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  • Frustrating Cancellation

    I learned my lesson today. I was due to play at the annual festival in my humble country town. I was third on the bill, due to start at 1:30. I rock up at 12:45 to see the act before me just beginning to set up their PA and think "Huh? I was told the PA was provided".

    Oh, it was 'provided'. One small Behringer speaker, and some crappy no-name mic. Not even a mixer and don't even think about a person to do sound!

    So I rush home (I live 2 mins away) and load up my PA, and get back in good time. The act before me were a country trio, and they were really very good. But with each song, they were playing to less and less people. They announced they were playing their last song as the time was approaching 2:30 (an hour after I was due to play). I still had to wait for them to pack up, and set up my own PA, so 3:00 was the earliest I would be on.

    Anyway, as they were almost done packing up, and I had all my gear at the foot of the stage, one of the organisers comes over and says there's not much point in playing today, as people were clearing off to the Lake, which was down the other end of town.

    So, literally minutes before due to set up, I was cancelled.

    Thankfully, there is another day tomorrow where I have full access to the stage for up to 2 hours. But still, talk about frustrating.

    Would you charge a cancellation fee in these circumstances? This was my lesson - I had just arranged a $ amount for payment with no conditions etc and no mention of cancellation since it was fairly low key and supposed to be a pretty stress-free gig. I've done quite a few of these before, and never seen it handled as poorly as it was today.

    Oh well. I'll know for next time.

    Luke

  • #2

    It depends on how good the client is and the chances that the fee would keep them from booking you next year.

    We just got cancelled for a St. Patty party next March. We've been doing their party for about 10 years now, but they had huge property repairs and are out of money, canceling all entertainment until they get back on their feet. I'm returning their deposit.

    I had a person cancel a last minute party due to a heart attack a couple of years ago. I returned their deposit, and when he recovered, they threw a party and hired us.

    A few years ago we had a big club that we worked at often cancel us due to lack of reservations. I explained that we turned down other jobs for that night, and that we do this to make our mortgage payments. The club paid us half our fee and the person who booked us paid us the rest out of another account.

    A yacht club we often play for double-booked the evening. We don't have contracts with them anymore. The manager flipped a coin, the other band got to play, and we both got paid. We got a night off with pay, although we would have rather played.

    But I've never had a situation like yours where it was due to the first band running over. Unless I thought it would hinder future bookings with the same contractor, I'd ask for at least half payment as a compromise. After all the overtime band wasn't paid more, so the event still has the money budgeted to you.

    Notes

    Bob "Notes" Norton
    Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
    Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box and add on styles for Microsoft SongSmith
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    Comment


    • Graeca
      Graeca commented
      Editing a comment

      Notes_Norton wrote:

      It depends on how good the client is and the chances that the fee would keep them from booking you next year.

      We just got cancelled for a St. Patty party next March. We've been doing their party for about 10 years now, but they had huge property repairs and are out of money, canceling all entertainment until they get back on their feet. I'm returning their deposit.

      I had a person cancel a last minute party due to a heart attack a couple of years ago. I returned their deposit, and when he recovered, they threw a party and hired us.

      A few years ago we had a big club that we worked at often cancel us due to lack of reservations. I explained that we turned down other jobs for that night, and that we do this to make our mortgage payments. The club paid us half our fee and the person who booked us paid us the rest out of another account.

      A yacht club we often play for double-booked the evening. We don't have contracts with them anymore. The manager flipped a coin, the other band got to play, and we both got paid. We got a night off with pay, although we would have rather played.

      But I've never had a situation like yours where it was due to the first band running over. Unless I thought it would hinder future bookings with the same contractor, I'd ask for at least half payment as a compromise. After all the overtime band wasn't paid more, so the event still has the money budgeted to you.

      Notes


      Never played a festival where the act that ran over wasn't shut off...in fact, it's usually in the contract what time each act must be off the stage,

      OTOH, I've never played a festival, even a small town festivel, that didn't have a real PA, run by a soundperson.

      I'd expect the full pay...you lived up to your end of the agreement, and more, so why get cheated? You did have a written contract, right?


  • #3

    Boosha wrote:
    I learned my lesson today. I was due to play at the annual festival in my humble country town. I was third on the bill, due to start at 1:30. I rock up at 12:45 to see the act before me just beginning to set up their PA and think "Huh? I was told the PA was provided".

    Oh, it was 'provided'. One small Behringer speaker, and some crappy no-name mic. Not even a mixer and don't even think about a person to do sound!

    So I rush home (I live 2 mins away) and load up my PA, and get back in good time. The act before me were a country trio, and they were really very good. But with each song, they were playing to less and less people. They announced they were playing their last song as the time was approaching 2:30 (an hour after I was due to play). I still had to wait for them to pack up, and set up my own PA, so 3:00 was the earliest I would be on.

    Anyway, as they were almost done packing up, and I had all my gear at the foot of the stage, one of the organisers comes over and says there's not much point in playing today, as people were clearing off to the Lake, which was down the other end of town.

    So, literally minutes before due to set up, I was cancelled.

    Thankfully, there is another day tomorrow where I have full access to the stage for up to 2 hours. But still, talk about frustrating.

    Would you charge a cancellation fee in these circumstances? This was my lesson - I had just arranged a $ amount for payment with no conditions etc and no mention of cancellation since it was fairly low key and supposed to be a pretty stress-free gig. I've done quite a few of these before, and never seen it handled as poorly as it was today.

    Oh well. I'll know for next time.

    Luke

    A cancellation fee is thre least of the problems with this "festival." 

     

    On my contract, I specify everything that I am to provide, and everything they are to provide. If no PA is provided, I pass, precisely because I know 1) they aren't organized and 2) the chances of what happened to you are very high.

     

    Back when I had my big band, I was booked for a day-long community music festival. We were to go on at 6 PM,prime time We showed up and there were two bands still waiting to go on 45 minutes before we were to start. Turns out the person who booked the bands had failed to allow even 5 minutes betwen bands, let alone the half hour that is needed at minimum, especially when they did not provide a PA.  I told the stage manager that we were here to start setting up. He said we had to wait for the other two bands to play. I produced a contract, signed by both him and the booker, that said we were playing at 6 PM and if conditions of the contract were violated for anything other than acts of God, we were excused from perfoming and were to be paid in full. The other bands hadn't bothered with contracts, so the stage manager had to break it to the other guys they were bumped. Some of them got pissed at us, but it wasn;'t our fault the booker didn't have a clue and we were wise enough to use a contract.  

    <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.patcoast.com" target="_blank">http://www.patcoast.com</a><br><br><br><br><font size="1">&quot;The guy would be strumming along, singing the verse to “Margarittavile” and then he would hit his harmonizer pedal for the chorus. It went from sounding like a guy singing and playing guitar to sounding like the Stephen Hawkings trio.&quot;-<i>Christhee68</i></font><br><br><br><br><font size="1">&quot; the singer of my cover band used to find it funny to let out gaseous forms of vile hate and sadness that would make a plaster baby Jesus weep.&quot;-<i> FitchFY</i></font></div>

    Comment


    • #4

      It seems to me that the time to negotiate or nail down what was going to happen was when you got told not to play. At that point you could have said that you would rather pay and get paid. then the ball would be in their court. They could either negotiate an amount, let you play, or tell you to go jump in that lake. Their response would form the basis of your decision to play any future gigs there.

      Two days ago, I had a "high end" downtown hotel cancel four October dates on me. It was a three hour lounge gig for $150 clear, with free parking (easily worth $20.00 in itself).

      This is about the third time they have cancelled on me, but the agent won't press for cancellation fees because she figures they will just go elsewhere for their entertainment. And she's probably right. This is a chain hotel with pockets so deep, they extend to the other side of the world. So even if I ignored my agent and took them to court, I would probably spend ten to twenty times my pay getting a judgment. And the judgment probably wouldn't be in my favour.

      I did get smart this time around however, and had double booked myself for two of the dates, with the thought of subbing out if the hotel didn't cancel.

      Comment


      • #5

        A friend of mine had a $100 gig last week that fell the night of a baseball game. She brought 20 friends who came to watch her and the game. Just after she started, the bar tried to offer her $25 to stop. Apparently the booking agent was supposed to cancel the entertainment and just have baseball. She stood her ground and played the gig for the $100. But then the bar told her they'd try to get it from the booking agent, because it was his mistake. Why not take it from the $300 in income she brought in due to his "mistake?"

        <div class="signaturecontainer">Free prog-related metal from Michigan.<br />
        <br />
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        Comment


        • Notes_Norton
          Notes_Norton commented
          Editing a comment

          We did a regular Sunday afternoon gig at a club at the city marina for a couple of years back in the 1990s.

          On our first year, Superbowl Sunday was coming so we asked the owner if he wanted us to take the day off. He didn't like sports so he told us to play.

          We advertised we'd be the "Superbowl Alternative" but only one customer came - and he wanted to watch the game. So we got paid to watch a football game. I quickly lost interest and sat on the porch watching the birds, boats and water.

          Notes

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