1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Gig Conflict: What to do??

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by thewanderer24, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
    First off, this is way out in December, so I have time to figure this out, hopefully.

    I have a bar gig booked for one band on a Saturday night. Another band I am in just got a call back to do a company xmas party that we did last year. I am expecting that gig will pay us a few hundred per person along with good food. I would be making significantly less than $100 at the bar gig, as 9 piece band + bar pay = not a lot of money.

    Neither band really has a substitute bass player. The corporate one, if I don't play, that band ain't gonna fly. I hold the music and especially the groove together in that band. The bar gig band MAY be able to pull a sub, especially with that much notice.

    The x-mas party is almost certainly non-negotiable in terms of changing days. I am thinking the bar gig scheduling may be negotiable. I feel really wierd asking them to reschedule a gig so I can play another.

    I feel very obligated to do both, but not sure what to do.
    One is about 100 miles from the other with some probable time overlap, so impossible to do both.

    What would you guys do here? I know many of you deal with this situation regularly.
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Blow off the bar gig. It's a no-brainer. 3 months is plenty of time for a band to figure something else out.
  3. 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
    We did that once, and the bar permanently blew us off (praise god, whatever you perceive it to be). The sad part is, we blew off the bar to play the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, a major gig, only I was in the hospital for a week, and they had to get a sub for me. It was the suXXors. The bar was in a rough part of town, and I basically hated playing there.
  4. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    First gig in the diary gets played. Sometimes that can be a real downer, but...
  5. Being in three bands, this happens to me more than I'd like to admit. So I found it neccesary to have a couple bassists I can call to sub for me. So when I see other bands play, if I like the bassist I get his number.

    You gotta go for the higher paying gig and find someone to sub the bar gig for you even if you have to throw in a few extra bones to make it worth their time. You'll still end up with more scratch and everyone is happy. Now if it's only the difference of 20 to 40 bones than I always honor the first gig I booked.

    If you cancel too many gig's because of other opportunities the other band mates may get perturbed that they are losing gig's due to your schedule.

    It's a juggling act.
  6. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I am the sub that other bass players call when they get double booked. Because of that, I frequently find myself in a jam because I'm getting 2-3 calls for the same dates.

    I always take the first gig offered and turn the others down, even if the cake is better elsewhere. You can make a lot of enemies by committing and then jumping to the "greener" side of town .........
  7. This happened to me today!! I have a 2 day gig scheduled for September 30 and October 1st and got a call today from a manager friend of mine to do a MUCH "cooler" (some might think) and higher paying gig at a big College Festival on the 1st. I had to tell him I was already booked!! I hated it, but it was the right thing to do for the previous commitment which is for a group of Veterans of all wars who have a nationwide gathering here every other year....In other words mostly older guys sitting around talking about old stories of battle and dancing and partying havin a good time. This gig wil pay about 25% what the other one would but it is a question of commitment for me.

    The bottom line is, if people know that they can depend on you, they will ALWAYS call you first...I have an excellent relationship with both parties and it would probably be OK to get a sub but I feel honored to play for these people!! Imagine where we might be if they had of gotten a sub to go for them!! Sometimes all the money or prestige in the world is still NOT worth it...Consider the long term before you make a decision based on the right now....Good Luck and remember this, your next gig is always based on the last one you did... :D

    I am not saying don't get a sub, if you feel comfortable doing that and the other group is cool with it, go for it!! Play the gig YOU want to PLAY with the cats you want to play with, but be mindful of the possible consequences......



  8. interesting discussion...I liked mcbassdudes post...I used to subscribe to pointbass' point of view - you book the gig, you do it. Someone else calls later, sorry - already booked. I have not been in the business of making money at music (not by choice mind you!) so it didn't matter much...

    Until one day I found myself in a similar situation. I needed a sub for a no-brainer blues gig in town (I was on tour with my other band). Didn't pay a lot ($75?), but it had been booked first. I coudn't leave a 2 week tour to do one gig, so, I got a guy to sub...then he called me about 1 1/2 or 2 weeks before the gig and said he had an offer for something else that paid $300; his month had been slow so he had to take it.

    So I found myself on the other end...the gig ended up getting cancelled as a result. I really can't blame the guy for giving up a $75 gig to take a $300 gig, but that left me in a bind. What if your sub cancels???

    Now that my day job is part-time and I need to make more money playing music, I would take the $300 gig over the $75 gig.

    I think it ultimately depends on a) how much of your income is from playing music, and b) your ability to get good paying gigs. I myself have never made $300 on a gig. mcbassdude is right, if it's 20 bucks take the 1st one booked, but...if you needed to pay rent and someone offered you a $300 gig and you had no other gigs that month...and you're not a trust fund baby...well, you gotta pay the bills. I am a serious advocate of integrity; however, integrity and money usually never end up on the same side, sadly enough.
  9. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I try to have integrity in all my business dealings, too, but come on...a one-off cheapo bar gig that the band could get a sub for or reschedule vs. a gig that can't be rescheduled and the guy has to be there and it pays a lot better...sorry, but if it means I sacrifice a little integrity, so be it. Not that I think it's sacrificing integrity by any means. My first obligation is to put money in the bank and food on the table for my family above all else. If the difference was $20-30, then I'd say so what, but if the difference is that much, then the first obligation should be to him and his family.

    I'll tell you another thing...I had a sub gig with a really crappy band booked one time. But I got a call from the leader of a popular blues band in this area who needed a bassist for the same weekend. The money was only slightly better, but I really wanted to take the gig. But I decided that I took this one gig first and I should honor it, even though it was a complete embarassment. Well the guy that the blues band got to play that weekend ended up getting tons of work, and I never saw the other guys again. So you have to figure that into the equation, too.
  10. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I manage all my bands/gigs on a 1st come 1st serve basis... BUT, with the exception that if something significantly more important comes up, I'll go with it.

    Of course, this may involve forcing a band to find a dep from time to time, but I know that I would be supportive of a fellow band member cancelling an already booked gig for a great opportunity.

    Would I really leave someone in the lurch? If the opportunity was that good, then yes, I probably would - andI woudl expect them to understand. A drummer in a band I played in a year ago, cancelled a gig at less than a weeks notice because he got a showcase for an artist who was signed to Sony.. bloody well good on him I say!!
    Let's face it, the chances of these things arising are very slim at my level! :D

    I recently turned down one of my function bands gigs because I got offered a UK tour supporting a great band. The way I see it, if my function band doesn't understand the a gig of that nature is more important than playing a bunch of covers at a stranger wedding then they are missing something!
    That said, a function band can usually find a dep at reasonably short notice for £100 a gig, that's how these bands tend to work.

    You just have to do what you think is best. Look after number one, but don't mess people about. Always be honest and up front about your reasons for any choices you make :)
  11. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I guess that makes good sense, you've got to pay the bills. In my case, music was a full time thing for over 25 years, it's only recently (10 years ago) that I was forced into getting a "real" job due to some significant family medical issues. During the time I was full time I was in dedicated band situations where there wasn't time for subbing myself out ...

    Now though, I'm not in that gotta-get-the-most-money-now mode. I'm blessed with an excellent day gig and a very active playing schedule, so I guess I can afford to take the moral high road. Thinking back to when I was at the end of the full-time music situation, I can remember times when I probably would have done just about anything for a $300 gig :(
  12. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
    i finally got the courage (a week later) to bring this up at a rehearsal last night.

    They were cool with it (3 months is plenty of time). The drummer sounded jealous and asked if there was any chance of the other drummer being sick or his break line going out. I can only hope.

    Anyway. That's the latest in this saga, which hopefully is over, now.
  13. When I read your initial post I came up with a solution instantly. That is, email me a setlist and buy me some beer for the bar gig :) Anyway like the guys said it's a no-brainer and 3 months in advance should be plenty of time for them.

  14. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA

    Well, I think the drummer has a guy he likes as a sub, but, seriously, if I find out they need help finding someone, we can see how the fit is.
  15. I've always played the gigs that book first, no matter what the pay is.. But again, I don't play as a job, just for enjoyment. So, my situation may be different.

    But, ethically, my personal choice will be whoever books first gets the gig..