Double Set-Up for Single Pay - Weather Content

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jaywa, Jun 22, 2013.


  1. jaywa

    jaywa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    Apologies for the lengthy context but I want to set the appropriate stage (pun) for my actual question.

    My cover/originals band rolls with pretty substantial production that is 100% DIY. 4 to 6 Yorkville 2x18 subs, 4 Yorkville tops, Yamaha digital board, 24K watts of power amps, wireless IEMs for everyone, and a light show that includes LED pancake lights and a programmable LED light curtain that hangs on a back truss supported by commercial grade crank-up stands that require 3 guys to move. We set up and tear down EVERYTHING ourselves... just the 5 guys in the band. Between sound, lights, personal gear and a soundcheck It takes us anywhere from 45 mins to an hour and half to go from a completely bare stage to ready-to-play.

    We are now in the peak of our prime season (small town street dances). These are good paying gigs but we have had terrible luck this year so far with weather. Here's what went down last night:

    We drove an hour to the gig on a day where the forecast was a 70% chance of thunderstorms after 10 pm (we're scheduled to play 9:30 to 1). En route to the gig (3 in the afternoon), our BL called the organizers and asked if an alternate indoor venue was available. They said it was, but despite the forecast, they still insisted we set up outside on their flatbed trailer stage with no cover of any kind. The reason being they wanted to sell as many tickets as possible and their indoor venue didn't have a lot of capacity. So fine, we got there, set everything up and were just ready to soundcheck when the sheriff comes by and says a hail storm is a half hour away. So we tear everything down and stash it in the trailer till the weather passes over (it wound up being just wind, not hail).

    We still had enough time and the weather was improving so we set-up AGAIN and then waited for showtime. Well by the time we went on the weather had turned bad again and after 4 songs there was so much lightning that the BL called the gig... and we packed up again.

    Bottom line... our band executed two COMPLETE set-ups and teardowns, all to play a total of 4 songs. When all the organizers would have had to do was let us play inside in the first place. To the organizers credit, they did pay us in full but the whole thing just seemed like a colossal waste of time and gas, as well as a huge disservice to the people who had paid $8 apiece to see us. And was very physically demanding on all of us.

    One of our guitarists was furious and told our BL that no band should ever have to set up and tear down more than once and that we should start writing that into our contracts. I.e., if we are forced to set up outside and have to strike the stage due to weather before we play, our "show" is done and we get paid and go home. Our BL OTOH is more of the mind that if you go above and beyond in situations like this (which we certainly did last night) that it gives your band a better reputation and can help you get more gigs (and more money per gig) over other bands.

    So what's "normal"? Is it appropriate in situations like this to expect only one set-up and teardown... is a band entitled to write that provision into their deals, and is a "full payment" clause enforceable under those circumstances?

    Any and all thoughts appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    The contract that my band uses for outdoor shows contains the following provision:

    (C) Inclement Weather.

    1. The Band has the right to interrupt or cancel the Performance in the event of inclement weather or any other conditions which Band or Sponsor regard as hazardous to any person or to the Band’s equipment. Any such interruption, postponement or cancellation of services shall not affect the Payment specified herein.

    2. If there is a rain date for the Performance set forth in Section I above, then in the event of rain on the Performance Date, Sponsor shall make a determination at least four (4) hours prior to the Performance Time as to whether the Performance shall be moved to the rain date.

    3. If there is no rain date for the Performance set forth in Section above, then in the event of rain, Sponsor shall provide alternate indoor facilities and notify Band of the alternate location at least three (3) hours prior to the Performance Time.

    4. If Sponsor does not provide an alternate location and the Event is cancelled because of inclement weather, then Sponsor shall nevertheless pay the Band the full amount of the Payment.
  3. jaywa

    jaywa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    That all seems to make sense. So applying that language to my band's situation last night:

    1. The Band has the right to interrupt or cancel the Performance in the event of inclement weather or any other conditions which Band or Sponsor regard as hazardous to any person or to the Band’s equipment. Any such interruption, postponement or cancellation of services shall not affect the Payment specified herein.

    We didn't cancel, but we did end early. (BTW about 15 minutes after we finished packing up, it started raining and came down in torrents for the next 3 hours. So we definitely made the right call ending when we did.)

    2. If there is a rain date for the Performance set forth in Section I above, then in the event of rain on the Performance Date, Sponsor shall make a determination at least four (4) hours prior to the Performance Time as to whether the Performance shall be moved to the rain date.

    We have never played a street dance where there was a Rain Date. I'm not sure my BL would even sign-off on something like that because we have every weekend of the summer season booked 6-9 months in advance and playing a make-up date for one gig would likely mean having to cancel another.

    3. If there is no rain date for the Performance set forth in Section above, then in the event of rain, Sponsor shall provide alternate indoor facilities and notify Band of the alternate location at least three (3) hours prior to the Performance Time.

    So in our case, an acceptable indoor facility was available, but the client would not allow us to use it... even with a forecast that practically guaranteed unacceptable playing conditions outside. Not sure what kind of contract language protects against a lack of common sense by the client :meh:

    4. If Sponsor does not provide an alternate location and the Event is cancelled because of inclement weather, then Sponsor shall nevertheless pay the Band the full amount of the Payment.

    We got paid in full, so that part was all good.

    The worst thing about it was, the indoor venue wasn't really that small... (it was the town's Legion Hall, with a nice sized events room with stage attached to a storefront bar). I went in there before we went home and the events room was PACKED. It was holding 300 people with no problem and we could have rocked that room all night had we been allowed to.
  4. modulusman

    modulusman

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Location:
    montana
    I feel your pain. I use to love playing outside and it seamed like until a few years ago we were always lucky and had good weather. About 3-4 years ago we had 6 outside gigs and were rained on every time. Last year we were rained out at a wedding after setting up outdoors. Gear got wet and we didn't play a note. Still got paid.
    This year we are getting a lot of rain this month. Were playing here next Friday. http://www.headwaterscountryjam.com/ The forecast right now calls for 90 degrees and sunshine but that can change.
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  6. T-Bird

    T-Bird

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Location:
    Finland (Northern Europe)
    Hi.

    Sorry about the gig gone wrong, it sucks but such is our profession/hobby.



    Without knowing anything about the contract You guys are using, I'd side with the BL's POV.

    We are after all just a modern version step up from the court clown, we provide entertainment.
    We are able to draw contracts and negotiate though, hell, we can even suck at times without being beheaded or thrown into the dungeons ;).

    As for the organizer, who the hell uses an uncovered flatbed stage anymore?
    Be that rain, wind or sunshine, the conditions in an open stage like that can become really bad, really fast.
    If anything, I'd put something preventing that ever happening on the contract.

    Regards
    Sam
  7. modulusman

    modulusman

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Location:
    montana
    They are still common for street dances here where I live which is only one state over from the OPs
  8. T-Bird

    T-Bird

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Location:
    Finland (Northern Europe)
    Hi.

    Yeah, but why uncovered?

    I do realize that while the very minority of flatbeds over here are uncovered because of the different/harsher geographical environment and that's not the case everywhere, there should be enough covered trailers/flatbeds available on weekends everywhere?

    No-one would try that "let's play without a cover" over here, that's for sure.
    Not twice anyway ;).

    Regards
    Sam
  9. Smallmouth_Bass

    Smallmouth_Bass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    At some point, there has to be an early call from the organizers if you go outside or not. Once you set up and things don't work out and you have to stop the show prematurely, it is reasonable to think you have fulfilled your end of the obligation.
  10. glocke1

    glocke1

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2002
    I've been in a couple of situations where early on it was clear there was inclement weather forecast for an outside gig but no one had the balls to call things off. End result is I ended up driving a couple of hours one way and did not play because the weather was terrible.

    Someone, either a band member or the organizer needs to call it when severe weather is forecast. I've called a couple over the years..One was in a severe snowstorm that shut down much of our state...guys I was playing with at the time were intent on trying to make it to some small bar to play but with blizzard like conditions forecast I said no way.

    Most recent one was this past fall. Outdoor party, we were scheduled to play at 9 pm..rained all day. Rain stopped at 5 pm...but it was extremely foggy and very dewey out. No way was I bringing my gear out in those super damp conditions....band was pissed at me..until the next day when they found out that the guy running lights and sound also refused to set his gear up for the same exact reasons.
  11. jaywa

    jaywa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    Yeah that's the thing. In our situation the BL owns EVERYTHING sxcept our personal gear. So it's his butt on the line, not some production company's.
  12. mellowinman

    mellowinman Perfect for Breaking the Ice at Naughty Parties Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Media:
    29
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I got a hernia just reading the OP.

    My lawyers will be contacting you.
  13. xgator4u

    xgator4u

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A.
    Well, I can only speak for myself here.
    Weather is an issue a LOT down here.
    If the gig is not cancelled in advance and we show up...
    We WILL be paid half just for showing up.
    If we unload and even start setting up we get paid.
    There is no way we would set up on an uncovered stage down here.
    AND we bring plenty of tarps and bungies.

    Weather is what it is, and It would be moronic to allow the weather to control us, or our pay.

    Insurance has exclusions for "acts of God", our gig contract does not.
  14. Joe Louvar

    Joe Louvar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA USA
    All we can do is have a good contract that covers problems like this - and hope for the best.

    TIP: always take a trap, just incase.

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