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Band scheduling/calendar woes


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My band is a big ol' bunch -- 12 or 13 of us at any given time. As you can imagine it is a logistical nightmare getting everybody anywhere at any given time, just getting everybody's availability for gigs is bad enough. We've been using Doodle for ages to do this; if there's a gig offer then we start a poll and everyone answers yes/no/if needed as applicable. It's worked for ages but unfortunately the Doodle people have broken the cardinal rule "if the damn thing works, don't bugger about with it" and they've buggered about with it till it's virtually unusable. So I'm looking for alternatives. One I'm trialling is 'WhenAvailable', so far it seems pretty good. It's free to use as long as there are less than 20 of us, and with our usual deps we sneak in under this. What do you folks use, if anything?

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Because we're only talking 4 or 5 folk per band, it's a WhatsApp group chat for the 4 piece and FB Messenger for the 5.  Plus Google Calendar for both bands for folk to stick in their holidays/other unavailability.

 

Appreciate that's not really helpful for your situation, can't imagine it scaling up.

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3 hours ago, Rich said:

My band is a big ol' bunch -- 12 or 13 of us at any given time. As you can imagine it is a logistical nightmare getting everybody anywhere at any given time, just getting everybody's availability for gigs is bad enough. We've been using Doodle for ages to do this; if there's a gig offer then we start a poll and everyone answers yes/no/if needed as applicable. It's worked for ages but unfortunately the Doodle people have broken the cardinal rule "if the damn thing works, don't bugger about with it" and they've buggered about with it till it's virtually unusable. So I'm looking for alternatives. One I'm trialling is 'WhenAvailable', so far it seems pretty good. It's free to use as long as there are less than 20 of us, and with our usual deps we sneak in under this. What do you folks use, if anything?

12-13 at once if half is working, it's imposible. You have to think in future when much more can arive. The others must work at home and change the others next time. That's the only way. No online sofware can help.

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3 minutes ago, nilorius said:

12-13 at once if half is working, it's imposible. You have to think in future when much more can arive. The others must work at home and change the others next time. That's the only way. No online sofware can help.

I don't know quite what you're getting at, but the band has been together and working quite nicely since 1994, so it's not impossible at all. We've used Doodle just to make logistics and gig-getting easier, not to run the band or play the gigs, and up until recently it's been fine. I'm just after a Doodle-alternative, that's all.

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Thanks for the info about 'WhenAvailable'.

 

I arrange rehearsals for a couple of bands and setting a date/time is a pain in the butt. That website will make things a lot easier.

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We've used bandmule (www.bandmule.com) for a while and it seems fine if you're only in one band. The multi-band situation is not great. It's free, there's an app for the shared calendar, and I don't think there's a limit on numbers.

 

We used to use wheresthegig.com but they put a pricing structure in place that makes it prohibitive.

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1 hour ago, gjones said:

Thanks for the info about 'WhenAvailable'.

 

I arrange rehearsals for a couple of bands and setting a date/time is a pain in the butt. That website will make things a lot easier.

 

Just been looking at this. For me, the two drawbacks would be that (1) it seems to work by either email or people logging onto their website, and (2) the website seems to import your Google calendar and contacts.

 

I have no great problem with (1) myself but a number of musos I play with are allergic to actually, y'know, doing stuff. If it isn't presented to them on a WhatsApp plate, then they won't lift a finger.

 

As for (2), I'm really not big on conspiracy theory and the whole "they're spying on me" schtick, but that does seem pretty intrusive and very easily sold on to the spam merchants.

 

Have you any direct experience yet @Rich?

 

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1 minute ago, Old Horse Murphy said:

Could you just not all get a big house together? It worked for The Monkees 👍

You obviously haven't met my bandmates... if we all lived together, there would be gruesome murders within a week :lol:  

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9 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

 

Just been looking at this. For me, the two drawbacks would be that (1) it seems to work by either email or people logging onto their website, and (2) the website seems to import your Google calendar and contacts.

 

I have no great problem with (1) myself but a number of musos I play with are allergic to actually, y'know, doing stuff. If it isn't presented to them on a WhatsApp plate, then they won't lift a finger.

 

As for (2), I'm really not big on conspiracy theory and the whole "they're spying on me" schtick, but that does seem pretty intrusive and very easily sold on to the spam merchants.

 

Have you any direct experience yet @Rich?

 

Importing the google calendar etc seems to be an option. I've been prompted to do it but I haven't said yes. I don't plan on doing either.

 

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I’m involved in a trio currently. We have a gig (arranged months ago) in 3 weeks time. 
Trying to get one third of the trio to stick to rehearsal dates has been a nightmare. Saying he can make dates, then changing his mind, then stating he didn’t mean the date he agreed to! 🤦🏻‍♂️
This is one of the few important reasons I don’t do bands….people. 😂

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I'm just looking at the TimeTree app. Looks pretty simple. It's just a shared calendar. You don't even have to put email address in as far as I can see, just skip all the registering screens. 

 

As others have said, the weakest link in all these apps is the humans inputting data. 

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We use Teamup which works well for us.

Its set up to be colour coded for  gigs, rehearsals and not available.

Only one band member relies on others  to update things for him. He's never uses facebook and keeps making the same excuses about his phone being locked up etc etc to avoid whatsapp and never seeing any emails.

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One band I am in use Muzodo.com, it seems to be popular with brass bands.  It seems to work OK for me as a band member. Thanks for the other suggestions.  I sympathize as in another role I try and organise a Big Band of 18 and it is a guaranteed nervous breakdown.  I have realised that to have 18 players available on any given night you need a pool of players about 50% bigger to make up for everyone who suddenly can't make dates that they previously told you were fine.

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Not helpful to the OP, but my experience of everything I’ve ever tried is that everybody agrees that a band calendar/diary/app/whatever will be used, and that it is everybody’s responsibility to fill it out as soon as they know they won’t be able to play on a particular date, and if a date is free then whoever is booking the gig can book it without having to wait for three or four other people to respond to extra or e-mails, etc

 

And half the band will do it, and half the band won’t, and as soon as a gig is booked the guitarist (always the guitarist) will tell you that he can’t make the date and that you should have checked with him first

 

because he’s a word that BassChat won’t let me use

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15 minutes ago, Monkey Steve said:

Not helpful to the OP, but my experience of everything I’ve ever tried is that everybody agrees that a band calendar/diary/app/whatever will be used, and that it is everybody’s responsibility to fill it out as soon as they know they won’t be able to play on a particular date, and if a date is free then whoever is booking the gig can book it without having to wait for three or four other people to respond to extra or e-mails, etc

 

And half the band will do it, and half the band won’t, and as soon as a gig is booked the guitarist (always the guitarist) will tell you that he can’t make the date and that you should have checked with him first

 

because he’s a word that BassChat won’t let me use

I am having a similar experience with trumpet players.

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I play in 3 different bands and we basically all have access to a shared Google Calendar.  Individuals put in their 'not available' dates and if a gig is offered to any of the bands it is a case of check to see if members are unavailable, if not... take the gig!  I'd imagine with 12 people you are going to get a LOT of unavailable dates!  :/  

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