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Clients Can Be Soooo Dumb

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Russell L, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    We had an outdoor gig yesterday. Well, actually, it was gonna be indoors, we thought. We're having the usual rain that comes everyday around 6pm for awhile now, so outdoors can only be done if there's a good cover over the band. Not hard at all to understand.

    So, we get there and the guy wants us to set up on a patio. No cover at all. There was a small house right in front of us that had a nice porch with a large overhang, plenty of room for us, but they had it set with tables and chairs. Aw, hell, I mean come on, what kind of sense did this make? Anyway, I told the band leader, "First drop of rain and I'm packing." I knew it would happen. I could see it coming.

    It did.

    We all packed everything up. My stuff went right back in my truck which I left close by. The rest went into a little bath house beside the patio, except for the keyboardist's mixer which got covered. Heavy rain ensued for about an hour.

    The guy wouldn't work with us either. No play, no pay (we were an hour from home). No gas money. Nothing. He wanted to know if we could move to the warehouse which was about 100 yards away. Hey, it's raining, haven't you noticed? Hell, no, we can't do that.

    I had lost interest by then.

    Finally, he decided we could play on the nearby porch. But there was lightning nearby, too. No way, I said. At the end the guy came up with half pay for us, and we went home.

    Why are so many folks so oblivious to what a band requires? I told our leader that we should have a policy about it. No cover, no booking.

    Rant over. Thanks for listening.
  2. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Yes they are and it happens all the time. The thing that gets me is when it is a group or venue that appears to have their act together but are clueless the day of the event. Some of these people think this is easy and we enjoy re-packing or moving equipment to please them or if a problem comes up. :meh:
  3. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Not for nuthin' and I really do feel your pain but, it's tough love time.

    You guys are the professionals. You guys are the ones that know all the ins and outs of gigging. Those sort of logistical issues are your area of expertise not a clients.

    It was up to you as the professional to see to it that all that stuff INCLUDING rain out provisions were agreed to well in advance along with a deposit that would at least cover the expenses of the trip prior to starting the car.

    There is no way I would even think about an outdoor gig for a non commercial venue with out:

    Overhead protection.
    Clean appropriate electricity
    non-refundable Advance Deposit
    What if clauses like rain, noise complaints etc.

    Civilians have exactly ZERO idea of what is involved in a gig. All they know is that they think it would be cool to have some live music. It's up to you to help them through the process.

    Unless of course, you just like taking unpaid rides around the country to practice your load out technique.

    Sorry it happened. Experience is a good teacher.
  4. bunkaroo


    Apr 25, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Well in OP's defense it sounds like they expected it to be indoors, so no prep for outdoors would have been needed, But yeah I agree people booking bands will typically have no idea about this stuff.
  5. I agree with all of this, and place the blame squarely on the band leader, or whomever booked this gig.

    Also, lol @ "civilians". We are soldiers in the rock and roll army! :bassist:
  6. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    We travel with a tent for the band and sound.

    During the summer every gigging band should have their own tents.
  7. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Every band I have played with in the past has had a contract that cleary defines what is expected. This band is different. BUT, we were told we'd be inside. Had I been the leader, when we were told to play on the patio I would've told the client NO. Of course, that woulda meant no pay according to the client.

    HEAR THIS: I personally told our leader that we MUST have a clause that covers us in these cases. I don't think he is as professional about booking as he should be. He's the one who has to learn from this. Next time, I won't even set up.

    HOWEVER: Any client with any sense should've been able to see the clear path in this. Obviously, the rain was gonna come, and obviously we needed to at least be on the porch of that other building. he should've immediately removed the tables and chairs and let us set up there. That's what I don't understand.
  8. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    All that should be in your contract, in plain English (or whatever language), with as little fluff as possible. It should be signed days before the gig, with a security deposit as agreed upon in the contract. Provisions in the contract should be met when you arrive. If not, then you can agree to play without them or not if you want, but the contract should state that you will get paid if provisions can not be met upon arrival. Most folks will want some things themselves, such as rain discounts, rain checks, etc, but at least you'll have the minimum covered to make sure you aren't losing money. If nothing else, it prevents an argument.
  9. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    Because a lot of folks will view rain is affecting you the same way it does affects the guy who cuts their grass. If he can't cut the grass, he doesn't get paid. Construction workers, at least the non-union workers, have worked this way for decades. If it rains, you can't work, and it's a day without pay. You have to be specific to prevent this kind of thing.
  10. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Right-O. That's the way I'm used to it being in past bands. I gotta upgrade the leader's way of doing business. I don't think he even has a contract. Dunno, but I'll be asking.

    Nonetheless, my opinion about the client still stands. If it were me, even if I knew nothing about the band business, it would just be common sense to have us covered if I had changed where I want the band. I just don't see how anyone couldn't understand that.
  11. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    They aren't musicians?

    A contract with a rider. Spell out power requirements, space requirements, etc, etc.
  12. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Not all ... I'm in the blues and jazz brigade of the Americana Division.
  13. Unprofessional


    Mar 5, 2012
    Instead of having a very long standard contract that tries to cover every possibility in the world, I would suggest two separate "standard" contracts: one for indoor gigs and one for outdoor gigs. You set up two MS Word files that can be tailored to the specific gig and then sent to the client for signature. Rather than start from scratch, there are probably examples floating around on the interwebs. Shoot, other bands might be willing to send you a copy of their contract.
    And, yes, sadly, you'll probably have to define what "indoor" means.
    And you also have to decide what to do when your prospective client refuses to sign a contract at all.
  14. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Well, at the very least, the leader knows how I stand on the issue. I won't risk my equipment (or life!) playing out under the bare sky. Nor will I play even indoors during a thunderstorm. But, I am imploring him to make a proper contract up. That's what I'm used to having in the past.

    I know clients aren't always musicians, but they don't have to be to have some common sense. That's my gripe here.
  15. CrashCarlisle


    Sep 13, 2011
    I just play in the rain. Pro up!
  16. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Contracts!! Use 'em! We played (were supposed to) for a city fire dept. gathering. It would have been under cover, but torrential rains had the entire lot 3 or 4 inches deep in water. There was no way we could even set up. They were pissed at us because of the situation, but it wasn't our fault. We did the due. The rains did not let up, we were hearing grumbles about having to pay us even though we didn't play. They weren't nice to us, didn't invite us to eat. After a long day, they gave up, paid us. Later that night I heard on the news that many people at that event went to the ER with food poisoning! Awesome!
  17. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I think because thousands have seen Prince play in the train during the halftime of the superbowl, they might think we all can do it.
  18. Auguste


    Apr 5, 2012
    The problem is that common sense is not that common.
  19. taliesin


    Nov 12, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    And I've seen many bands playing in the rain in music videos - so what's the problem?
  20. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    He knew the rain was coming. That's why he setup the tables and food under the porch...to protect the audience and catering. :atoz:

    If you set up on the porch, where would the food/tables go? Obviously the host thought what?.....that you'd setup and play in the rain? Seems to me that he figured out that he would try to stiff the band (since you couldn't play) since he hadn't made proper arrangements (a tent) for the event/rain.

    +100 for your BL having tighter contracts that cover venue emergencies along with band emergencies (auto accidents/break downs, illness, etc. that would cause a delay or cancellation of gig and the assigning of responsibility therein.

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