Post Number: 1155
|Posted on Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 10:15 am: |
I joined a band that wants to start gigging more frequently. In the past, loose, handshake arrangements with people have worked out reasonably well. However, we see a potential for problems with a few club owners. We're trying to anticipate and resolve some of the nit-picky issues before they rear their ugly heads.
We aren't wanting to have some 10 page contract; just to identify the little things that a club owner can use to screw us out of a few bucks here and there. Also, please don't tell us to deal only with the ones who aren't boneheads. That would narrow it down to about one venue.
There is a wealth of experience in this club that we can learn from. We would appreciate your comments that can help us out. This could end up sounding like a "Worst Gigs" thread. Should be interesting.
I'm probably forgetting something, but here are things we already consider.
Basic fee / change or cancellation fee
Who is responsible for promoting the gig
How long do we play
Breaks - how many, how long
Food and drinks - free/discount
Gig is indoors or outdoors (what happens in case of bad weather)
Travel time/distance and road conditions
How much equipment will we need
Distance to carry equipment / stairs
Will people ask to sit in or use our equipment (except for announcements)
Thanks for your help.
Post Number: 1662
|Posted on Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 10:22 am: |
richbass..sounds like you have it all sewn up there.
The main point is the fee when my band has a gig, some of the other stuff could be variable depending where and when you play.
Post Number: 591
|Posted on Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 1:39 pm: |
Drinks on stage - some places allow this others do not. I'm not just talking about adult beverages either. Some casinos only allow water. Our singer likes to have tea with him on stage and he can't at said casinos.
Security requirements - aforementioned casinos also can have strict security requirements. Like absolutely no one on stage who isn't in the band and/or registered with them. So you can't have Johnny That One Guy sit in on a song because he isn't cleared by the casino security.
Post Number: 365
|Posted on Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 7:04 pm: |
Merchandising clause if you intend to sell products.
Also if you ever play for the door or percentage of a band staff member sits the door.
You may find this helpful..
http://www.blues101.org/articles/contracts.htm#Band%20and%20Venue or just go to blues101.com
It is good to have something in writing so there is a good understanding between all parties...however most larger venue club owners have been around the block and if a dispute does arise...well guess who looses 99 times out of 100 !
Post Number: 10341
|Posted on Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 9:14 pm: |
- In some places you also want to know that there is security, that the bar will react quickly to drunks getting up on the stage both when you're playing and when you're on break.
- What time and how long are setup and soundcheck.
- Parking, both for load in/load out and while you're playing. Here in Asheville I would often park in the loading zone long enough to take my rig in, then go find a parking spot several blocks away and hike back to the gig.
Post Number: 158
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 - 7:41 am: |
I would just add to always make sure whether you are the only band playing and if not, lock down the order. Be wary of last minute switches, double-bookings or other unpleasant surprises.
Naturally, always be polite and professional. Thank the sound person, the bartender and the club owner, afterwards -- even if they sucked. Finally, send a thank you card the next day!
Post Number: 4927
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 - 9:33 am: |
A lawyer's perspective, a.k.a. the wet blanket:
How much do your gigs pay? If it's the bar type gig paying in the $100-$500 range, are you really going to sue if there's a breach? Is it worth it to spend the time and energy, even in small claims court? If not, what's the point of the contract?
Post Number: 1978
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 - 10:40 am: |
oddmetersam has the bestest advice ever: Thank everybody afterward, no matter how awful they may have been to you. It's amazing what a difference that can make the next time around.
Really, I'm at the age where I mostly just go with the flow. Sometimes that doesn't work out so well, but most of the time it does. I'm just thankful for the chance to play.
Post Number: 497
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 - 1:03 pm: |
I know that some venues have no problem postponing the bands' start times if there is some reason that benefits the venue. I once played at a "sports bar" on Super Bowl Sunday. When we were booked, the venue didn't realize it was for that high and mighty special day. So we got there and set up our stuff, but the music was going to interfere with the TV's sound, and that was unacceptable. So we had to wait until the whole game was over before we could even start playing! We waited around for over 3 hours after our scheduled start time before the first downbeat! The people who came to see us play didn't wait for the game to end; they just left (who could blame them?). All the drunken sports fans left after the game. We played to an empty room. Aaaargh! (We didn't send the venue a thank-you note...)
(Message edited by Benson_Murrensun on August 15, 2011)
Post Number: 592
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 - 1:24 pm: |
Hoepfully not going to derail this:
ALWAYS double check for big events when booking shows. Your milage and whatnot may vary depending on where you live.
* Big holiday weekends in the States are death for gigs (usually). Labor Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are all awful weekends to gig. More often times than not people are out doing other things. You'll wind up playing to the two locals that practically live at the bar and a few of your most rabid fans. Been there, done that. Don't want to do it again.
* Major sporting events. Like above Super Bowel story. Also be wary of March Madness weekends (especially early on when there are games all friggin' day long). People drink all day watching basketball and then go home. All other major professional sporting events should be considered.
* Local sports near your gig. In Seattle all we have to worry about anymore is football (proper and otherwise) and baseball. Both are located near music venues and that can really make parking a hassle, load in a bigger hassle, and just plain getting there a royal pain in the ass. Though this can also work in your favor after the sporting event is over. Thousands of drunken fans hitting the bars and packing the place.
Also - as noted about about pay and going after a bar for breach of contract: so not worth it. When you start getting into larger sums of money that's when a contract will be more important. Like those New Year's Eve gigs, corporate parties, weddings, casinos that have a budget, etc...
Post Number: 498
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 - 2:07 pm: |
Yes, it seems that checking for big events prior to booking gigs is a good idea. None of the band members were fans of professional sports, and it never occurred to us. Live and burn, er, I mean LEARN.
Post Number: 656
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 - 2:35 pm: |
Bill tgo - i think a contract's primary value is as a communication tool. It ensures all parties are literally on the same page. The clearer and more concise it is, the less chance anyone will need to think about suing - so it has value even in circumstances in which it would be uneconomical to sue.
Post Number: 186
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 - 5:20 pm: |
For outdoor gigs, it's always advisable to stipulate that the venue/promoter is responsible for supplying adequate power to the stage (not 50 yards away!), and provisions for shade or inclement weather coverage.
When it comes to venue dictated late starts, that's why hours are specified in the contract. As long as the band is prepared to start at the stated hour, they're only contracted to play until the stop time specified. Anything beyond that is overtime.
Post Number: 366
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 - 6:55 pm: |
Hum....no disrespect meant but I disagree with you briant.
Its hard to dbl check for big events especially if you're booking future jobs...most times the big events come after you've booked as fate will have it.
I've found Big holiday weekends in the States have Always been big payday events with huge crowds! go figure
However, ofcourse the superbowl is hard to compete with so if you're booking a job on that day
(unless you're the half time entertaiment ) I'd recomend not to or defintely get a gurantee pay start and stop time.
Since superbowl is usually on a Sunday I personaly stay home and watch the game!
And then there is Fair Week..Book with the fair even if its for little pay or free opening for a headliner or dont play! lol
My Two Pennies
(Message edited by thumbsup on August 15, 2011)
Post Number: 1156
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 - 7:43 pm: |
Thanks for the tips everybody. Keep them coming if you think of more. My situation is more the "clear communication" type rather than the "jack with us and we'll sue you" type.
Bunch of stuff here I've never encountered.
Post Number: 10342
|Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 10:01 am: |
"Clear communication". One member of a band I was in was pretty good about getting gigs; if he was sitting at a bar, he would strike up a conversation with the bartender or manager, and then later in the day call me up and say we had a gig there. This is a good thing; having someone in the band who will go out and book the band is good. On the other hand, I would start asking him questions and find that stuff that I would think important was stuff that he didn't really focus on; like the stage, or even if there was a stage, much less power outlets at the stage, or how much we were actually getting paid, etc. So in general it can be a good thing to write down all the important stuff for each member to take with them when booking the band just so they remember to get all the details for the rest of the band. And it can be good to get full agreement between band members when making the list; it could be that for some members a long stair carry just might be an issue.
Post Number: 593
|Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 11:43 am: |
"Its hard to dbl check for big events especially if you're booking future jobs...most times the big events come after you've booked as fate will have it."
Of course they do. I wasn't trying to imply that they don't. I should have been more specific in stating that you should cover your bases as best you can when making gig decisions.
"So in general it can be a good thing to write down all the important stuff for each member to take with them when booking the band just so they remember to get all the details for the rest of the band. And it can be good to get full agreement between band members when making the list; it could be that for some members a long stair carry just might be an issue."
Sure. Which could be your booking person(s) version of your stage plot/requirements that you have of the venue. Which you should also have (stage plot) so there are no surprises. Even when playing a little bar for $100. You need them to understand up front that you require X number of mics, Y number of instrument inputs, Z mixes, etc... That way if they don't have it you can work with them to supplement their setup or hire a suitable rig for the night.
All this stuff might sound like a tremendous amount of work. It is and it isn't. Once you have all your requirements together and know what to ask of the location it is actually not bad.