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  • LIC or CIC and riders and local production providers

    Subject matter:

    As a local production provider, I'm geared up to service local and regional level acts, because that's the diminished point of return on gear and employee capability level.  Generally a 24 channel board is more than sufficent, as are 4 monitor mixes, 24 can lighting rig, 50A power distro, 10KW FOH system, lots of '58's and one D6 and a couple dozen other speciality mics, one "good hand" and a couple of flakyier maybes possibly in reserve, etc... Your basic $50K gear investment local level sound and lighting business endevour.

    Ok... so I (tenatively) have an annual festival gig coming up in-about a month... and it's the same old crap that always seems to happen at a local level when the festival has been a success for a few years:  The ever-changing CIC (committee-in-charge) has grown a head that won't fit through a standard door... And befitting to their new hat size: they booked (signed the contract) on a national level act (to perform for 40 minuets of the 2 day festival)... committee aspirations to make this festival a "national level event" (in a town of 10K population).

    The LIC of the CIC booked her favorite band.  That's cool except for the fact that the contract rider calls for what I'd estimate to be approx. $10K - $15K of production... that's likely unavailable even regionally this late in the game... I suspect the closest available production company that's available and could field the rider specs is 1,200 - 1,500 miles away.  Meeting the rider specs is orders of magnitude beyond my capabilities (we usually charge approx $1,500 to service the whole two day event... a reasonable price for what we do).

    We've made it clear in the past:  Please get us stage plots and input list... getting us those items from your booked performers will greatly assist us in making your event better.  However, BEFORE you book a band that has a technical rider with their contract, forward us that rider so we can review it and let you know if we can service that act.  Of-course, they didn't... they just booked the band and signed the contract and then forwarded us the technical rider.  Of-course, the first thing when we pointed out the problem... the LIC (and subsiquently the CIC) forwarded us the contact info for the band... so "we could work it out".  I knew the pointlessness in that... of-course the band management won't return calls... they know what's up with that: some dink-pot town in the middle of nowhere hired us, and their dink-pot local production company ain't got... not the band's problem.  So the communication has been hit & miss (as generally is the case with situations like this) over the past 6 months since the band was booked by the LIC (with the approval of the CIC)... but the noise floor has finally raisen to the point of the LIC pulling her head out of the sand long enough to take a bit of a stab at the situation she's created by e-mailing:  "I'll work on getting the band's management with you so they can help you identify what additional equipment you'll supply." 

    Fortunately, I haven't signed a contract yet... and I'm not going to unless what I sign to, I know I can deliver.

    I've been in this position quite a few times in the past... usually it results in me not doing the event ever again (although I paved the street that many are driving on)... 90% of the time the reason I'm not involved in the event after the "incident" is because the otherwise very successful annual event implodes, and the other 9% of the time it's because they actually do rise to being a national level event and require continuing national level production for their national level acts and event.  Maybe 1% of the time they (the CIC) comes to grip with the situation (what the event is and what's the diminished point of return), and what I supply the do the job for the acts they subsiquently book is suitable for the situation... and life is good... cause if nobody is going to pay $100/ ticket to take in a national level act... it's doubtful the local chamber of commerce is going to sponsor an event to the level of $100 per attendee two years in a row.

    Anybody here got any words of advice to offer?

    I need to catch up with those guys, for I am their leader.

  • #2

     Well I don't have any experience with A level acts. Did provide sound for a canadian juno winning artist once and we had nowhere near the quality of gear on their rider. We did contact them and they were fine with what we provided. Not sure if you know these guys.http://prosoundaudionw.com/equipment/ they provided sound for a festival I played at last weekend and are in Spokane. They might be able to help you get the gear you need.

    Comment


    • Audiopile
      Audiopile commented
      Editing a comment

      modulusman wrote:
      Not sure if you know these guys.http://prosoundaudionw.com/equipment/ they provided sound for a festival I played at last weekend and are in Spokane. They might be able to help you get the gear you need.

      I don't believe Hal's rig will meet the rider specs either, but his rig is a heck of a lot closer to meeting the specs than mine.  Besides, I'm a guessing that if Hal had the time slot open and the budget was commensurate for the job, Hal would have had it locked down months ago.

      I don't need the gear... as it's not my gig... except for the fact that maybe I'm the only one who fully understands that.  The LIC that signed the contract needs the gear and the personnel.  That's the whole point.  If I have some minimal percentage of what's required for my past customer to meet some obligation of what they've signed a contract and committed to, that's not my problem... it's her problem... but how to get it tastefully through their thick head that the viable solution is for them to take my advice and contract to the capable provider they've been referred to... except the cost for what they entered into a contract to provide for is 10X what they have budgeted.  How to break it to the customer that they think they're in the process of buying a Cadillac for the price of a Geo... except they didn't know what either cost (except they basically blindly chose the Caddie and signed an open-ended contract)... but they made the down payment... and didn't read the fine print of the contract (cause it was all Greek to them, and figured their local independent service mechanic could just make things work out)

      Probably the best plan of action at this point is to stop returning phone calls and e-mails.


  • #3

    Wish I could offer you something, but you know the drill. I am closer to the system you have than the one they want, and have been in this situtation. A friend with another system similar in size to mine asked me to combine gear with him and do a series of shows at a local campground that had visions of grandeur doing bike weeks. The first couple of years were fine. Local bands, a regional now and then, and the world was ok. Then it growed. Campground decided to install concrete buildings for the vendors to line his concert field instead of letting vendors bring tents. He could rent them to the vendors and make more money. Vendors had to make more so he needed better talent for a bigger draw. So he upped the talent, and expected us to just handle it. He signed performance contracts and then tried to negotiate their riders with us. He didn't know what riders were, and thought it could be worked after the signing of the national's contract. We explained that he had to furnish the gear they stipulated, or they could get off their bus, ask for their check, and leave, at their option. He looked like a deer in headlights. That was when we parted ways. Sometimes, you just have to know when to fold 'em. He hired a regional provider ($$$) and I am sure he did not make a profit. In fairness, he has survived, and it has grown for him, but it wasn't smooth. He also had deep pockets to work with so he could afford the learning curve. Not everyone can. I suggest track shoes for running.

    Comment


    • #4

      Audiopile wrote:

      the LIC pulling her head out of the sand long enough to take a bit of a stab at the situation she's created by e-mailing:  "I'll work on getting the band's management with you so they can help you identify what additional equipment you'll supply." 

      Fortunately, I haven't signed a contract yet... and I'm not going to unless what I sign to, I know I can deliver.

      Anybody here got any words of advice to offer?


      Run. <edit: I see others beat me to it >

      Or bid the $15K+ you think it will cost you to meet the rider. If you'd have to buy because you can't rent tack that on at 100% of cost.

      If they want to negotiate the rider down let them. Or offer to for a hourly "consulting fee". Why should you chase them for free when you probably won't get the job anyways? They'll end up hiring some guy with a crap PA, the band will show up and immediately leave when they find the rider not met - hey, free money for them . And it will still be your fault somehow .

      Comment


      • Audiopile
        Audiopile commented
        Editing a comment

        RoadRanger wrote:
         

        Run. <edit: I see others beat me to it >

        Or bid the $15K+ you think it will cost you to meet the rider. If you'd have to buy because you can't rent tack that on at 100% of cost.

         


        At this point, the rider technical specs likely aren't available for $15K... probably be more in the neighborhood of $20K - $25K.

        Buying the rider spec gear?  Probably on the order of $500K - $1M.  Just the basics of the specified stage would be north of $1/4M  Where to come up with the qualified personell to accompany... "good luck".

        RoadRanger wrote:

        If they want to negotiate the rider down let them. Or offer to for a hourly "consulting fee". Why should you chase them for free when you probably won't get the job anyways? They'll end up hiring some guy with a crap PA, the band will show up and immediately leave when they find the rider not met - hey, free money for them . And it will still be your fault somehow .


        Yup... except even the guy with the crap PA probably isn't available at this point... bacially because there's even few of those to pick from locally, and what there is of that:  the owner/operator's are by-in-large gone for summer break (from school).

        Stuart's suggestion of track shoes for running is good... except there's no track shoe friendly track available from this ticking time bomb... it's clods to the horizon... good clod hoppers are what's needed... fortunately I have a good pair of clod hoppers as I've been down this road before... pre internet forums though... I was hoping the collective knowledge of man now available on-line would offer me some enlightenment beyond my own experience... but maybe there is no silver bullet yet devised for this situation.

         


    • #5

      I had a thread a year or so ago regarding a conference I provided for.  The original sound quote was for $35,000 from an in-house company, but I provided most of the stuff and came in at about 10% of the original price, with slightly better gear and probable outcome. But it nearly killed me and I'm still bitter about it. So I'm no longer interested in performing miracles

      I suggest that you inform the committee that it's too bad they did what they did, but they now only have three options. They (not you) either convince the band to use your gear, or they hire out at whatever cost, or they cancel the band and pay their fee. One of those three things is going to happen, it's just a matter of when.

      Comment


    • #6

      You posted this because I believe you care

      This is a good thing.

      I personally would just say this.

      I can handle the festival sound no problem.

      I cant cover sound for the national act.

      A system they require would cost 15k-20k

      Really typical piss poor decsions from city officials.

      Your first paragraph is what you have for 1500.00

      Its really a take it or leave it situation.

       

      Comment


      • witesol
        witesol commented
        Editing a comment

        I've been in this situation. Festival that has gone along fine all of a sudden wants "--------" band now. Festival wants you to be at your regular fee too....I had one client this year that was so excited to tell me they booked the Gin Blossoms. It got me thinking my measly $1500 fee I,ve been charging for past 4 years wasn't as set in stone as I had thought.


        Here in the LA area one can generally augment your stuff. Last year i rented extra jbl 725 and 728 to make a decent rig for a b national. Sometimes I have busted my ass trying to make it work, and never has it failed but there are some gigs I've then given away the following year, or some soundCo comes in at triple the price with their fancy trussing...and yes, the gig looks better but some have not run better.

        What I've found is to skip managers and disregard the tech rider Xmas wish list. Go right to th production guy and explain what you have, see what the deal breaker points are. Most of the time you can work it out...if you want, for the money. I remember being worried I didn't have biamped monitors or the right mics on drums. None of it has mattered. The stress of it can go up 2x.

        Can you provide onstage monitoring? Are they wanting things like a yam 5d? I forgot what your system is. 

         

        do they realize how much more infrastructure is needed for a national act? are they expecting you to be the expert and take care of hospitality, green rooms, lodging, additional security, fencing, etc? 


      • abzurd
        abzurd commented
        Editing a comment

        Pro Sound Guy wrote:

        You posted this because I believe you care

        This is a good thing.

        I personally would just say this.

        I can handle the festival sound no problem.

        I cant cover sound for the national act.

        A system they require would cost 15k-20k

        Really typical piss poor decsions from city officials.

        Your first paragraph is what you have for 1500.00

        Its really a take it or leave it situation.

         


         

        Pretty much this. It's your nature to want to fix this, but it's really only fixable if the band's management is willing to accept what you have. You shouldn't be chasing down anyone.

        This is what I'd do.... Send a list of what you are able to provide to whoever is in charge and tell them the band's management needs to sign off on your list or you're not doing the show because you can't meet the requirements. Set a deadline for when this needs to be done by and stick to it. It will either be worked out by then or it won't. It's all for their own good as the contract may have cancellation language in it that's less than the 100% they'll have to fork over if the bus comes through town. The sooner they realize this is a big deal the better.


    • #7

      The committee that organizes our annual fall fair has been pretty good to us, for the most part. The guy I work with has been providing sound for their grandstand show for 15 years or so and had a good relationship with the fair committee. A few years ago they got a feather in their cap and decided to book some big-name country acts to come and perform... but they didn't get nearly the audience they thought they would and had to foot some very large performer and production fees. We're a small company but we have good relationships with a lot of big production companies in the area, so meeting rider spec is never a problem.

      Another local committee was trying to put on a large event to raise money for cancer awareness, but it was their first time organizing an event of this size and had absolutely no idea what they were getting into. They were trying to book a large outdoor venue to field an A national act, but hadn't even considered washrooms, barriers, medical staff, security, lodging, parking... we were willing to help out but they were expecting us to provide all the production for FREE. we ran as fast as we could, jumped in the van, then drove as far away as we could. they ended up getting another company to do it but the show came in WAY under spec. the act was furious and in the end NOBODY got paid. they claimed they raised $15,000 for cancer research but the nonprofit they were donating to said they only recieved $500...

      Comment


      • #8
        It will be interesting to hear how it goes down.


        Nicely done, now pull up a good seat!
        PA Unity15's over LS800p's. YX15's, YX12's IPR power, RM32AI

        LightsMartin Minimac Profiles, Chauvet Intimidator Spot Duos, Blizzard 3NX, Fab5, Hotbox

        Comment


        • dedmeet
          dedmeet commented
          Editing a comment

          Audiopile,

          Sounds like you handled it in a professional and courteous way.  Keep an eye out, though - I had a situation like that and the folks made it sound like I had let them down even though I was never actually hired for the event. 


      • #9
        I heard Los Lobos does this all the time. When asked, the guitar player said "a Twin is a Twin."

        Someone here mentioned it.
        PA Unity15's over LS800p's. YX15's, YX12's IPR power, RM32AI

        LightsMartin Minimac Profiles, Chauvet Intimidator Spot Duos, Blizzard 3NX, Fab5, Hotbox

        Comment


        • #10
          A quick google search found this company in Vancouver:

          http://www.backline.com/Rentals/gear.html

          I'm sure all the big cities have similar companies. Check the client list....

          http://www.backline.com/Rentals/clients.html
          PA Unity15's over LS800p's. YX15's, YX12's IPR power, RM32AI

          LightsMartin Minimac Profiles, Chauvet Intimidator Spot Duos, Blizzard 3NX, Fab5, Hotbox

          Comment









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