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Booking conflicts...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by txbasschik, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    OK, I have a problem.

    I book shows for my band. Because my husband's band is sooo popular, and plays out so much, and he is our drummer, I have to book around them. I don't like it, but he was already with that band when we formed, and we agreed that we would do this. And, they do make sure he has enough free time to play with us. Not as much as I'd like, but enough.

    But now, our guitarist has formed another band. A three-piece acoustic combo, with her brother and an old friend. So, now I am expected to book around *them*, too. I do not like this at *all*. I told her she could go ahead and be in the other band, but that I cannot book around the schedules of two bands without giving up more gigs than I want to. As it is, we only play two or three times a month, because of them.

    On top of all that, our singer is moving out of state, so we want to play as much as we can before he leaves in a few months.

    Mid-May, we are *very* busy. We have a bar gig on Friday, 5/12. Then we have a festival gig on May 13, and my husband's band comes on after we finish, both bands getting prime slots after 8 p.m. We have all paid our dues in that town, played in 35F weather in front of no one, and in 105F in front of crowds, for a few years, now.

    The guitarist booked her acoustic thing for the afternoon portion of the festival, which is fine. She has not chosen a time slot, yet, however.

    So...enter another, very-nearby festival. A much bigger, better-attended one. They asked The Knowbodys to play it at 4 p.m. We figure that's fine, since we don't play the other one until after 8 p.m., and the guitarist's band could play the early afternoon.

    But nooooo! She wants her band (this is their first gig) to have a prime afternoon slot...at 4 p.m.! This precludes our being able to play the big festival *unless we get a sub*. Which makes her all upset, understandably. But...she is the one who chose to be in two bands. She wants to work with her bro, and there is no place for him in The Knowbodys. (He plays bass...so there's no place for him in my band.)

    I asked her if she would please book her acoustic thing for 1 or 2 p.m. and let us do the big festival, but she says that she won't get a good crowd for her band that way. My thinking is, "Oh, you think the venue is going to put your *brand new* totally unknown band in a better slot than the other acoustic groups, who've been playing out there and paying their dues already? Brand-new bands get the early slots. That's life." But I don't say it. I just think it, for now.

    So, she wants us to give up a *great* festival, with lots of exposure for all of us, so her brand-new group can get the best slot at a very small festival, which she is, IMO, unlikely to get.

    I *can't* book my band around the schedules of two others! We'll get trumped all the time. I'm in this to play, not to babysit other bands!

    So...do I bring in the sub and take the festival gig? I risk losing her permanently, if I do. But if I cave, I will be expected to continue to cave!

    What would you do?

    Cherie :rollno:
  2. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    Ugh. Yup.

    When will she know if she can get it? At this point it sounds like she doesn't want to lose what she doesn't even have.

    I agree. You need to ask her to pick her priorities and stick with them. What you are left with is what you have to deal with.

    Take a band vote and see who wants the big festival gig. If the majority wants it then book it. If she won't play it get a sub. If she doesn't like it then get a permanent sub.

    When you start playing in multiple bands you just have to be o.k. with schedule conflicts not allowing you to play 2 or more gigs at once.

    It's not fair for the whole band to suffer because you can't have your cake and eat it too.


  3. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006

    If she wants a second band thats fine, but you need to know up front what her priorities are. If your band isn't a priority for her then she looses her right to the seat.

    Of course it would be different if it was a personal issue, or if you'd know up front that your band was second choice, but as I understand it she's dumping you for another band, so let her go.

  4. KeithPas

    KeithPas Supporting Member

    May 16, 2000
    You should make it very clear that when dealing with the group that you all play in, all other groups come second. Your guitarist has a conflict of interest and what she is doing is borderline unethical IMO.
  5. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    I think my main beef with her is the unwillingness to take a very *good* gig with us, in order to have something that, IMO, will be marginal for her other band. She wants to keep playing with us, and I'm fine with that, but I dislike being asked to not use a sub, or cancel a gig, for her band to play to a small crowd when it is hotter than the Devil's own barbeque pit.

    I just don't think that the small crowd she'll have at the little fest is worth us giving up a *huge* crowd at a big fest by the lake.

    You're correct, of course. We have to discuss her priorities, and we have to discuss using a sub. I know she won't like it, but it isn't like we are always trying to replace her. Yeah, its threatening when you haven't played out that much, to have someone step in. But we're in a corner here.


  6. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    I don't know about unethical. She wants her new band to have a chance, and I respect that. But, yeah, we are getting some nice attention right now...people are coming to *us* with offers, instead of us having to go them...and I think we deserve to be more of a priority right now. I don't know why she can schedule her acoustic show early and let us play this together. If we're on the t-shirt and in the paper this week, we won't be cancelling.

  7. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    I goobered up! I posted something else about this, but in the wrong thread. So...if I look like I am insane in some Off Topic thread or somewhere...I thought I was in here.

    Too quick on the draw...

    Cherie :-}
  8. KeithPas

    KeithPas Supporting Member

    May 16, 2000

    You are being very kind and maybe too reasonable with the guitarist. If the guitarist is attempting to skim gigs away from your band to her own project I would consider that borderline unethical. She was in your band first and she should take care of business in that band before her own project.
  9. jrduer


    Jun 27, 2005
    Georgetown, TX
    Hey, Cherie:

    As you know, I have some experience with this situation, but from the other side. At one time recently, I was in 3 different bands. All 3 bands knew of the other 2, and all 3 bands understood that the first band I joined would take priority as far as gigs were concerned. After that came the band with the most frequent public gigs. Third was the band that mostly rehearsed, but did play a few gigs in public. But at all times, all 3 bands knew they were welcome to get a sub for me, if a gig came up that conflicted and I just couldn't finesse it. And all of my bandmates also knew that I would try to rearrange gigs, if I had enough advance notice, to accomodate everyone.

    My advice, for what it's worth, is to book the big festival, and let the guitarist make her own decision. If she goes with her other band, get a sub. If she doesn't like that, tough.

    Good luck, and let me know when/where you're playing.

  10. Passinwind

    Passinwind I am Passinwind and some of you are not. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics

    I went through a spate of these problems last two summers, and I'd say the main thing is to keep things friendly and productive as much as possible. I don't envy anyone who's faced with three festival gigs with two different bands in the same day like your guitar player potentially would be, and that after a gig the previous night. But bear in mind that I'm a geezer who's maybe just too old for that.;)

    Are you sure your guitar player is up to this? How developed is her other band, realistically? How hard is she to get a sub for? In any case, she's not really skimming your gig, since you already have the cherry slot for the "lesser festival", right?

    This sounds darn tough, I have to say. I hope I'm not headed in the same direction, but I'm afraid I probably am. Bands 4 and 5 just called this week, and they both have better gigs lined up than any of my regulars. My primary band is incredibly supportive though, and they already cut their bookings to one a month for the summer (really big ones though) to help me progress with my other gigs. Plus they have a family member who's a smoking sub on bass, and fortunately I get along famously with him. Your situation is different in so many ways (I play jazz mostly, and subbing and/or whoring are an accepted part of the landscape), all I can say is best of luck, and have fun!
  11. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    Give her one last chance to switch, if she doesn't, do it with a sub. You have nothing to feel guilty for. Just make sure you don't do anything behind her back, be up front with everything.
  12. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    If she wants to do her thing that's cool, but she shouldn't stop the rest of the band from playing because of that. Go for the sub, just make sure she knows you're not replacing her. What she's doing isn't really unethical, but it is selfish.
  13. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I think you're being messed around here, she's poaching gis off your band which has already made it's name.

    I would ask her to seriously commit to one of the projects, and go from there.
  14. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    And there's the rub. She doesn't want us to use a sub, and she wants *me* to do the finessing of *her* gig, and then not get to play the lake festival.

  15. jrduer


    Jun 27, 2005
    Georgetown, TX
    F.....um, to heck with that.:ninja:

    Do you have a sub in mind?

  16. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Well guys, I have made up my mind.

    We're going ahead with the big festival. I don't think we can honorably do anything else, at this point. We'll just let her know, and then she can make up her own mind, within a reasonable period of time. If I don't have a confirmation from her within ten days of the festival, then we will use the sub, regardless.

    I am also not going to do any finessing of gig times for her band's slot at the small festival. She wants me to do it, but only within the framework of what she and her band want. This is neither my responsility, nor my concern. So, even though I have given her the contact info already, I will give it to her again, and tell her she needs to arrange that for herself.

    I will leave these choices completely up to her, informing her in fairness and without rancor.

    Thanks, all of you. I am a big softie, really, and I hate having to make these hard decisions. But the singer won't, either, and the drummer will be too harsh. So...I have to do it. Your input was very professional, and has strengthened my resolve.

    MWAH!!! :)

  17. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    Hey Cherie?

    When you're done with all that, can you finesse MY band a choice spot in some such and such festival at some such and such time? I mean, I know it's not your responsibility, but you should do it anyway! It'd be especially cool if you could give us a time when you guys were going to play... Us playing instead of you while you're doing all the work seems perfectly fair.

    I mean, it IS all about me, right?

  18. jrduer


    Jun 27, 2005
    Georgetown, TX
    You're doing the right thing.

    *round of applause*

  19. I say tell you lazy ass husband to learn to play guitar and drums at the same time and your problems are solved! I mean, drums are easy right?

    Seriously, talk straight with her. You're not giving up that gig. Period. It's her decision to decide if you're going to need a sub or not.
  20. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Oh yes, and I will fetch you The Holy Grail and The One Ring, while I'm at it! :D

    Cherie :smug:

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