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What would you do - Unexpected extra acts

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by lostcontrol_, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. Hi everyone,

    We've already made up our minds about the issue at hand, but I figured I might as well post about it here as well.

    TL;DR: Suddenly, three more (unexpected) bands on the bill.

    Some weeks ago we booked ourselves + two support acts to a venue for a gig, which is now due in ~1.5 weeks. Not a fancy place, low-ish attendance (it's a bit away from the city center). Three bands, door deal, expecting to at least cover our costs.

    Last Sunday we found out that the venue had booked three additional bands to perform before the three of us. No prior mentions about this from the venue and we got the information re: the additions directly from one of the new bands, and not the venue. Reaction: What the heck?

    Effectively, our soundcheck time (for all bands) would now be divided between six bands instead of three. Also the ticket sales would suffer: The first three bands have a separate ticket price and we wouldn't benefit from them - i.e. we'd be losing all income from fans who would arrive before xxPM. Also, the least bit of tech. difficulties or other delays would easily throw the showtimes off by... a lot. If we had less gear to haul and soundcheck, we (in theory) might still reluctantly do the gig.

    As you can imagine, we're quite pissed. As is one of the support bands, the other one would still like to do the gig. For all I care, they can do as they please and I'll try to help them with it, but the rest of us don't really want to support venues acting like this.

    So, our band and one of the supports will bail, and the other support will proceed with the gig if it's ok with the venue. We already have a replacement gig arranged at a respected venue, but unfortunately the other support (the one who'd proceed with the gig) can't make it.

    Probably might burn a bridge to the venue, but it doesn't seem like a big loss. Apparently there's a lot of discussion locally regarding the manner in which the venue conducts business regarding bookings (seems like we're not the only ones) - the sound guys there are nice, tho'. Relations to the other bands won't suffer, as everyone seems understanding of the situation.

    Don't like to cancel gigs without _really_ good justification, but in my & our opinion this is the right thing to do.

    What would you do in a similar situation?
  2. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    In venues like this with multi band booking and no control over who is booked this kind of stuff happens all the time.

    My advice is avoid these types of clubs and have control over you who is booked and when.
  3. +1. Yep. ^^^ This.

    OP - FWIW: Personally, those aren't the type of venues I'd be interested in working or even playing at just for fun. Anyway, with the lack of pay, communication and written or even a clear verbal contract, I suppose it really doesn’t matter what you do - so yeah, I wouldn't do it either.
  4. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Huh, I've never had any say at all in what the clubs I've played in are doing. They book who they want to book and tell you when to play. Most of the time, if there is a sound check, its a few minutes before you start playing after the other band has cleared its gear off the stage.
    The music business is chaotic, everything is subject to change without notice.
  5. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    I'd definitely want to bail. You had a deal, they changed it, you have every right to say no.
  6. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    What we have here is an example of "new school" management.
  7. +1. Yep.
  8. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    I recently saw this on a T-shirt, thought it was funny and true:

    I lied to get the job.
    They lied about the job.
    We're even.
  9. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    It's happened to my bands before, and it has never turned out well. If something like that happens and you do proceed to do the gig then it's critical you have any new walk on bands go last. Doing otherwise and letting them go first, IME, will result in them pushing their own start time as far back as they can get away with, and they'll also try to push their end time back as far as they can get away with. What will result is your band starting way later than you should have.

    The best example I have of this was when playing a local venue a couple of years ago. The band literally showed up to the venue the night of the gig and told us they were also assigned to play. We thought okay, but you weren't on the contract stating the terms of the gig, who was playing that night, or what we'd be getting paid. We told them to start at a pretty early time so that the rest of the time slots for the others bands wouldn't be pushed back more than a half hour. We also did this because the band was from out of town, so we thought we were being nice by not having them start super late and then have to drive immediately after.

    Long story short, they started almost an hour late and they stayed on more than an hour later than they agreed to. It pushed my band's start time so far back that by the time we got on most of our crowd had already left; it had gotten that late. They also paid zero regards to my band or the others playing that night when we were telling them between songs (in private) that they were way over time and needed to end it.
  10. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    Just be sure to be very clear with the venue why you're dropping out. They might not even realize what they're doing to bands.
  11. lol :help: :D
  12. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Not a chance of me following through with a gig like that.
  13. RicosoundRabbit


    Jan 8, 2013
    About 10 years ago, my lead singer made a deal with a local club where he could pick the entire line up for a night as long as the sound person was paid.

    He put together an interesting line up that featured a couple of bands (including ours), a solo act, and a comedy improv group.

    When we got to the club, there was another band already set up on stage. The club hadn't said a thing to our singer and it threw the whole evening off. Everyone's set was pushed back an hour and that lead to problems - one group wanted to go on at their scheduled time, which meant another band would have to go on two hours later than their originally scheduled time, but the other band couldn't go on that late.

    What was also odd is that the club was one of the main original music venues in town and the band they threw on the bill was a cover band doing a lot of mid tempo alt rock from the mid 90s, which didn't fit in at all with what we were doing - plus, they were kind of jerks about the whole thing and ended up going over their time and they took awhile to get their stuff offstage.

    My singer was hoping this could be a regular series of events at the club, but after the first night, we never bothered playing there again.
  14. Indeed. Had I known or been certain of a repeating pattern beforehand, I probably wouldn't have accepted the gig in the first place. Lesson learned: better background checks.
  15. I would have literally fought them.
  16. Fiset

    Fiset I do a good impression of myself Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    New York
    Tough to say since I've never had a venue do this when we were the headlining act and had set up the show with the supporting bands. My inclination would be to bail, especially since none of this was communicated by the venue. On the other hand, if we already had a bunch of tickets sold and our fans were looking forward to the show, that would be a factor as well. The only thing I can say for certain is that I would not book a show at that venue in the future.
  17. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    Are you sure this is going to effect your soundcheck and/or show start times? I've shown up to plenty of gigs where it turns out there was a "day show," often with a completely different genre of bands represented, that no one coming to "our show" was aware of.

    It's always a little weird, but I figure if it keeps the venue open it's good for everyone.

    However, if this is a matter of them suddenly trying to cram 6 bands into a 3 band night (i.e. music start time hasn't changed or has only been bumped up about an hour and you're all expected to either cut your set times or have bands playing till 2 am) then sounds like you have every right to pull out in disgust.
  18. Did you have a contract with start times and details ?
    Because if you did, then you should send that to them and tell them you'll do the show if they abide by terms of the contract.

    I've had this happen, and just told the unexpected band that there was a misunderstanding and they could "close out the night" if they wanted.

    If I am the promoter booking the venue, then I am in charge, not the bar manager.

    I;ve had this happen to me with 1 band unexpected, but never 3.

    I'd ask the venue manager for a in person discussion about this right away, and tell them that we are still going to start at our original start time and that it is management responsibility to make sure the stage is clear. If the stage is not clear at the agreed time, don't unload the gear, no show, everyone goes home.
  19. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I'd do the "bowing out gracefully" thing. Let them know you're glad they've got enough acts for the evening, and that your band will make way so everybody else can have a proper sound check and reasonable division of the proceeds.
  20. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
    With this, maybe you won't burn that bridge after all. :eek: