My 'support' band provides back-line for entire gigs

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by StarCrazy, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. StarCrazy


    Jun 26, 2017
    England, UK
    So we've been offered a few gigs from a company that sell themselves as a gig promoter / organiser. I won't name names but they seem really really useless.
    They claim they are professional, but these gigs are not professional in any shape or form. The bands are a complete mismatch of style.

    At the moment we've had a gig arranged with them for a few months. We talked previously about arranging gear. They (the promoters) said clearly on their emails not to assume that others will lend out the gear and to bring your own unless otherwise arranged. Okay, cool.

    So the week of the gig is nearly here and there is a email chain with all bands in. We've posted what gear we are bringing. Out of all 4 bands, one is providing drum kit (non breakables). We are providing all other back line.

    Why is this acceptable?

    We are travelling just over an hour to get there. I'll be spending £25 on train-fare, another £15 on taxi home. Add in train fare for another member, and then add in petrol and parking in a major city for 5 hours for final members. We will not come close to breaking even for doing this gig.
    Headliners are saying 'travel issues'. But they live local to the area! We are not getting any kind of pay increase for supplying all bands with backline. We did not ever agree to doing this. We actually agreed that this wasn't going to happen.
    If we are providing gear for the whole gig, we wont be leaving until very late. We previously had plans to pack down after our set so we can get home after last band the plays

    My instinct is to either directly ask the promoters for more money, or to leave the gig entirely. The leading member of the band says its probably not gonna workout and he doesn't want to come across as greedy or manipulative. And TBH I don't think he's wrong. Its just infuriating that out of 4 bands we are the only ones capable of bringing amps to a gig that has been arranged for over 2 months.
    And the promoters are doing what to help this? Zero. There's little no response from them despite their being about 6 accounts of theirs in the email chain.
    Oh and can I add in how terrible the quality of music is for all other acts? Im fine with other genres of music, but literally they cant play in time or in tune in their official recordings.

    Another gig we did with them:
    We had us (melodic, alt rock/metal). An all girls group who were barely 17 and could just about play their instruments well enough to play rock/pop covers. A forgettable rock/pop that were quite out of tune, but were admittedly very nice and sociable and way too young to expect much more of (one member was 15). Overall there was little to no crowd. When we got there the organiser made very little effort to communicate with us. He spent all his time on his laptop. We would ask him things like set times, sound check, and he would just kind of shrug and go back to his laptop.
    The company itself just seems like a huge scam to make money off artists.

    My main thing coming out of this is don't believe the hype. Don't believe that booking agents or event organisers, or gig promoters are anything more than a couple of talent-less nobody's, with a poopy job who wish they could play an instrument, and want to make money off of other people's art.

    Going forward, with this gig, or probably the next : this is not the first time this has happened. We have turned up to gigs where they dont have mics or mic stands or xlr's ETC. What is the correct way to go about dealing with it?
    I welcome any response.
  2. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    If you are amenable to letting other bands use your backline, provide the promoter/organiser with a list of rental charges for your gear. If nobody else can be bothered to have the tools for their chosen craft, and obviously have some inexperience with gear/gigs there's always a possibility for misuse.
  3. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    This isn't a gig; its a rip-off. If the promoter doesn't provide a backline, fine but than each band provides their own gear. You do not want to be on the bill with bands that don't have their own gear. Not only are they not professionals but the likelyhood they are idiots who will damage your gear is much higher.
    This is not a promoter; it is a con man. A promoter will tell you what equipment is provided Vs needed. It is not the job of the bands to do an e-mail chain to figure out gear. Sure bands sometimes share gear if they know each other and have worked together before or are touring together but not under these circumstances. Do not walk, run away from this gig. Do not ever work with this promoter.

    Oh and any gig that doesn't cover your expenses isn't a real gig its pay to play.
  4. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    yep x 1000
  5. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1 Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Good luck.
  6. ahc


    Jul 31, 2009
    No. Virginia
  7. GBBSbassist

    GBBSbassist I actually play more guitar...

    Nov 23, 2010
    Everything you mentioned about this gig so far is a red flag. I'd bail on this one.

    I'd cave if the rest of my band really wanted to do it for some reason, but I'd make sure to let them know in advance that my gear is not available to be shared.

    If the other bands turn up and have no gear and have no way to play, that's not your guys' problem nor is it your fault.
  8. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Walk away.
    You're seriously being taken advantage of on this.
    You'll get absolutely zero benefit from it and in fact will be most likely be left with damaged gear.
    And you say you've already done s show with these rip-off merchants?

    You know the saying...'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me'?
    murphy, StarCrazy and ThePresident777 like this.
  9. Yango

    Yango Inactive

    Apr 14, 2008
    Just tell them that you're not lending out your gear, period.

    Let them deal with the other bands, it's not your problem.
    C_Becker, el murdoque, MDBass and 4 others like this.
  10. No way, man. No way. Huge waste of time.
  11. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Unless you band's name is "The Doormats" I'd walk...
  12. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show In Memoriam

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    We were offered a charity gig as a support band, the spot before the headliner. They wanted us to provide the PA. I quickly said we are not going to provide the PA and wait around while another band takes all the glory. We gave the organisers a guy that could provide a PA at a very reasonable price.
    They started dressing us down saying we were terrible people that didn't want to help a good cause.
    If the headliner was so great why weren't they providing the PA. And why weren't they being dressed down about their lack of helping the cause.
    It just showed me the lack of respect for the work and $$ we have invested in doing what we do.
    I ran into one of the organisers at a social event. He didn't know I was in the band, he just kept trashing us for our stance. It was all I could do not to jump all over him about his twisted view on the subject. I'm a really easy going person, but he took me into my red line.
    Omega Monkey, StarCrazy and DirtDog like this.
  13. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    You are being scammed. Run, don't walk, away from this "gig promoter/organizer".

    If you really wish to be diplomatic to a crazy degree, suck it up for this one. Then provide the "promoter" with a list of rental fees moving forward. Itemize it per rig. Drums for X amount, guitar rig A for Y amount. Guitar rig B for Z amount, etc. (Once you don't get called back for any more gigs you'll see that we are correct about your being scammed.)
    StarCrazy, mikewalker and pjbassist like this.
  14. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Ask for a cash deposit worth double the replacement value of your gear.
    Say you'll refund it as soon as your gear is verified undamaged.
  15. jnsnj


    Sep 5, 2015
    Show up to the show with an invoice for renting the equipment and if he doesn't pay go home with the equipment that the other bands were relying on.
    Now I've never done this and have been in similar situations many times. But I'd love to know what the promoters reaction is. Frankly you would probably end up being the one to look like a jerk even though this is not your responsibility.
    Locally most "promoters" in the punk and metal scene near me are just someone organizing shows but not actually getting paid unless they are in one of the bands or also work as the bartender. And then if they are getting paid it's typically not much. The handful of people I know who try to be a promoter as a financially lucrative venture are not worth the small amount of money they make.
    A second issue relevant to your post is the multi-band shows. Personally I'm getting sick of it. The attitudes, egos, and general laziness of one band is enough, four to five bands is driving me nuts. Maybe I'm just getting to old for this s**t.
    mikewalker and Oddly like this.
  16. Duder


    Dec 6, 2014
    No win situation. You don't want (I wouldn't either) to provide the backline since that was never agreed to. However, you also don't want the reputation for backing out right before a gig. I don't know what to tell you to do, but I would lean toward not playing the gig.
    mikewalker likes this.
  17. GBBSbassist

    GBBSbassist I actually play more guitar...

    Nov 23, 2010
    This is too much. The gig promoter has done almost none of the work involved except book a venue, and find bands to play. Everything else he's leaving up to chance.

    If you'd provide the guy with all that stuff, you're just doing his job for him at that point.
    Omega Monkey and StarCrazy like this.
  18. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    "My instinct is to either directly ask the promoters for more money, or to leave the gig entirely." This right here. You are being exploited and to think otherwise is pure folly.
    AlexBassMP, murphy, Duder and 2 others like this.
  19. Al T.

    Al T. Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2006
    Richmond, VA.
    What carp- BAIL NOW
  20. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    There are a few of these kinds of promoters in the UK. Not technically a scam,
    but 100% focused on ripping cash out of starry eyed youngsters (or not so youngsters).

    The equipment thing is a red flag. Also badly matched lineups, poor quality bands, over-booked nights, double-booked nights, "door minimums" to get paid that are somehow never met...

    Just avoid, avoid, avoid. Book your own gigs, build relationships with other bands. I know it's tough to get good gigs but the only way to stop *****y promoters is to stop using them.

    Be the butcher, not the sausage.
    Stumbo, RSBBass, Duder and 8 others like this.