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Booking Notifications

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by edhead, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. edhead


    Nov 23, 2007
    Kent, Ohio
    For some reason this is bugging me and I can't figure out why, so I thought I'd ask everyone's opinions on this issue.

    The cover band I am in, which is a "hobby" band (that is we only wish to play out 3 -4 times a month) is starting to get gigs pretty easily. The thing that bothers me is that these gigs are accepted without clearing the dates with the other band members. So far this hasn't been a problem (except for one gig, that was less money than we normally would've played for anyways), but it seems reasonable to me to at least run it by the members of the band to see if they have any issues with the date that is set.

    To further complicate this, a few times a few members of the band were asked, but I have yet to be asked.

    I also feel that accepting any gig that comes by, "cheapens" the band. I'd rather focus on better gigs than more gigs.

    thoughts? Am I being a baby about this?

    I'd like to set up an internet calendar, that everyone can block off dates and that can be checked before accepting gig, but so far, as soon as the club asks, we accept.

    let it rip!!
  2. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    We have a band calendar - it's in the guitarists diary cause he does most of the booking, and he occasionally photocopies it so everyone is up to date.

    We just got 2009 last week, and the first thing we did was mark any no-go dates. He's then free to book any dates that are left with relative confidence. Once he gets a booking he emails/texts everyone immediatly to let them know. At this stage the booking is agreed with the venue, but not 100% confirmed so if there's a major problem it's still soon enough to change it (usually).

    In terms of what gigs you want to take, I think that depends on how many you have, and how many want to do. We have an agreement that we want to gig on average once a week (yet somehow we've got 4 next week...), and we can fill that easily, so at that point I agree with you it's time to get selective. It took a while to adjust from the "WE GOT A GIG!", so "do we want to play there" mindset. If your booking guy has spent a couple of years begging for gigs, it takes some adjustment to turn down one when it lands on you, but you do need to get selective (to a point). Work out how often you want to play, and take the best gigs to fill that amount.

  3. gig-getter


    Oct 5, 2007
    Author of Gig-Getter & Rouse the Crowd

    An internet calendar to co-ordinate your band bookings is a great idea. Google have one you can use:


    At some point if you don't share something like this you'll come unstuck and start to look unprofessional in the eyes of venues. (Word can get around too...)

    In terms of which gigs to accept/how much to go out for, this is really about agreeing goals with all band members up front. Just sit down together and get everyone to "sign-up" to the minimum fee you'll play for.

    Hope this helps.
  4. How hard is it to call/text/email some guys to confirm availability? Back when I was booking gigs, if the venue rang me with a gig I'd tell them I'll have to confirm and get back to them within 24 hours; if I was doing cold-canvassing of venues I'd ring the guys in the band first to find out what dates they were unavailable, then start ringing venues for gigs. If your band is willing and able to use subs, then it's not an issue.

    As for the second point, I think more people should take this approach but I know from experience it's really hard to overcome the mindset of "take any gig that gets offered". At some stage you've got to be selective. Nowadays I say no to gigs on the basis of how much they're paying, who the gig is with, and how easy (read: drama-free) the gig will be.

    There are some gigs that are so much fun I'll do 'em for a minimal amount, some people I won't play with for any amount less than ludicrously large, and some promoters/venues I just don't wanna know about.
  5. I am having this exact same issue! One of the guys in my band hardly tells me when he is not available.

    As a result I often can't confirm a gig with a client on the spot and have to do a ring around and call them back. In the meantime, they're booking another band.

    Or when I do confirm because I see a clean calendar and tell the band, I THEN find out he's not available!

    So then I have to either stuff the client or scramble to find a quality fill in.

    My solution was to simply ask that if a member won't sacrifice a commitment for the band, they should tell me in advance they are not available. It won't stop me from booking the band but it will help me plan.

    In your situation, you need to have a meeting and establish if everyone still agrees on the gig frequency, but I think everyone needs to be proactive in communicating availability or else it's too problematic for the person booking, as well as potentially for the Customer.
  6. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    There is a calendar on my bands webpage that lists all of the upcoming gigs. If there is a date that someone wants to block out (Before it's booked) you just send an E-mail to the guy what handles the bookings and tell him you can't do that date.
  7. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    I play in and book an 8-piece band made up of professional freelancers with other bands, gigs, families, and lives. We've been together with a couple of personnel changes for 14 years. When I get an offer, I tell the prospective client I will contact the guys and have an answer within 24 hours. I use a quick erase board with green and red markers to keep track of the replies. If that's not fast enough, too bad. We have a good sub list as well, which helps.
  8. billbern


    Sep 11, 2004
    Daytona Beach, Fl
    Endorsing: Inearz In-ear Monitors
    We use wheresthegig.com. It allows the band members and subs to black out any days we are not available. And we get email gig info as soon as it's entered.

  9. nsmar4211


    Nov 11, 2007
    We have a google calendar set up and everyone gets photocopies of the calendar of who can do when. When a gig is booked, we check the calendars and them immediatly call the other members to tell them the date is take :)
  10. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Yep, plenty of tools out there (Web and otherwise) to keep everyone up to speed on availability. It really comes down to everyone in the band respecting each other's time and having the common courtesy to keep on top of their own personal schedules and communicate them with each other. This becomes even more critical if one or more of the band members are in multiple bands.

    Also, realizing that if you don't get back to potential clients in a reasonable timeframe (24 hrs), they are entitled to move to the next band on their list -- and probably will -- and if that happens they may never ask you again. It is much better to get back with them and say the date is no good (and maybe arrive at an alternate) than to just not get back with them.

    And FWIW I'm with you on the "better gigs vs. more gigs" philosophy and find it a little unnerving that they are booking gigs without asking your input.

    Best of luck getting this sorted out.
  11. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    do this. It doesnt even have to be on the internet. Everyone should coordinate their schedules. If there is a good reason that someone cant make a certain date then mark it down, and let the person who does your booking hold the calander at all times, then they can be prepared to tell the venue RIGHT AWAY, "yes, we can make that date"

    In my last band I did all the booking. It was really irritating to have a booker offer us a date and have to tell them "I just have to check the date with my drummer" and then wait up to 48 hours to get a response from the drummer, in the meantime the booker already filled up that night and the next three weeks.
  12. What do you guys consider a good reason? I've had members in the past taking time out of availability to fly out and reset Visa's, go on overseas holidays, wanting to go see concerts, mums' in town, going away over summer/xmas/new years etc etc.

    I don't normally ask for a reason, just the dates. We'd rather not rely on fill ins, but some gigs are too good to knock back so we do. One issue I've found with going on without one member is other members can feel nervous with fill ins, or just plain not like being expected to work while someone else has a night off.
  13. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    We don't really have any issues with getting dates set up and agreed to, but everyone in the band is friends and we stay in regular contact with each other on an almost daily basis. Our basic unit is 3 pieces that works every gig, we add a 4th for about 50% of the gigs, and sometimes we have as many as 7 musicians.

    If anyone has a conflict (or a potential conflict) it's discussed as soon as it's known. One big rule we have is that a booked gig takes priority over personal stuff, so if we've committed to a venue for a specific date then all players show up. Of course, significant personal family issues (a death, serious illness, etc) do crop up every once in a while, but that's a rare exception. If I accept a booked date that is 6 months out and in the meantime cousin Sally sends an invite to her wedding, I do the gig. Tough cr*p Sally ..... :)

    Regarding el-cheapo gigs .... we don't do them. We are lucky to have a full schedule most of the time, and we won't work for free/cheap just to fill a date. Every once in a while we might do a benefit gig for less than our rate, but not for free. And of couse the whole band has to agree to the lesser price.

    In my experience, if the band is working as a unit, has good communication, and everyone has a pro attitude, things like scheduling and money are rarely a stress point ..... :cool:
  14. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Well we werent making a lot of money doing gigs. Most reasons were sufficient enough, so long as there was enough notice, but I guess thats for each band to decide on their own.

    I, personally, prefer not to play with fill-ins. I'm usually involved in original acts, in the last band I wrote all the music, and the band consisted of myself and a drummer. So, I guess I could have gotten another drummer to fill in in the event my drummer couldnt make a gig, but I'd prefer not to. I don't know, but I don't think original bands should use fill-ins, unless maybe someone was sick last minute, but I'd rather cancel a gig and find someone to play our spot then play with someone who isnt in my band. Maybe in a cover band, but not in an original act.

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