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DISASTER waiting to happen.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by BurningSkies, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    So, as I've mentioned before, my band occasionally gets calls to 'back up' Jamaican performers when they come through our area. We took one of these calls last week. Actually, we took a few emails from a 3rd party who was brokering for the local promotor as a friend (since he's a big reggae scene guy locally)...but for a week we never heard from anyone.

    Then at the beginning of last week, I started to get calls on my cell from a NC number, like 4 or 5 in an afternoon, but no voicemails. Since I'm at work and can't do personal business on my phone, and can't use my cell there, I google the number, and figure out it's a reggae guy down in NC, so I hand it off by email to our drummer to call him. He does, and its the guy representing this performer. Our drummer doesn't commit, but the NC guy promises to call before 8am the next morning, and overnight the material for us to review.

    You guessed it, no call, no disks. All week.

    Friday nite comes an email from the local promoter through the 3rd party again, and he's tweaking out about things...we explain that we've heard nothing, haven't seen the promised CDs, no return calls...We hear back today that they definitely want us, the 3rd party has scrounged to find the material himself, he's made copies of the stuff...

    ...but we're still not sure of times, dates, what kind of gear we'll need to front and better yet, how or what they're gonna pay us. The closest we'ver heard is 'I think they've secured grant money to pay you guys'.

    So, I've just sent an email out saying that I'm not happy. The first show *I think* is going to be thursday. The setlist is supposedly 27 songs, none of which I've heard. We have 3 days to learn all this material, probably 20-30 hours of practicing to do (we all have regular jobs too), and no secured amount of $$ offered.

    AND I'm sure it will be a disaster, no matter how well prepared.


  2. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Sounds to me like people you dont want to be dealing with anyway. Sure, it'll look bad if you turn down this gig, but it'll look a LOT worse when the show comes and your band can't play the material. Just make it clear to all the promoters/venue/etc. WHY you declinced the gig, if that's what you decide to do.

    Grant money? Sounds like a joke to me.
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Yeah, that's pretty much what I was thinking...I HATE HATE HATE the feeling of cold sweat running down my back when I'm on stage, and I guarantee that it would be several shows like that.

    The grant money thing is weird. The organization that is 'hosting' the week's events is indeed a group that does arts funding in our area, so it doesn't surpise me that this is where they'd get money, but I would think it would take more than a week to 'find' that kind of money, and that SOMEONE would be a bit more upfront about this deal.

    One of the things that drives me nuts is that we know dozens of Jamaican riddims, but since we haven't heard the songs, we can't tell if we already know some of the stuff.

    Not only would I hate to look bad on stage, I'd hate to make this performer look bad, and burn bridges that we might want to cross later on.

    Part of the problem, is that part of the emails coming from these people are of the 'praise jah for providing us with the blessing of good people filled with his love and spirit and for bringing us and this event together to spread his word to the world!!' type of thing...which makes me feel bad for being a grump for their lack of organization and repsonsibility.
  4. Superdave


    Apr 20, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    Sounds like it would have be a good gig... but you don't have the material three days before the gig, and you need to get down twenty-something songs?

    You've got your work cut out for you man.

    They don't sound to prepared for this, maybe they need to postpone these shows?
  5. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    Regarding this organization that's supposedly setting this stuff up... how reputable are they? I would be concerned that they were using a smoke screen of intra-organization confusion to make it difficult for you to arrange payment. People make mistakes and miss deadlines, and if that's the only reason you and your band haven't been better informed, then it's frustrating but surviveable. However, I'm not convinced that this isn't a tactic to keep you guys in the dark and on your heels. How much do you know about this promoter?
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    The organization is well known locally, but not necessarily versed in doing live performances. They tend to do gallery shows and art events, and I'm not sure they know what goes into having/booking a live band.

    At this point, I'm ready to say goodbye to this whole situation. In fact, I send a cranky email off to the band and the guy we've been dealing with, saying that if we did this I want 3 nights of long practices, I want times, dates, payment and equipment info right off. And laid out the cold hard truth as I see it for this gig.

    I think it got people thinking maybe it wouldn't be a good thing for us to do.
  7. don't do it!!!

    like you said, it is a disaster waiting to happen. if you do it, you will regret it the whole time. save yourself the trouble, forget about it and move on.
  8. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    With the way things were going up to last night, you'd think this was a "first annual' event. If you've ever played a First Annual anything, you'd know what I mean.

    I left it with our drummer last night to call this yahoo in NC and tell him we were out. And he did so.

    Yet, at about 4pm today, I started getting those calls to my cell phone again...2 of them, both w/o messages. I also got an email, that not only went through 'third party' but also came not from the promoter, but through a fourth party. She was asking us to contact the promoter RIGHT AWAY!!! After ambling home after work I gave the guy a call.

    He was mister 'don't take no for an answer'. He was FULL of other garbage as well. He told me how glad he was to hear from me, and tried to blame all the trouble on the NC connection, "I don't know why you're dealing with him, he's not here, he's not connected, he's not part of my organization". Yes. Well. Um, HE WAS THE ONE WHO CALLED US WHEN YOU DIDN'T EVEN THOUGH YOU HAD OUR PHONE NUMBERS.

    Next, he went on about how great everything was going to be, "This thing is HUGE, and it's organic, growing and changing right in front of us!!!" Now, in my book, any event that's growing and changing is in fact, a logistic and organizational nightmare. It means they don't have secure venues, times dates...and that's EXACTLY what it did mean. From a week ago, most of the places and times had changed...and even the ones he mentioned didn't seem secure.

    He was going on about press conferences, news releases and articles in all the papers (A little late now, isn't it? The gig is thursday). Not just that, it turns out the 'gig' is Thursday afternoon, Friday night and either Saturday or Sunday during the day. The Friday club date is still looking for a club..the sat/sun thing is at an all weekend thing, but they don't have a schedule?!? They want us 'on call' all weekend?!?!

    Better yet, THEY'VE SECURED FUNDING!!!! THEY WANT TO PAY US $150!!!! (for the whole 4 days of work, oh wait, he said '100 or 150', guess what it would be at the end). Yahoo. Guess what? I turn down $300 gigs, and we usually get 10 x that for a weekend, 'party' gig (at least).

    SOooooooo...the guy won't take no for an answer. I say I don't want to make the performer sound bad, since we haven't had time to review the material. I tell him WE don't want to look bad in front of a 'home town' crowd. He tells me it'll be 'casual' more of a 'jamming' kind of deal, oh, don't worry about his material I'm sure he'll be happy just singing Marley songs. What if I can get him in for a practice between now and then? Etc....

    So, in a brilliant move, I told him I had to pass it by the band, and that I'd call him back tonight.

    Called him back. :) Got his voice mail...and boy was it nice to tell him NO one more time, but without a chance for him to find a new angle to talk up.

    They can have their disaster to themselves.
  9. Wise move - what a nightmare that gig would be!
  10. good thing you did.

    $100 or $150 means $75 + the guy apologizing that the funds weren't secured like he had thought they were.

    i hate events like that
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    'eyyy Jai! Rolllll me up one o' dem gdeat big Jamaican spleefs, mon!
  12. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA

    yeah... better to burn that bridge, than cross it.. and have it burn from underneath you...

    I've worked at concerts with no-names... just local community bands of high school kids where each band's take was more than $150...

    I'd like to hear an update of how the event goes, if you can even find out after tha fact!!!
  13. sb69coupe


    Aug 9, 2004
    Raleigh NC

    If I were in your shoes, I'd have done the same thing by turning them down. Assuming the gig actually goes off, are you planning to attend and witness the train wreck in all its glory? That would make it all worthwhile.

    If you go to see it unfold, let us know how it turns out.
  14. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    well, sounds like a typical reggae-band type of experience to me...
    if the money didn't suck, it coulda been fun to dub it all night and have the fool toast the whole time. delay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay :smug:
  15. He was going to pay the whole band $150 TOTAL for four days' worth of shows??? That seems like a no-brainer to turn down.
  16. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    My brother, I dub it...dancehall it...mix it... all night long anyway. I can throw down a Prophecy, Heavenless, Kutchy, Revolution, any number of riddims, you name it.

    I don't need to do it unrehearsed and unprepared. A DJ with a chat won't let a bad band off easy. He'll swear up a storm at you on stage if he doesn't like what you're doing, and do it to show the crowd he's not happy. And he'll be the one leaving town at the end of the week...we'll be stuck with that same crowd next week.
  17. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Quick update...

    ...One of the 'events' (the second thursday show) has been cancelled. The club shut that one down.

    ...The band that was hired...is a rock band. I was told that they play a 'reggae-ish' song or two in their set.

    I'm sure that a guy with a roots/dancehall vibe going is going to love showing up to find a rock band faking reggae for 4 days.

    ...as of yet, neither of the Saturday or Sunday times have been announced. The Friday night event has been moved to a location known as a gay/techno/danceclub. Nuthin' better for bringing out that homophobic dancehall crowd than that!
  18. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    geez.. sounds like this group has done their research...

    I guess it IS a case study in how NOT to plan an event...
  19. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    FOUR days work? ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY dollars? I think you should ask him if he needs any help with hosting the entire event at the very top end of his rectum.
  20. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    hmm... Given (all estimations. See fit to correct my values):
    - NY minimum wage is $6/hr.
    - Band has 5 members (Bass, drums, percussion, guitar, keys)
    - 4 gigs at different locations.
    - Figure 25 hours of rehearsal time.
    - Figure 1 "dress rehearsal" with the singers of 6 hours
    - Each gig requires 3 hours of set-up time
    - Each gig is about 6 hours of performance time, and intermission
    - Each gig requires 2 hours of tear down

    That's a total of 75 hours PER musican, for a total of 375 hours.

    At $6/hr, that's $2,250.00 for the weekend for the whole band.

    yeah.. I know... kinda far fetched in terms of cost analysis... but you get the point..

    Nevermind the fact that you are an "in demand" sort of group...

    I know that if I was planning such an event, I would budget in a similar manner... although the hourly rate would be WELL above $6/hr... and I'd include atleast a case of beer for the band/per gig *L*