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Bluewine

Reasons For Turning Down Gigs

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5 hours ago, Mykesbass said:

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.

This ^^ +1. Our repertoire is not function/wedding dance music; if it's not going to be suitable, best not to waste everyone's time and effort.

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Posted (edited)
7 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 ask people to write their request on a £10 note and promise to play it if we know it. If they write it on a £20, we'll play it if even if we don't...

Edited by Dan Dare
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Got asked to play a gig for the Countryside Alliance once. 

It was on a ship which they were planning to sail up the River Thames.

We all quite liked foxes, so we turned it down.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Mykesbass said:

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.

Yeah, been there, twice. Not because we knew them, both because the couple who got married wanted a live Neil Young Band to play their first dance. Neither of which were songs that we play, but hey ho. Both times the money has been comparatively too good to turn down and both were hard work. One of which was very much so. We've not done another and our duly increased price for doing our next one has been baulked at a couple of times since. 

I much prefer being "the band" at a venue, where people have paid to come and see us, rather than "the entertainment" at a random function. Cortez the Killer ain't a party song. 

That said, like pretty much anything. If the price is right, I'll do it, so long as it doesn't offend my sensibilities. 

Edited by bigjohn
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Sometimes for the pay, but mostly cos we're already booked (which doesn't count I guess). We had 3 dates booked at a local place with a great sound (and lights) guy, decent crowd and free pizza which got cancelled when a new landlord took over and said new landlords daughter expressed a dislike any of Mr Jones' stuff. No account of the people we pulled in or how nice we all are 😊.    It's the pizza I'll miss the most + working with a top soundie and decent in house PA

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Not too worried about the fee, unless it would put the band seriously out of pocket

Especially for originals bands, it's never been a "won't play" policy, more a "won't go back"policy,  usually related to the promoter, not the venue.  The ones that have got a pub for free on a Tuesday night and don't do any promotion, don't curate the bill and just put on anybody who says yes to their e-mail about playing the gig so acoustic soul duos are on after death metal outfits, and expect the bands to bring people.  None of which may be apparent until you've arrived at the gig

If we're only being watched by the other bands then it's very unlikely that we'll agree to play for those promoters again, because they have failed at their one job - promoting the gig

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15 minutes ago, Monkey Steve said:

Not too worried about the fee, unless it would put the band seriously out of pocket

Especially for originals bands, it's never been a "won't play" policy, more a "won't go back"policy,  usually related to the promoter, not the venue.  The ones that have got a pub for free on a Tuesday night and don't do any promotion, don't curate the bill and just put on anybody who says yes to their e-mail about playing the gig so acoustic soul duos are on after death metal outfits, and expect the bands to bring people.  None of which may be apparent until you've arrived at the gig

If we're only being watched by the other bands then it's very unlikely that we'll agree to play for those promoters again, because they have failed at their one job - promoting the gig

I've seen this both as a performer and as a promoter. I've been putting on shows of original bands for about two and a half years and have found that there are so many factors that can make a night a success or not.

I put a lot of effort and time planning the events, ensuring the performers work well together, put up posters, push it on social media and sometimes we still get less than 10 people turn up.

And you're often fighting the weather - if it rains, the event is generally ruined. And you're also fighting Sky, Netflix, Prime, etc., etc. A lot of people just can't be bothered to go out and watch originals music.

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17 hours ago, hooky_lowdown said:

If we don't get everything on our rider, we're gone. 😉

i remember a gig where I was offered a rider , I was a bit hacked off to find out upon arriving at the venue that the venue's definition of a rider was one beer 

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The Victoria Club Aylesbury, dreadfull load in and bad parking. Also a pub in the allegedly posh part of Luton (name escapes me). Horrible atmosphere and chavvy clientele.

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3 hours ago, ricksterphil said:

Sometimes for the pay, but mostly cos we're already booked (which doesn't count I guess). We had 3 dates booked at a local place with a great sound (and lights) guy, decent crowd and free pizza which got cancelled when a new landlord took over and said new landlords daughter expressed a dislike any of Mr Jones' stuff. No account of the people we pulled in or how nice we all are 😊.    It's the pizza I'll miss the most + working with a top soundie and decent in house PA

In my neck of the woods a change in ownership of a pub/ bar is " the kiss of death" and usually means one thing. No more bands.

Blue

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17 hours ago, Lozz196 said:

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

When we're playing biker bar gigs out in the rural areas I am always concerned when the back drop on the stage is a Confederate Flag.

Blue

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11 hours ago, Mykesbass said:

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.

Myke the same thing happened to us last year.

It was a private event, a corporate employee appreciation party. A lot of 21 year old ladies. They hated us. When we took our breaks they talked our sound tech into playing their i Pod through the PA and the dance floor filled up.

Not much fun for us. But we took the money.

Blue

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10 hours ago, Newfoundfreedom said:

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. 😕

I deal with this as I am the only one in the band that's retired. However I'm not financially independent and I depend on gig money to supplement my tiny pension.

I'm lucky that our band is run by our band leader and her husband. They're young smart, and aggressive and can usually smell trouble before it happens.

Blue

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2 hours ago, Bluewine said:

When we're playing biker bar gigs out in the rural areas I am always concerned when the back drop on the stage is a Confederate Flag.

Blue

I used to play in a bar where they had a giant screen directly behind the band, on which films/movies were projected, sometimes whilst you were playing. Made for an interesting evening...

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The only reason I turn down gigs is due to distance or money or a combination of both.

Examples: travelling from Glasgow to Frazerburgh for £250 between 5 of us and travel from Glasgow to Banff to play for 1 hour on a Saturday night. And some of the guys in the band wanted to do both of the gigs, madness.

And I don`t do boats. I get seasick in the bloomin bath! Captain Pugwash I aint!

 

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1 hour ago, jezzaboy said:

The only reason I turn down gigs is due to distance or money or a combination of both.

Examples: travelling from Glasgow to Frazerburgh for £250 between 5 of us and travel from Glasgow to Banff to play for 1 hour on a Saturday night. And some of the guys in the band wanted to do both of the gigs, madness.

And I don`t do boats. I get seasick in the bloomin bath! Captain Pugwash I aint!

 

I heard about a local Milwaukee WI band traveling out of State to Minnesota for a $35.00 a man gig. Like you say " madness"

 I do one boat gig a year. It's an hour and a half gig with a great crowd and the $$$ is to good to turn down.

Blue

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8 hours ago, Bluewine said:

I do one boat gig a year.

I doubt that there will be many wanting to do the cruise ships this year.

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17 hours ago, thebassist said:

I've seen this both as a performer and as a promoter. I've been putting on shows of original bands for about two and a half years and have found that there are so many factors that can make a night a success or not.

I put a lot of effort and time planning the events, ensuring the performers work well together, put up posters, push it on social media and sometimes we still get less than 10 people turn up.

And you're often fighting the weather - if it rains, the event is generally ruined. And you're also fighting Sky, Netflix, Prime, etc., etc. A lot of people just can't be bothered to go out and watch originals music.

I'm probably now more aware of the signs to spot - lack of details about the set up, no work being done with the bands to see who's bringing which bits of the backline and can they all share, that sort of thing.  But I've played a couple of gigs, midweek in pubs that are not well known as live venues, where there isn't so much as a poster up outside telling the general public that there is music on that night. 

 

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16 minutes ago, Monkey Steve said:

I'm probably now more aware of the signs to spot - lack of details about the set up, no work being done with the bands to see who's bringing which bits of the backline and can they all share, that sort of thing.  But I've played a couple of gigs, midweek in pubs that are not well known as live venues, where there isn't so much as a poster up outside telling the general public that there is music on that night. 

 

I get you - I actually only started putting on shows in the first place because I was confident I could do a better job than the promoters we were working with.

When I offer a band a show (post-rock/ambient/experimental/jazz/modern-classical) and they agree, I send an email asking for their technical requirements, telephone number and I attach and reference a two page document with the venue details, time they need to arrive, time they're due to sound check, time they're scheduled to perform, the equipment the venue has, contact details and information about how they're going to be paid... a lot of the time I know it hasn't been read because of the questions I get asked 😂

I put a show on in Bournemouth in November last year - I put posters up at the venue and at Absolute Music, I paid for targeted advertising on Facebook, went to Bournemouth university and university halls to do a leaflet drop and put posters up on the university notice boards, I also had correspondence back and forth with the university music department. Unfortunately it had zero impact. With the exception of two people (who I spoke with and were not students), the bands or I knew every person who attended the event. While the bands knew and could see the effort I had put in, it was still extremely disheartening.

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On 08/03/2020 at 23:31, gjones said:

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

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

Oofty, where was that?  I'm struggling to imagine even a drunken ned wanting to have a pop at a bloke your size!

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We got offered a small unpaid slot at food festival approximately four hours drive away. Turned it down as we didn't want to be the opening act for Hummus...

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5 hours ago, thebassist said:

I get you - I actually only started putting on shows in the first place because I was confident I could do a better job than the promoters we were working with.

When I offer a band a show (post-rock/ambient/experimental/jazz/modern-classical) and they agree, I send an email asking for their technical requirements, telephone number and I attach and reference a two page document with the venue details, time they need to arrive, time they're due to sound check, time they're scheduled to perform, the equipment the venue has, contact details and information about how they're going to be paid... a lot of the time I know it hasn't been read because of the questions I get asked 😂

I put a show on in Bournemouth in November last year - I put posters up at the venue and at Absolute Music, I paid for targeted advertising on Facebook, went to Bournemouth university and university halls to do a leaflet drop and put posters up on the university notice boards, I also had correspondence back and forth with the university music department. Unfortunately it had zero impact. With the exception of two people (who I spoke with and were not students), the bands or I knew every person who attended the event. While the bands knew and could see the effort I had put in, it was still extremely disheartening.

What would it take to promote a 6 week Maple Road UK Pub/ festival tour?

Blue

 

 

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23 hours ago, thebassist said:

I've seen this both as a performer and as a promoter. I've been putting on shows of original bands for about two and a half years and have found that there are so many factors that can make a night a success or not.

I put a lot of effort and time planning the events, ensuring the performers work well together, put up posters, push it on social media and sometimes we still get less than 10 people turn up.

And you're often fighting the weather - if it rains, the event is generally ruined. And you're also fighting Sky, Netflix, Prime, etc., etc. A lot of people just can't be bothered to go out and watch originals music.

Former BC'er OldGit (RIP) often had something to say about this.

Which basically boiled down to - it's in the bands best interest to promote/publicize their gigs too, regardless of what else is happening.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Bluewine said:

What would it take to promote a 6 week Maple Road UK Pub/ festival tour?

Blue

 

 

FB_IMG_1582043909186.jpg

Quite a lot of money, not to mention getting work permits etc. Remember you are only likely to pull £250 - £300 (less than 350 USD) for a pub gig and you are unlikely to get any festivals unless you have some sort of a name in a specific genre. 

If you have any contacts to book gigs, you might have better luck in northern Europe. 

Edited by peteb
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