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Although you never want to burn bridges... sometimes it feels great to fire a room!


wheresgrant3

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We've played a room now for the better part of five years. In fact, we were the first band they ever booked when they first opened when we were younger (and hungrier). It's located between two college campuses and from day one it was an immediate hit in the area. On an average night there's a line at midnight around the corner of college kids waiting to get in.... the nights we played that line formed at 9:30pm. We've had great shows there over the years, and in the early days it was one of the best rooms on our roster. It's one of the few rooms where the band trumps the DJ and from the first note until the last all eyes and ears are on you.

 

However on the business end we had to endure... constant battles over pay, horrible load in, and an owner and management that are terrible to deal with. We actually left for a year, a dispute over pay (they weren't willing to meet our gaurantee so we politely declined booking that year... and they called us again, and again, and again... they finally paid ;) ).Year by year, show by show our enthusiasm wanned playing there... to the point we only book there 3-4 times a year. Three of us in the band had to convice the other 4 members that the room despite the {censored}ty management it was still strategic... everynight it was filled with college students from both sides of town. After graduation some of those students would graduate, find jobs in the area, and follow us around to other rooms in the area. Now, however, the economy has crushed the local job market... and no one is sticking around. We're seeing less retention from our previous years playing there which tells us many are moving home. The other shoe to fall is the venue started issuing 1099's... in 2007 without telling us. In January we were hit with $3200 in back unpaid taxes. Now we're collecting $$$ upfront... however it dramtically reduces our take at the end of the night. We've had some of the busiest night's in that venue's history... we never got a raise we didn't fight for... they always charged a tab... complained if we started at 10:01pm... and never , EVER credited us with a great night... even though we had the best, and most consistent draw in the room.

 

So we discussed over the weekend the rooms we want to keep and the ones we want to ditch in 2011. We have at least 12 rooms in 3 differen't states constant rotation, and about 1-2 new rooms per month looking to book us. All of them willing to meet our gaurantee. Mix that with weddings and private events and we won't even feel a pinch. So we voted unaminously to ditch this room.

 

So the bar manager calls us today to lock in some bookings for next year (here's a clue, he's calling us)and our manager notifies him "We just don't have the room for you on the calendar in 2011... so sorry. But we can stay in touch and if something changes".

 

The bar manager was dumbfounded "But where else are you guys going to play?" :facepalm:

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Especially with that last comment, it seems like this venue is one that thinks of the bands and entertainment as "that group of guys in the corner with instruments playing around" instead of "an independent contractor that provides us a valuable service", which is what a band is, if all cylinders are firing with the venue and the band.

 

I've learned that it's really hard to do business with someone that doesn't realize they're doing business with you to begin with... those are the people who give you ambiguous answers to questions, who are quick to say "I don't know", but never quick to listen to why you deserve a pay raise, who want to undercut any price you give them, who try to cut money at the end of the night, who want to pay bands "per person", who never give a discount for the band members at the bar, and who just generally don't appreciate the people they're hiring to work for them.

 

Sounds like you guys made a great decision!

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Especially with that last comment, it seems like this venue is one that thinks of the bands and entertainment as "that group of guys in the corner with instruments playing around" instead of "an independent contractor that provides us a valuable service", which is what a band is, if all cylinders are firing with the venue and the band.

 

 

Too many venues in my area think this way.

 

Grant, good luck! It's good to be the king lol!

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Watch out for the IRS, they now know that you are making money playing music and it won't take much investiagtion for them to determine if you are playing gigs and not reporting the income. The 1099 that they filed has now made you very visible to the IRS.

 

Max

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Watch out for the IRS, they now know that you are making money playing music and it won't take much investiagtion for them to determine if you are playing gigs and not reporting the income. The 1099 that they filed has now made you very visible to the IRS.


Max

 

 

We've worried about that. Whether or not it helps us, the 1099 was in our manager's name. We all pass the ball a bit on 1099's to spread the risk of reported income. And we've always reported and paid taxes on income that we've been issued a 1099 return on (including payment from private checks). This one caught us off guard because we weren't aware of the 1099 until this January. Never had notice from the club owner. The club had our managers SS#... we were never sent a return or a form to fill.

 

We've considered setting up an LLP to handle this... we're in the process of talking to a few accountants on the best way to handle it.

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