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Double-booked, what to do?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Rusty the Scoob, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. You MUST go with Band A. The Musician's Code says the first gig booked takes precedence.

    7 vote(s)
  2. You MUST go with Band B. The MC says your musical brothers are priority #1 no matter what!

    10 vote(s)
  3. See which band can find a sub first and play with the other.

    7 vote(s)
  1. Here's my delimma:

    Band A is a guy's side project, a fairly loose group of musicians with changing lineups but with a good ear for quality. Band A asked me to play a couple of upcoming gigs with them in a nearby state, about a 2 hour drive.

    Band B is my regular band. Band B just booked a local gig that conflicts with one of the dates I was previously booked to play with Band A. The date cannot be changed, and if it's turned down we will likely lose the room to a rival band, and it's supposed to be a good room.

    Both bands play similar music that I enjoy. Neither one is likely to pay significantly more than gas money. Finding a sub that I trust to fill my spot in Band B didn't work out, although there might be some other options. So what do I do?
  2. jnuts1


    Nov 13, 2007
    i won't vote cause i think there are enough different situations that A & B can apply & maybe even C. but i do think if you are going to be in multiple projects you should already have a sub lined up in case this does come up.
    but the reason i say it can be either one of those is because i was in a side project & i told the guy that i play the first gig booked. my main band was booking about 3 months out at a time & this guy went out & booked EVERY weekend 4 & 5 months out. NOT cool at all to try to book me away from another band. then shortly after that my main band doctored emails to make it look like i had accepted a gig with them on a certian date so i would not play with this other band. one of the main reasons i don't play with them anymore. so to me it is not so straight forward you can just pick A,B or C
  3. Band B should have checked with its members for availibility before booking a gig.
  4. Band B almost always does, but in this rare case it was book-it-now-or-lose-it, so he booked it. Just my damn luck.
  5. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    You are, IMHO morally and ethically bound to do the first performance that was agreed to.

    The blowback / colateral damage / inconvienience of that obligation doesn't really enter into the equation. It's the suck side of being a money whore.

    I'll assume that "Band B" knew about your side thing and as such when they accepted that, they accepted this possibility.

    FWIW, I've been there, and it cost me my spot in my Band B which was a really effing good band. So be it.
  6. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    The one rule I've held to in my almost 40 year professional freelance career is... whoever books me first gets me.

    There are ways around it for me. If I have another booking that I'd rather do for whatever reason, I can get out of my first booking if all these conditions are met...
    (1) My second booking knows they are the second booking.
    (2) My first booking knows I'd rather do another booking.
    (3) I find a suitable replacement for my first booking -or- my first booking agrees to release me.

    Just how I've managed my career....
  7. My rule is usually first booked takes precedence, and unless they get a replacement that's where I go. Also, If I'm playing with two bands the second I accept a gig I'm on the phone letting the other band know. And if they book a gig they need to be on the phone with me immediately, otherwise the phone might ring with a call from someone else.

    The only exception to this rule would be an understanding to the effect of: Band B is my main band and I'll play with Band A with the understanding that if Band B gets a gig I'm going to cancel any Band A gig that conflicts with it and go do the Band B gig. . Having said that, band A would have to be pretty desperate to agree to anything like that.

    Which band is the most metal?? :bag::D
  8. ric stave

    ric stave

    May 6, 2006
    Buffalo, NY
    Important point not addressed - when you booked the gig w/Band A, did you immediately let Band B (or whoever books for Band B) that you were not available that date?

    If you DID, they shouldn't have booked it.

    If you DIDN'T, you kinda put yourself and both bands in this bad situation.

    I have a main band that plays almost every weekend throughout the year. I also have 2 side bands and freelance for other people. I only book the secondary projects as long as the main band doesn't already have a date, and I let them know as soon as I have something else. Then if they DO book, they already know they'll need a sub, and they'll know if it's a gig that can be subbed for or if they just have to not take it.

    At this point, you've got no choice but to turn one of them down - not good, if neither expected it.
  9. TheDude007


    May 18, 2010
    Kansas City
    I think it should be whichever band you're more serious about. If Band A is a guys side project, and has kind of a constant rotation, and he knows that you're in Band B, and that's your main gig, that sometimes you have to make a priority with them. If, like you said, it's his side project, what do you think he would do if his main band double booked him? Gig overlap in a "side project" can quickly derail the main band. It happened to me. I was in a band doing original music that everyone was really into. It was good stuff, well written, etc. Shortly after we went on our first tour, the lead singer/main writer got laid off from his day job, so he started a cover band "side project" as a means to make ends meet. Well, it quickly turned out to be too much when trying to book gigs and he'd end up canceling practice of the main band for something the side project had, not being able to make gigs, etc. The final straw was when he showed up an hour late when we were supposed to do a live in studio performance on the radio and we had to end up getting canceled. That was the day our band died.
  10. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    PM me, depending on the dates I might be able to sub for you.
  11. Or, the club could change the date for Band B and all could work itself out! And this is my happy dance: :hyper:
  12. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I thought you said in your OP that wasn't an option? Clearly that would be the best outcome, though.
  13. It wasn't an option for Band B to request a date change. Clubs, OTOH, as we all know too well, do whatever the hell they want.
  14. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    Is there a time difference in the gigs to where you can get from 1 to the other?....If not I personally would stick with the one that is your main band, unless you are tired of any issues there, and get a sub for the other. good luck.
  15. BritPicker


    Apr 20, 2009
    +1 for first come first served.

    Anything else just makes you look unreliable.

    I'd definately be trying to find a sub for band B though. Keep everyone happy.
  16. +1 :D
  17. jmac


    May 23, 2007
    Horsham, Pa
    You said that band A is a side project. That makes the decision easy to me.
    I play in two bands but the side project knows my loyalty and dedication is with the primary band if any conflicts arise.
  18. As a gig-whore myself, this +1
  19. another +1. What ever was in your date book first. (you do have a date book right?) Find a sub for the other band, no matter how bad they end up being.

    It's the same way if it's about the money. If you book a gig for $100, then a week later somebody offers you a gig on the same date but for $200, by no means can you bail on the first gig. It's bad business, bad ethics, and bad karma. You just have to politely turn down the better offer.
  20. This was discussed right up front with a side project I was asked to help out and now permanently part of.

    My main band generally books out 3-4 months ahead and with the economy sucking has gone from every week end to 2-3 weekends a month as rooms with live music have dried up. Very rare there is a short notice gig.
    The side project has only played out once ( got re-booked) but is a huge amount of fun for me. The 2 projects are as different as night & day and would never play the same rooms. That being said everyone knows my main band will always take precedence in any conflicts.

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