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Bluewine

Reasons For Turning Down Gigs

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When to turn down gigs. I think it's a worthwhile discussion.

Outside of an illness what are some of the reasons we turn down gigs and how we feel about it.

Here are a few we're all familiar with. Please comment on each or add other reasons.

1. Not enough money

2. Distance issues

3. Prior bad experience with the venue

4. Scheduling problems. Band members play in other bands.

5. Something doesn't seem right.

 

 

Blue

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Posted (edited)

We virtually never turn down work but reasons would include:

Unworkable noise limitations 

If accepting the booking would make it logistically impossible to get to or from another booking that has already been made.

Venue or client making unreasonable and unworkable requests or stipulations. 

All our bookings are handled by an agent who we have worked with for years and who keeps our diary full. They know we will do everything in our power to make a gig work, our fee is non negotiable and they know exactly what our requirements are. 99 times out of 100 they can make the booking without consulting us but if, for example, they have a client who wants us to travel overseas or do something unusual they will give us a call. Obviously its likely that they are turning stuff down on our behalf if people contact them offering below our set fee etc. We turned down 1 venue last year due to our experience with their limiter that was set very low but accepted well over 100 (including many with much more sensibly set limiters). We did add 1 venue to our blacklist too. We even accepted a booking for Christmas day this year, much to the annoyance of our other halfs but all agreed that the fee was worth it.

Unavailability of a band member is never an issue. We all arrange and pay for our own deps if we want to be unavailable. The band is a business and nobody has the right to stop other members earning.

Edited by mrtcat
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10 minutes ago, Bluewine said:

" If your breathing your playing the gig"

Buddy Rich 😄

I don't recognise this; do you have a source for pinning this on Mr Rich's chest..? Couldn't spell, whoever it was. 9_9

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I've turned down gigs because of fears for my own safety.

I played the toughest bar in Scotland......once.

The band  got asked back and I declined. They got another bass player to fill in for me.

It didn't go well :shok:

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Politics/morality 

I’m proud of where I come from but have to acknowledge that the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire borderlands have been diseased with right-wing white supremacy groups for years. About 5 years ago a cover band I was in was offered a slot at a pub beer festival. We said yes but then found out that the whole event was basically a promotion for the National Front. We unanimously decided to back out. We made some pathetic excuse about illness of a band member. Cowardly? Maybe, but these were seriously evil people.

As a coda: a couple of years later I was queuing to get into Chester cathedral for my daughter's graduation ceremony. I glanced behind me and saw Nick Griffin, also in the queue. My 6 foot 5 son-in-law was with me and clocked him too. I had a few thoughts but decided not to spoil my daughter’s day.

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After Len’s admirable post above, I’m almost ashamed to say reasons for declining gigs have pretty much always been either directly or indirectly financial. When I first went pro, a seasoned musician gave me some good advice about deciding on what was the minimum fee to work for, and sticking to it. He said sometimes you’ll have to sit at home rather than gig, but it will be the best route in the long term. Have to say he was right too. Unfortunately a band I was in didn’t agree and would take a local gig whatever the fee, which of course then had the knock on effect of making it harder to charge a better price for our bread and butter work doing weddings and functions. I was outvoted in wanting to decline doing cheap gigs, and the band eventually folded (not just for that reason but it certainly contributed). Fortunately I had jumped ship before then.

My current band have had to turn down some work purely for the difficulty in financing travel and stuff for 8 band members plus crew. We had 24 gigs in the USA offered but just couldn’t make the figures work out, along with a punishing travel schedule. Bloody annoying but am still hopeful it may happen someday.

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As per Lens post, politics, known affiliation with either side and I’m not playing. I also won’t do anything with religious affiliations. 

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I won't do a whole brace of politics. I will do some religious affiliations, depends on who and what they are and if they want to involve me in them (ie, I have no problem playing for a church fete sort of thing, but that is about it). Won't do hunter groups. 

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4 hours ago, Dad3353 said:

I don't recognise this; do you have a source for pinning this on Mr Rich's chest..? Couldn't spell, whoever it was. 9_9

I believe it's from an interview I saw on YouTube.

Blue 

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We dropped one of our regular venues, the hours were not good 9:30-1:30 and the place was in a dangerous area.

Blue

 

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Posted (edited)

I'll play anywhere for anyone as long as the money's good enough. If they pay half upfront I'll even play requests.

 

Edited by skankdelvar
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When you are the wrong band for the gig. In a previous band we had a handful of bookings for parties from people who knew and liked us. Unfortunately, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Creedence covers don't exactly cut it at mixed age family events (wedding anniversaies, birthdays), so we'd end up playing to ourselves and then watch the floor fill during our breaks when someone put music through the PA from their iPod 😕

I did try an persuade the band leader not to take these bookings, but they were often his friends and really wanted us to play, but it never worked.

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We have turned down a coupe of gigs recently because the stage's looked too small when a band member checked them out. As a six piece with two drummers, there are quite a few venues where stage space can be very tight.

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9 hours ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

If I ever turn down a gig, it's usually because of non-availability of either me or someone else. Money rarely comes into it.

Same here. Ill take anything offered, but if a band member is not available ill turn it down. 

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3 hours ago, skankdelvar said:

I'll play anywhere for anyone as long as the money's good enough. If they pay half upfront I'll even play requests.

 

I'm opening a tin of corned beef later on.  Would you care to perform at the ceremony?  I'll even let you do music.

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Just now, SpondonBassed said:

I'm opening a tin of corned beef later on.  Would you care to perform at the ceremony?  I'll even let you do music.

Don't do it, it's a trap!

Last time I went near a tin of corned beef I almost lost a finger and couldn't play for a fortnight!

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5 hours ago, Bluewine said:

the hours were not good 9:30-1:30 and the place was in a dangerous area.

Those hours would be workable in a "good" area I suppose.

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1 minute ago, Newfoundfreedom said:

Last time I went near a tin of corned beef I almost lost a finger and couldn't play for a fortnight!

It's fine.  It's not like I am a concert pianist.

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At lot of you guys are far more professional than me and if I were in your situation I’d be as dedicated, but I play originals for fun so my outlook is somewhat different...

I would never miss a gig (or rehearsal / other band commitment) and I will always turn up prepared having worked on my bass parts etc. But... music is not my job... I have an actual job (which keeps food on the table) and is my priority. Therefore it’s not surprising I once turned down a three week van tour of Europe... singer just stood there aghast... I could see it in his face. Couldn’t comprehend for a second why this might be an issue. 🤦‍♂️ 

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4 minutes ago, CamdenRob said:

At lot of you guys are far more professional than me and if I were in your situation I’d be as dedicated, but I play originals for fun so my outlook is somewhat different...

I would never miss a gig (or rehearsal / other band commitment) and I will always turn up prepared having worked on my bass parts etc. But... music is not my job... I have an actual job (which keeps food on the table) and is my priority. Therefore it’s not surprising I once turned down a three week van tour of Europe... singer just stood there aghast... I could see it in his face. Couldn’t comprehend for a second why this might be an issue. 🤦‍♂️ 

Pretty much the same reason I quit my last band. 1 or 2 (unpaid) gigs a week, plus a practice day, for something that was supposed to be a hobby and a bit of a laugh. The two guitarists who were both financially independent after talking early retirement wanted to gig as much as possible, and couldn't understand why I didn't. 😕

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8 hours ago, Len_derby said:

Politics/morality 

I’m proud of where I come from but have to acknowledge that the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire borderlands have been diseased with right-wing white supremacy groups for years. About 5 years ago a cover band I was in was offered a slot at a pub beer festival. We said yes but then found out that the whole event was basically a promotion for the National Front. We unanimously decided to back out. We made some pathetic excuse about illness of a band member. Cowardly? Maybe, but these were seriously evil people.

As a coda: a couple of years later I was queuing to get into Chester cathedral for my daughter's graduation ceremony. I glanced behind me and saw Nick Griffin, also in the queue. My 6 foot 5 son-in-law was with me and clocked him too. I had a few thoughts but decided not to spoil my daughter’s day.

of what importance is it that your tall son in law was there. in case you said something and it kicked off ?. if that's the case your just as bad as the right wing loonies

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, christhammer666 said:

of what importance is it that your tall son in law was there. in case you said something and it kicked off ?. if that's the case your just as bad as the right wing loonies

I was considering giving him the bunch of flowers I had and felt that him and his 'friend' might take it badly. In the end I saved them for my daughter. She appreciated them.

All spur of the moment and badly thought out I admit.

Anyway, hope I've not derailed the thread into politics.

Edited by Len_derby
Spellin
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