Gig cancelled last minute

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by cabooke, Oct 6, 2002.

  1. cabooke


    Jan 26, 2002
    Orange County, CA
    Hello all. I work at a local dinner theater in Orange County (don't laugh, it's a steady gig). On Saturday afternoon, the owner tells us that the Sunday show is cancelled (with no reason mind you) The band is payed on a "per" show bassis with the understanding that if a show is cancelled, we will get 48 hours notice. So, I figure we got about a 12 hour notice. The only problem is the band is not under a contract, so we are basically hired on a per show basis. Has anything like this happened to any of you, and if so how did you handle it?
  2. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    This has happened to me, (not with dinner theater, mind you), and it was a useful lesson in reaching an understanding with the person handling the booking... Everyone says to 'get it in writing', but with a casual gig, or someone you work with frequently and trust, this doesn't always happen... Depending on the relationship, you may just want to tell the booker, 'Hey, I thought we had an understanding', let things slide, and see what happens next time... Get your expectations out there in a friendly manner... People generally are not out to screw you, and the cancellation may have been beyond anyone's control. The few times that this has happened to my band, we've tried to be cool about it... That reputation of being easy to work with and understanding tends to get out there and drum up further work, IME anyway. Your situation may be different.

  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    If I had got a good relationship with the management, and future gigs I could count on with them, I'm like Robert - I might let it slide. Anytime you can keeps lawyers and contracts out of the picture, so much the better, IMO.

    You never know when the situation may be reversed and you need them to be understanding.

    As the song goes,

    "Whatever you do/Will come back to you"
  4. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Yeah, I agree with Robert. Having a good rep as someone whose easy to work with can sometimes be more valuable than having a great, talented band.

    This is typical BS that happens constantly. My old band used to face double-bookings more often than cancellations and that's pretty frustrating too. Good luck.

    brad cook
  5. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    We have only had one gig cancelled late (day before), the organizers were actually quite nice about it and covered the equivalent of PA and transport rentals as we told them we could not cancel those. But that would not be normal I guess, mostly you'd just be left with no pay. Where we play there are no written contracts, the money is paid after the gig, so if the gig was cancelled there would most likely be no money. A contract would be nice, but that is surely only common for established artists or groups with managers.
  6. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    But of course we all know what would happen if the BAND cancelled a gig 12 hours before the show. No more gigs at that venue. Hell I cancelled a new year's eve gig at a club 6 months in advance because another place offered us double what we were getting. That club never hired us back. Seems like it should work both ways.
  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    In a "fair" world, I agree Chris. Unfortunately, it's not a "fair" world and the club/promoter is the "employer" and they hold the aces.

    Of course, you could go union and put up with that middleman :rolleyes:
  8. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Been there done that. Never again! :(
  9. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    union doesn't do diddly here, there is one promotional company that does, but you only have to look the part and not have any talent...

    my only gigs that get cancelled are the good paying ones.
  10. vegaas


    Nov 6, 2001
    We had a gig that cancelled the night before we were supposed to play it. The worst part was it was an accident that we found out.
    It was supposed to be the bars grand opening, another band had set up the gig and asked us to open for them. No problem. When we found out it was a grand opening we asked them if this was a for sure thing and their manager told us it was. We then started to promote the show. We had many people who were going to come. The night before the show the singer and I drive by the club to see if its open yet. Nope, this was a friday night! We call the other band, who then told us it was cancelled because the club didnt get their liquer license yet. Thanks for the letting us know! We tried to call everyone we knew to tell them the gig was off, but couldnt contact everybody, plus all the fliers we handed out. People still tease us about that.
    The only good thing to come out of it was a song we wrote about the experience, called appropriatly enough "Liquer License".
  11. I don't know how CA treats verbal agreements , but in my part of the world , a verbal is as good as a written contract.
    It would really depend on how good of a reason I was given to decide whether I would pursue the issue or not.
    I always do my best to take the high road in a situation , but I sued a club owner over a breach of a verbal when I rolled in off of a 300 mile drive to find another band in place of mine without any notice.
    I asked for and got $4000 and expenses , which was what we agreed to, and nothing more.
    I didn't try to be greedy , I just wanted what we asked for.
    Good Luck !