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Rude to not take drinks?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by GK Growl, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. FunkBear


    Jan 2, 2009
    It is not inherently rude to decline an offered drink, whatever the reason, although it is entirely possible to decline a drink in a rude way. However, that does not mean that the person offering the drink will not take offense to their offer being turned down. Someone offering you a drink believes they are doing something good for you and may take offense at having their good graces turned down, regardless of the reason. But the denial of their expectations does not make it rude.

    It is more rude for someone to continually offer you drinks after you have declined than it is to decline a drink, as many women can likely attest.
  2. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly. Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    It's very simple. Somebody in the crowd buys the band a round. A waitperson brings up a tray with the drinks on it. You take your glass. You raise it to whoever bought it for you and give a big smile and say "Thanks!" You pretend to take a sip and set the glass down, because it's time to play the next song. I've been doing this for longer than some of you have been alive. Believe me, it works.

    Possible alternative, courtesy of none other than Sammy Hagar: Arrange with management beforehand that when you are offered a shot they substitute water or other nonalcoholic beverage.
  3. baileyboy


    Aug 12, 2010
    I don't think it is rude to decline drinks. I never drink when I gig, so always decline, but ask for a water instead. If the singer wants to drink, that's his prerogative, and as long as it does not become a detriment to the band.
  4. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    I refuse sugary drinks all the time. I've noticed in my 10 years of playing in a bar every Thursday-Saturday, my worst hangovers were always after drinking sugary drinks. If I stick to beer and/or straight whiskey, I don't wake up feeling like crap.
  5. sqlb3rn


    Apr 6, 2016
    SE US
    I would decline and let the butt-hurt ensue. It's no one's business what I put in my mouth. If you walked up to a non-smoker and offered them a cigarette that would be weird... no different with drugs and alcohol to me.
    dBChad likes this.
  6. BurtMacklinFBI


    Apr 3, 2018
    Some people will think it’s rude. Nothing you can do about that, people are going to think what they’re going to think. Doesn’t matter, politely decline the drink anyway. You don’t owe them an explanation and you certainly don’t owe it to them to risk your sobriety over it. People who think that’s rude will think that no matter what we say on this thread, all you can do is be cool and do what’s right for you and your bandmates.
    dBChad and FunkBear like this.
  7. Chango Malo

    Chango Malo

    Apr 8, 2017
    1) unless your name is on a ticket someone paid for, you're in the beer selling biz
    2) While you're not getting paid to party, you ARE getting paid to facilitate the party. IE, sell booze.
    3) it's not rude to turn down booze.
    4) it IS rude to not be nice about it.
    5) you don't need a "gimmick" to turn down booze, just be polite. And smile.
    6) don't be a dick
    RustyAxe and buldog5151bass like this.
  8. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Done plenty of bar gigs. Never experienced that ever. It's always been either we get 1 comp drink or we pay for our own drinks. My bands rarely play bars these days. Never had drinks forced on us. Honestly, you don't want your band drunk while working for you. That's dumb. I don't agree with the band "selling beer" angle either. Never done that. They are welcome to grab the mic to advertise.
    dBChad and saabfender like this.
  9. Chango Malo

    Chango Malo

    Apr 8, 2017
    by "selling beer" I mean "facilitate the good time atmosphere so folks hand out and enjoy themselves" and buy an extra round or two while they're hanging out. I'm not saying that anyone should be actually pimping beer or shots or whatever while they're onstage. But make no mistake, if the cash register don't go 'ding' there will be one less place hiring local bands.
  10. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    It really isn't difficult. "Thanks, buddy! I'll take a virgin Cuba Libre*."

    *or whatever your favorite non-alcoholic drink is.
  11. alack


    Nov 20, 2000
    Happens all the time. It's no problem to say "Thank you so much but I don't drink." I find it's even respected more when I say "Thank you so much but I can't drink." Then I often find myself on the receiving end of needless but much appreciated apology.
    superheavyfunk likes this.
  12. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I used to have people bring me shots. I would keep them nearby, and then donate them to the guitarist's mom. Me and her got along REAL GOOD.
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  13. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    It wasn't Stifler's Mom, was is it?

  14. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  15. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Wasn't there a potted plant you could dump them in?

    Oh, that WAS the guitarist's mom. :thumbsup:
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  16. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
  17. aborgman

    aborgman Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2007
    Ypsilanti, MI 48197
    I don't care if folks don't eat meat, don't drink, don't smoke, are saved by Jesus... or anything else. Whatever makes folks happy.

    ...just don't proselytize or expect anyone else to change their behavior because of it.
  18. I will usually take the drink if offered (they usually aren't, I mean, I'm the bass player, nobody ever notices or appreciates us) and give it to my wife. I will usually only have a beer and maybe one shot (but usually not the shot) when I play. I have played in bands in the past where all of us (me included) got stupid drunk and sounded like ish. Had a drummer in the past that was drinking a pitcher of beer from the pitcher while the set was going on. I went to see a friend play a few months ago and when I got there (at the end of the first set) the band was ishfaced and sounded horrible. There were five empty shot glasses next to the guitar player and the singer asked someone to come from the crowd (anybody) to help him because he could remember the words. Only sober ones were the drummer and bass player.

    When I play it's a job. I wouldnt drink at my day job. Why would I get drunk at my other job (the gig)?

    If anything, take the drink, say thanks, and that you will enjoy it at the end of the set. Then throw it out. He feels like he has shown you some appreciation, you say thanks to them for the appreciation, the bar gets the $$ and everyone is happy.

    I applaud you for being able to be in the environment and be a recovering addict/alcoholic. You sir have my respect.

  19. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv

    I don't drink and I've seen some people get extremely rude when you refuse a drink. I'm always nice the first couple times thanking them for their offer. If they keep insisting, it goes downhill pretty quickly.
    dBChad and two fingers like this.
  20. GBBSbassist

    GBBSbassist I actually play more guitar... Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    Some people absolutely will perceive it as rude behavior if you refuse their drink. That's just how some people are. I personally don't believe it's rude to turn down a drink.

    In my experiences though, the people getting all uppity because you refused their drink are usually sloppy drunk, so why would you care what that person thinks? Just make it a point to use the spotlight to tell people to tip their bartenders/servers and support local music, and you should be able to sleep easy at night.
    dBChad and mcnach like this.

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