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Need to vent.. the most unprofessional thing in my 10 years in this...

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  • Need to vent.. the most unprofessional thing in my 10 years in this...

    WARNING: This is more me venting than it is asking for advice!

    So.. I can't post on Facebook, and I'm trying not to create drama.. but I figured I could chronicle this here, and you guys might have some different insight or appreciation for this situation. It's gonna be a long post though, so be ready to click on if that isn't your thing.

    Late 2011, I catch wind that a new club is opening in our area. I quickly find out who's behind it, and get in touch with them. They like the band, and are interested in booking us (we play all the venues around them, and the strategy for this place is to book all the same bands as those venues). They book one band (Z-BAND) for a recurring every "X-DAY" gig, and that goes well... so soon after they open, they book another band (Y-BAND) for a different "X-DAY" gig, that ends up building up really well, and ends up helping to build that band into one of the area's premier groups.

    When I finally get around to booking with the owner, we line up about one date a month, all towards the end of the month in the beginning months of 2012. Our band plays there in twice in early 2012 to mediocre nights (they didn't lose money, but I doubt they made a lot of it either). We then skip most of the summer months, and do another one off at the end of a month, with similar results. (Three dates total so far). Then, two months ago, we were told there was a double booking error and our date was cancelled there (a week out). I thought that was a bit ridiculous, as the owner and I were sitting in his office together when we both wrote the dates in the book, but we'll chalk that up to some legit error. I then get a Facebook message on Nov 1. saying something like "hey man, we double booked for tomorrow, let's confirm all the dates we have left", even though I never had that date on the schedule. Maybe there's a legit issue then.. and I'm obviously not upset, as we're booked elsewhere.

    I reply, saying things happen, and telling him I didn't even have that date anyway. I mention that our next date there is Nov. 17th, and that we have a close friend of the band's that's bringing a birthday party in there, so I kinda need to confirm that date, as well as our December date. He replies back a day late with a one line "okay, I'll look bud".

    Nov. 5th, no answer.. so I hit him up again on FB with a paragraph or so, saying I'm just checking on those dates. Again, no answer. November 7th PM/8th AM, I message him again, just checking on the dates, no answer.

    Finally, on Nov. 9 I text him telling him I'm checking on those two dates because my friend is trying to plan her party. He accidentally texts me back immediately "let *DJ-X* know we added *Y-BAND* that one date.".. then "Oops, sorry, can't talk, getting on a plane". I text him back "When can I know something.. I have people waiting on this..." to no answer. Fine.

    I do some digging and after going through the four or five Facebook pages this place has, I finally find a calendar for November, buried quite deeply. Sure enough, it has the two recurring bands all over it, but not much else, and *DJ-X* listed for our date. That is enough confirmation for me, so I post something on FB to the extent of "One of the most unprofessional things I've ever dealt with, really?!", without naming names or describing what happened. One of the replies is a member of *Y-BAND*. He ends up messaging me on Facebook, and we talk about shadiness, venues, and such... including the fact that another well known venue recently cut some of their dates, including Nov. 17th.

    I also get a message from the venue's Facebook page, from a guy we'll call "John". John says to call him at 6:30 (on a Friday, when I'm gigging at 9:30 and have to drive and set up, but okay). I call him at 6:30.. his phone is off. Again three more times between 6:30 and 7:30.. no answer. Fine. Play our gig, on break at 12:30, I call him. He answers, but says he's busy and wants me to call tomorrow at noon. Fine. I call tomorrow at noon.. and if you don't know that he doesn't answer, than you haven't been following the story!

    At this point, I'm fairly done with the whole thing. Jenn's moved her party to a competing venue with *Z-BAND* (who is one of her two favorites, with us), and we're all gonna go out there and celebrate her 30th, as well as party with some friends. HOWEVER, I get a message a few days ago from that member of *Y-BAND*, saying that they have Nov. 17th on the schedule, and he wants me to know he wasn't involved in any of the shadiness. I believe him 100 percent, dude's straight up and honest.. and this particular venue loves *Y-BAND*, it makes sense that they'd try to book them if they felt they had a spot. This does tell me all I need to know about the venue's shadiness, however.

    I texted John last night at like 2 AM as I was leaving our gig. "Never got a call from you.. I assume we aren't playing?", knowing the answer, but having yet to actually speak to ANYONE from this venue. He texts me this morning, said he tried to call and it went straight to voicemail (I rarely turn my phone off, but it's possible I suppose). Said we weren't on the schedule for tomorrow and he was trying to contact us for another date. I replied with "So you guys screwed up our last three dates there, that we booked directly with the owner, and that I watched him write down in the book... and then had no band booked for tonight until like a week ago?" No answer back. Whatever.

    To cap this off.. I texted the owner of the venue an hour ago. Here's that exchange, unedited except to change names:

    ME: I don't get why you handled this situation the way you did... I feel slighted, cheated, and thought I had shown you more respect than that.

    HIM: The entertainment has been handed to X and John. I didn't have time to handle the situation before I went out of the country, I apologize for the handling of the situation, but we are making a lot of changes to survive in this business, and unfortunately we decided to change our entertainment around.

    ME: I'm not as upset about not being booked... you have to do what's best for business. I just shouldn't have had to go calling my friends in the business to figure out what's going on. That's what I'm upset about. I would never have just not shown up for you guys.

    HIM: Did John contact you?

    ME: He messaged me on FB to call him, I did, no answer, he finally answered late, said to call him back, never did get up with each other.

    HIM: Damn man, I apologize for that, I told him he needed to call once they knew exactly what they were doing. I'll talk to him when I get back.

    Again, I'm sorry, That should've been handled better, I will talk to him

    ME: Fair enough.. he texted me this morning, said he wanted to book more dates. Do you guys want us in there moving forward? Business is business, we have work and you have bands, just be straight with me.

    And thank you for the apology, I guess I can chalk it up to a miscommunication

    HIM: X will be handling future booking, as far as I know, the majority of the schedule is full for 2013, so probably not

    ME: Thanks for getting back to me at least, and best of luck in 2013.

    Dude.. really? I'm trying as hard as I can to be somewhat professional about things, but people should be responsible and accountable for their actions! He had time to talk to me, because he accidentally texted me, and because I got with him about this a week before he went anywhere!!

    Anyways, we're gonna go party with some friends tonight, and I don't have any ill-will with *Y-BAND*.. and I understand that if our band wasn't doing the same numbers as the other bands there, than they have to go with those bands... but damn if I'm not still incredibly pissed about not only the way I was treated and the lack of income I was expecting, but the total lack of respect I was shown.

    I've played gigs where the owner didn't wanna pay us what we agreed on at the end of the night... I've been double booked more than once in the past ten years... but all of those things, I can at least see WHY someone would do what they're doing, even if it's ****************ty business (and being a ****************ty human). In this case, though, I can't see how you can justify treating another person that way. I'm trying to let it go, and not let it bug me.. but it does. This venue's been a bit snaky from day one, and I've done everything I can to roll with it and still treat them well... and for it to end like this.. well, how do you NOT want to wish the worst on the place?

    I don't even know what advice I plan on asking for here, to be honest.. I just wanted to vent with some folks who do the same thing.. maybe someone here has a different perspective? Or something to tell me to help me stop my bitching and get over it?

    oh, and inb4 "contracts, hurr-dur!".

  • #2
    Some people who end up in "management" positions shouldn't be there because they have zero ability to handle confrontation. They'll take the chicken**************** way out everytime to avoid having to be the bad guy and fire someone or deliver any other sort of bad news. Sounds like this place has a few of those people--all working overtime to avoid having to deal with **************** and/or pawning off responsiblities on others: both before and after the fact.

    With these sort of management-whizzes running the place, it's no wonder they are finding the need to "make a lot of changes to survive in this business".

    Sorry you had to get caught up in all of that. It sounds like you handled your end professionally.
    band websites:


    • #3
      Mistakes can happen and double bookings can occur, but I get the impression that this club is trying to curtail your bookings because of the less than stellar business they did when you played, but just doesn't seem to know how to do it professionally, so, yes, you are correct IMO in saying that the situation was very unprofessional.

      Having said that, I think that my takeaway from this if I was in your band would be to try to determine why we didn't have good crowds when we played and what to do about that, to try to get better, and be more successful. To me, that seems to be the more important issue rather than to rag on them for their poor management professionalism.


      • #4

        Quote Originally Posted by New Trail
        View Post

        Having said that, I think that my takeaway from this if I was in your band would be to try to determine why we didn't have good crowds when we played and what to do about that, to try to get better, and be more successful. To me, that seems to be the more important issue rather than to rag on them for their poor management professionalism.

        This particular venue has less than stellar crowds UNLESS one of the aforementioned two bands are playing. None of the other acts they book there seem to bring any kind of a crowd in, despite the fact that this venue has booked bands that are "higher on the totem pole" than them.

        That said, we came in with a solid songlist, full light show and PA, and generally had our **************** together. We promoted the events on Facebook, texted people we know, and did our part to promote. The club isn't paying me a promoter's salary, barely a working band's. Short of going out and getting radio ads (etc.) there's not much else we could have done TO promote. The club has to promote things as well.. I don't even think they mentioned us as being there on any of the four or so Facebook pages they maintain on the nights we were there.

        I do try to step back and learn from mistakes.. but there's literally nothing we could have done different to promote this venue.

        Thanks for the different perspective, however...


        • #5

          Quote Originally Posted by New Trail
          View Post

          Mistakes can happen and double bookings can occur, but I get the impression that this club is trying to curtail your bookings because of the less than stellar business they did when you played, but just doesn't seem to know how to do it professionally, so, yes, you are correct IMO in saying that the situation was very unprofessional.

          Obviously so. As I told him, my issue isn't with him not wanting our band there. They have the two bands that work, DJs that work, and we have plenty of other gigs where we work well. I've already booked over the other date we had there, and could have booked tonight if I'd wanted to (friend's b-day party though, and the other date would have been way out of town). My issue is that he is running a business like a child, and his shady business practices are seeping into mine by proxy. Not only did he cost me money (with this gig, that makes $380 out of my pocket that I knew about, $560 if you count the gig I wasn't aware of) with no advance notice, but he also could have made me look like an inconsiderate ass to a friend and longtime supporter of this band.


          • #6
            Eh. If you can't handle dealing with flakes and flunkies, you're in the wrong industry. Maybe you could consider human organ trafficking or politics.
            <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://jukejointhandmedowns.com" target="_blank">Jukejoint Handmedowns (my band)</a><br />
            <br />
            <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/everything-but-the-squeal/id517608194" target="_blank">Find our album on iTunes!</a><br />
            <br />
            <a href="http://idlehandsmusic.wordpress.com/" target="_blank">A Month of Songs </a> (Songwriting blog)<br />
            <br />
            <div class="bbcode_container">
            <div class="bbcode_quote">
            <div class="quote_container">
            <div class="bbcode_quote_container"></div>

            <div class="bbcode_postedby">
            <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>gennation</strong>
            <a href="showthread.php?p=42081230#post42081230" rel="nofollow"><img class="inlineimg" src="images/buttons/viewpost-right.png" alt="View Post" /></a>
            <div class="message">Neither of us is gay or anything, it just happened.</div>

            </div> </div>


            • #7

              Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Monkey
              View Post

              Eh. If you can't handle dealing with flakes and flunkies, you're in the wrong industry. Maybe you could consider human organ trafficking or politics.

              I'm sure both would have much less ridiculousness!


              • #8
                Move on.

                We live in a different world than what I experienced in my band days during the 70s and 80s. We competed against discos, but not roaming DJs.

                Find another venue suitable to your band's style of music. With all the Navy out your way, there should be some club looking for a live band. Start small and build a following.
                <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1">Gear: buncha stuff and a couple bazilion cables</font></div>


                • #9
                  Props for handling a bad situation professionally.


                  • #10
                    From your description above, it appears our primary modes of communication with this venue is FB and text messages.

                    I'm not saying the way the venue treated you is right, but if your default communication medium is something as passive as FB (ie, you send the message but have zero way of knowing it was looked at, much less received)...that may be part of the reason the situations are able to happen as well...
                    <div class="signaturecontainer">For cripe's sake, somebody buy that kid a freaking DICTIONARY already!<br />
                    <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/facepalm.gif" border="0" alt="" title="facepalm" class="inlineimg" /></div>


                    • #11
                      kmart, you bring up a good point regarding the method of communication that a venue owner, booker, manager and the like use a default. OP, sorry about your woes and don't apologize for venting. You got it out there and maybe some of us will learn something from it or the discourse that is following.

                      I know I have a challenge keeping track of which of my booking contacts uses what medium....FB Messenger, e-mail, phone, text, brick with note attached. How are some of you dealing with the issue?



                      • #12
                        Around here, it seems that Facebook has become the primary booking/marketing/communication tool, both for bands and for clubs.

                        It's so bad, it's gotten to the point where everyone just assumes everyone has friended everyone, and that everyone is getting everyone else's FB updates....and if you didn't see something they posted on FB a few days ago, then that's YOUR fault.

                        F'ing ridiculous, is what it is. But it is what it is.....and it's become standard operating procedure for local clubs booking local acts. Virtually everything is handled through Facebook.

                        And if you're one of those backward idiots (like me) who doesn't do Facebook or social media in general, it can definitely lead to miscommunication and make you feel a bit disconnected at times, because so many people have come to rely on FB as their primary method of interpersonal communication. It's not a big deal most of the time.....but when we're talking about something that is real and actually matters (like business-related communications), is it really that difficult to pick up the f'ing phone and call someone?

                        For some people....apparently so.


                        • #13
                          It's ridiculous.. especially with venues where you have already had face to face meetings, and where you both already have each other's phone numbers.... but I don't see it changing anytime soon.


                          • #14
                            Sorry to hear about this happening to you. It does sound like you handled it very professionally, despite being incensed by the situation (as I would be as well).

                            Regarding booking and communication, it's still SOP to book by phone or in-person around here in NoDak. I have not ever booked a gig by Facebook, although I'm currently working on our first Facebook booking at the moment (still pending on the response after I told her our fee). I have also never booked one by e-mail. I guess I prefer that because although e-mail and Facebook messages leave a paper trail, I get a better feel for a person over the phone and face-to-face. From one gig I played a few weeks back, some nagging suspicions were confirmed from the tone of their voice and the way they said things (kind of a stickler over the phone, even more so once we met at the gig). I doubt I would have had the same feeling if we had a text-only conversation.
                            (This is my Non-Signature.)


                            • #15
                              Good story, man.
                              <div class="signaturecontainer">- Chad<br><br><br><br><font size="1"><br><br>Endorsing Artist: Cave Passive Pedals<br><br></font></div>