th. I don't think I would have cancelled had I been in her place, but I get gigs on a regular basis from them, and I didn't think it would serve my purposes in the long run to make a stink about it or demand partial payment. Oh, and yes, these bookings have always been "verbal/handshake agreement. No written contract."

    So, there's the whole (long) story. Any further input given this full disclosure?
     
  13. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I think that's a justifiable cancellation. She should have called you rather then messaged you on Facebook, though. Not everyone is on FB all the time. Too bad that there wasn't something to take it's place, but that's the way it goes sometimes.
     
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  14. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not sure there is an issue. High winds at a marina side, and an immediate offer of another date. Short notice, yep, but they may have been waiting to see if things would be OK weather wise.

    Should have rang though.

    Be petty to try anything on imho. I’d just let this one slide and enthusiastically take the offer of the next gig and work on helping them the grow the business and your work. They sound friendly enough.
     
  15. GibbyTwin

    GibbyTwin Tele-Meister

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    The venue appears to be caring. They give you repeat work, recommend you, offered to reschedule your show in a couple weeks, did not permanently replace you after a ~4 month absence.......
    If it were my gig, I'd tell them 'thanks, put me in the book for the gig two weeks away', and let it go.
    But that's me. :)

    Edit: Just so you can prep for the future, get a weather app for your phone too. High winds at a marina is Mother Nature's recurring gig. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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  16. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, if you're going to reference my post, don't do it like the fake news. Research my friend, you were so close.

    Let's see,... you're a musician who plays at clubs, hired by club owners and you got a last minute cancellation due to weather?

    Roll with it.


     
  17. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Sounds like you have a good working relationship with these people. Also, sounds like you'll have a triumphant return.

    If you've ever been a working musician. Not all stories have reasonable circumstances or outcome.

    Glad this one will work out in the end.
     
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  18. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I did not say, and did not imply, anything fake about the situation you detailed in your thread. Nor did I pass judgement on your situation. I just couldn't remember the specifics, nor did I remember who posted it or the name of the thread, or even what sub-forum of TDPRI it was in. Yes, using the search feature would have no doubt quickly turned it all up, but I wasn't trying to re-hash your thread here. I only meant to reference a recent thread dealing with gig cancellation, and then talk about mine from the different side of the cancellation coin. No slight or offense intended.
     
  19. Daddydex

    Daddydex Friend of Leo's

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    That one is totally justifiable. Take the next gig and forget about it!

    Dan
     
  20. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's how I read your post, "or something like that",.. which sounded dismissive to me. if you say you meant no disrespect, fine. Cancelling a gig is something that's offensive to me, it not what i do. So yeah, I'm sensitive about what i took as a backhanded reference.

    But in answer to your query, dangerous weather is a good rule.

     
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