Unrehearsed Gigs and Volunteerism

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by EngrSorenson, Aug 18, 2022.

  1. I’ve been asked to play a charity gig as a part of a band playing songs at a brewery, raising money for… well… I don’t know yet.
    Unrehearsed, 3 hour gig, and a 5 piece band (two of which I currently play with). I’ve been told it’s not as “professional” as my current bar band, which really has me worried, lol.
    I never mind playing for charities, but this sounds like a stressful 3 hours, even if I’m reasonably confident in my own abilities to know the songs or improvise.

    What do you think?

    the connection to band management is that my philosophy has always been to take gigs, because that’s how I make connections that turn into other gigs… but a sloppy gig is a sloppy gig. But a sloppy gig for charity is for charity. It’s also still a sloppy gig.

    (… sloppy gig.)
  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Playing what? If it's not either jazz standards, or charted, it's going to be a mess.
  3. Bonafide

    Bonafide Calculus Entropy Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2002
    Tedesco's 4 apply here...

    (Edit for OP) Tommy Tedesco - Wikipedia

    There are only four reasons to take a gig:

    "For the money, for the connections, for the experience or just for the fun.”
    Tommy Tedesco
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2022
  4. 51PRI


    Aug 7, 2014
    I would want to see the song list and know what the charity is before I would commit to it
  5. Al Rivera

    Al Rivera

    Mar 20, 2021
    I would take that gig! That's how I get my thrills,nothing ventured, nothing gained is my motto.
    1n3, Ekulati, dbbltime and 12 others like this.
  6. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    The problem with charities is that often they are run by volunteers who know nothing about real life. My favorite example was a friend who was volunteering, and the charity arranged for a semi load of goods (I can't remember if food or clothing, something like that) to be donated. So far, so good - but they were expecting that a 53 foot trailer full of pallets of goods was going to be unloaded on a Saturday morning by two women at a facility with no loading dock, no forklift, no pallet jack, nothing but a folding two-wheeler and a three-rung step stool. That's when my friend quit.

    OP, all you need now is for them to insert the charity auction that's supposed to last an hour but will go three and the entire audience will leave during it, so you'll play that last set to the janitorial crew (who, unlike you, WILL get paid).

    "Sorry, I gave at the office."
  7. Solid advice so far, just to respond a little:

    what’s this? I googled it and it seems like he’s a Bulgarian Football manager.

    Classic Rock, I’m sure. There may or may not be lead sheets. “Roll With The Changes” wouldn’t give most people a nose bleed, but I’m sure if someone called “Whipping Post” it’d fall apart.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  8. Bonafide

    Bonafide Calculus Entropy Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2002
    I edited my post for relevance for you - Tommy Tedesco - Wikipedia

    There are only four reasons to take a gig:

    "For the money, for the connections, for the experience or just for the fun.”
    Tommy Tedesco
  9. Bunk McNulty

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

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    It's been a while, but we played a charity gig where we got paid--because we agreed to promote it, and we had better publicity than the charity itself. Our presence increased the number of people at the event and they spent more time there. We even got asked back the next two years--both of which we decided as a band to play for free. Why? Because over both those years, the head of the charity brought dozens and dozens of her pals to our club gigs, and we felt she should be repaid for that. Somebody scratches your back, you scratch theirs.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2022
  10. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    They can't find a band with three hours of material?

    Or a couple bands to split it?
    DJ Bebop and rickwebb like this.
  11. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    If I'm going to offer my services, it has to be something that I can (or am allowed to) do well.

    Poor planning on their part doesn't constitute an obligation to endure a bad experience on my part.
    DrewD, Dust2Dust, retslock and 6 others like this.
  12. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Really depends on the charity, and on the song list and expectations. Find those out, talk to the 2 bandmembers you play with, and decide.
  13. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    Sounds to me like the organiser literally couldn't organise a pissup in a brewery.
  14. This may be a bit of a sidebar, but I've always had issues with...

    1) Charities are all RUN by volunteers.
    2) Because they are volunteers they don't know what they are doing.
    3) Because it is for a charity, it doesn't matter as much, as if it were a commercial venture.

    Many organizations have salaried personnel involved in their fundraising. Some get paid very well. As long as they are bringing in their salary, AND the funding needed to do the work of the charity, then all is good.

    Many volunteers are committed to a charity on a level unmatched by paid workers. Often those volunteers don't run the activity, they just help out.

    The charities matter, possibly even more to those who benefit from the charitable work, than those who just profit from commercial ventures.

    It's no more fair to pigeon-hole charities as being this or that, than it is to characterize bass players in a certain way.

    We now return control of your television set, back to you.
  15. Kickass


    Jul 20, 2012
    Scottish Borders
    I do a charity festival/party in the South West of England as the Sound Man. PA is provided and I get fed. I can camp for as long as I like, this year a week, and help set up. 850 mile round trip from the South of Scotland and I refuse any petrol money. I work approx 12 hours on the day. Hopefully my band will make the trip next year and we'll go busking to help costs. The charity does cataract operations in India at a cost of £20 each. This year we made over £5000 pounds. The charity is called Second Sight: SECOND SIGHT if you care to donate.
  16. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    Yes, of course, there are organizations that are well and professionally run and their events and fundraisers are done well and professionally, whether by paid or unpaid staff or a mixture. I have had some positive experiences along this line. I have also had a lot of experiences like the 53 foot trailer full of goods to be unloaded with no loading dock, etc., etc., and the OP's experience is shaping up to be just like that, from his description.
    Dust2Dust and Old Garage-Bander like this.
  17. 51PRI


    Aug 7, 2014
    The other problem with playing at a charities is that you often get calls to play other charities. We used to play "Relay for Life", a worthy charity. We would often be onstage playing when someone from another charity would ask us to play theirs. I would happily play for the right charity but without the expectation of getting other paying gigs out of it.
  18. Egg250


    Jan 10, 2022
    "How hard could it be ?" That's my motto. It's a free show for a charity. Someone is doing a favor for someone. I wouldn't overthink it. I'm sure the coordinator has picked staples or simple songs, to be confirmed with a set list including the key of each song to be played. If they include the tab/chart/arrangement of the songs, even better. You should do it and have fun.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2022
  19. bherman

    bherman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    Good on ya, this really sounds like a worthwhile charity. I took a look at the website link, really looks intriguing. Only thing that I can't figure out is how to donate from a US source. Any suggestions?
    Kickass likes this.
  20. I think the guy who “owns” the gig does a gig like this once a month at the same location. It’s surprising to me, in talking with my connection, that there’s no list of songs he typically does. Or at least one currently available.

    The whole thing screams “lazy” to me.
    Dust2Dust and Marko 1 like this.