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Refusing to play at places where smoking is allowed

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by sonicland, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. sonicland


    Sep 4, 2004
    I currently play bass and do most of the lead singing in a band. Our aspirations are small, we do it for fun and the occasional money we make. I’ve made it very clear that I don’t play at places where smoking is allowed and this doesn’t go over well with some bandmates. We get asked to play paying gigs where there is smoking and I tell them no way, doesn’t matter how much smoking there is, how good the ventilation is, or how much it pays, I just won’t do it. I’ve told them I will step aside if they find someone to replace me, we’ll all remain friends, but this rule is simply non-negotiable for me.

    Here’s my question that I’m looking for opinions on. I may be moving to another area in the next year or two and would try to find a gig in another band. If I look to join a band, how much of a deal breaker would it be if I tell them this?

    I’m a good bass player with a very good voice and tons of gigging experience, I’m extremely confident in what I do. I’m not looking for opinions or advise on how to change my ways or whether you think I’m being a jerk (I probably am). I’m looking for your opinion if I was auditioning for your band. What would you say?
  2. silen7ce


    Dec 11, 2006
    Depends on where you are located. Almost all the (indoor) venues I've played in New England don't allow smoking. Personally I wouldn't make an issue of it though unless you are in some kind of dive bar / fish tank where breathing is next to impossible.
  3. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    It wouldn't be an issue here as there's no smoking allowed in any venue. If there was, and your policy cost the band work, then we'd probably get someone else.

    But you're entitled to choose where you will or won't work, and that's a personal thing I would still respect. To be honest I'm a little confused as to why you're even asking this question as you're very clear that it isn't going to influence you as far as your stance on this goes. I guess it's just out of sheer curiosity, yes? It will be interesting to see how many people chime in (in a civil way, of course).
  4. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    Long time since i had to cope with that here in Europe. I hate smoking.
  5. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Maybe you should try to quit?

  6. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    he he its hard
  7. jarrydee


    Oct 22, 2011
    IF you cant handle rock and roll and everything that comes with it..quit!! would hate to have to tour with someone like this!
  8. sonicland


    Sep 4, 2004
    I'm asking to see if it's worth it to audition for bands or not and to get a feel for what reactions will be.

    I'm not sure what the law is in PA, it's never come up at any of the gigs we've gotten but there are private clubs like VFW's and Lodges that do allow smoking and they've asked us to play.
  9. jarrydee


    Oct 22, 2011
    I would seriously just NOT take the gig, if you hate smoking that bad and cant stand to play in the same building as smokers, just say no thanks. I hate not being able to smoke at bar gigs, and so do the owners, business was cut in half or more after the state wide smoking ban! If you are just doing this for some fun, I dont see why you would put up with the smoke.
  10. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    In NYC, there's no smoking allowed inside any public space, so all the indoor gigs would meet your standards... however... lots of folks go outside the entrance to any venue and have a smoke. Would having to walk through that on your way in or out of the venue be a deal breaker for you?

    Every outside gig I've ever played had some folks in the audience who were smoking... would that be a deal breaker for you?
  11. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    The 70's called...they want their Marlboros back.
  12. The Marlboro Man called...er wait, he died a long time ago. ;)

    I guess it's unfortunate that the OP lives in an area where smoking is still allowed. I'm a big fan of cleaner air.
  13. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    You have to admit, the whole anti-smoking think went a bit too far.
    People aren't going to die a horrible death tomorrow because there is a bit of tobacco smoke in the air.
    The aversion some developped against tobacco goes way beyond reason.

    I know a lot of people who are surrounded by chemicals, hazardous materials or medical wastes all day long. They would love the luxury of refusing a job because they don't like the smell.
  14. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    This ^^^^
    I worked at a place that banned smoking.
    It was a welding shop.
    Perfectly fine to sit all day welding with smoke and fumes coming up into your face but don't dare light a cigarette up! :meh:

    It would be terrible if you had to entertain some veterans too. :rollno:

    Be sure to let any band you want to audition for about this before you set a time for you audition. Just so you do not waist their time.
  15. BKuettel


    Apr 8, 2011
    Oneonta, NY
    A liiittle overdramatic in my opinion.
  16. Jarrett


    Jan 19, 2004
    Waxahachie, Tx
    I'm an ex smoker and now hate going in smoky dive bars. We play a couple and I have asked the band if they wouldn't mind skipping those spots, but the majority wants to, so we do. I just hack up a lung the next morning and go along with it.
  17. drea2304


    Feb 13, 2012
    Central IL

    If it wasn't for our veterans and their sacrifices we wouldn't have the freedom to speak our minds on this forum. I don't see what that has to do with having to breath smoke in a public place. No smoking in IL bars. Awsome!
  18. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    He said that the VFW's in his area (as well as where I live) allow smoking and he doesn't want to gig there.
    I guess he is to good to put up with a little smoke in the air to entertain the people that protected his freedoms.
  19. I don't think it went too far. No, 2nd hand smoke won't kill you tomorrow, but it is a known and documented cause of long term health problems, including lung cancer.

    That said, I wouldn't turn down the occasional gig where there was smoking. Although in California, those are few and far between.
  20. drea2304


    Feb 13, 2012
    Central IL
    Can't speak for sonicland but, our veterans are heroes and have my up most respect but if I had to spend hours in a smoke filled room (kills my lungs) I would exercise my freedom to skip that gig.

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