Omitting vital information for the sake of simplicity.
This is another way in which our 2 primary values of communication and accountability link to one another.
It's a tricky balance.
Read, compare and contrast the following extracts.
Read also: Why are our quotes so complicated?
What a nightmare!
A case study in how not to book a band. Since it is fairly lengthy and drawn out, the threads have been broken down to highlight each stage of the negotiations. Below is a breakdown of the 18 negotiation email threads. Click on each heading in the contents to quickly jump to a stage. Please note since some threads happened simultaneously, these are arranged on separate tabs to present this more clearly and chronologically. Please also note that the spelling has been corrected in some cases, but typos have been left in for effect.
On 16 Mar 2017, at 13:08, Anne Louise wrote:
On 24 Mar 2017, at 14:03, Anne Louise wrote:
From: Anne Louise
In December 2016, an issue arose whereby a client made a song request subsequent to the point of contract, and complained when a charge was made for the request.
Jo had submitted this information to the agent on 09/01/2014:
However, Matt removed the requests info, which led to this issue arising later on:
On 24 Feb 2014, at 14:51, Matt wrote:
Ever since, Claire has included the following footer in small print at the bottom of client quotations:
Please note: the artist reserves the right to decline outright or charge (where applicable) if deviations relating to any of the above exclusions are not pre-included in an agreed contract, but stipulated by the client post-contract. The artist accepts no responsibility/liability either for the agent's agreement with the client (where applicable) or for any post-contractual deviations stipulated by the client/agent, if these exclusions are listed above and/or stipulated by the artist pre-contract. Please check before booking if unsure.
This scenario illustrates how important information can be sacrificed for the sake of simplicity, but at the cost of accuracy/accountability.
This is a general message aimed at all musicians.
Lateness is an issue that needs to be addressed. A number of instances have been brought to my attention where musicians have arrived at an event late either unintentionally or due to other commitments.
If you are travelling to an event, please can you always allow extra time as standard (i.e., half an hour for every hour of travelling), to allow for things such as traffic and weather in case they delay your journey.
If you have other commitments such as teaching during the day or lessons to prepare for the following week, which are likely to affect your arrival time, please arrange this with me at the point of enquiry, not subsequent to the point of contract. I fully understand musicians have other commitments, and this is fine, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you arrange these around your contractual agreements well in advance so that you are not compromising other people on the day of an event.
The arrival time is stated in your contract agreement and therefore needs to be respected.
The only thing was to highlight that their arrival time is in their contractual agreement.
I think we were right not to deduct anything from Olly, or Alexandra; because nothing's been agreed, there are no grounds for us to do so.
However, it may be worth imposing a cumulative late fee: for instance £10 per half hour late (a full half hour fee will be deducted for every 15mn late: so if you arrive [15–44mn] after your contractual arrival time: you'll have £10 deducted; if you arrive [45–1h14] you'll have £20 deducted and so on.) If this is something you wish to do, it'll need to be "advertised" in a separate email as an update to the usual terms and conditions of the contracts, with an exact date from which it will take effect.
I'll start thinking about the exact fee structure, and prepping all the new T&Cs and an email for "advertising it" to all musicians. And only putting this in place when these "I've got something else I'd rather do" latenesses occur a third time.
Last Minute Modification
As we feared, the promoter suddenly shortened the sets at the last minute.
2 x 65 minutes was what was negotiated originally, it was in the original contract and it’s what we’d discussed repeatedly ever since! They'd never objected to that until then.
Claire needed to step in at this point and a message to emphasise that this is what was agreed originally and that the band had worked very hard to prepare these sets.
A couple of things worth noting:
We used a diplomatic voice. We would have had to cut out half our set which the musicians worked so hard to prepare otherwise.
One question: would this have affected our payment? It did not affect our payment, no. However, Rory and the musicians were completely devastated to limit/confine ourselves to 2 x 25 minutes when 2 x 65 minutes was originally agreed. But we were able to be a bit flexible; i.e., how about 55 minutes?
The band is performing for a wedding in a Michelin 5-star hotel restaurant, and are contracted and paid to arrive at 14:00, for a 20:00 performance (6 hours’ early arrival). Unfortunately, there has been a miscommunication between the client and the venue. The venue staff will not let the band in to set up and sound check until later on in the afternoon due to visibility restrictions, even though 14:00 was the time agreed on the contract. The band are subsequently advised that once they have had their 2 hours’ set up and sound check time later on in the afternoon, they must break down, put the equipment aside and re-set up and re-sound check in a 30 minute window after the speeches. Meanwhile, the venue manager advises the musicians to make themselves scarce for the afternoon. Many of the musicians are angry and upset, because they have declined other offers of work so that they can be there at the agreed time, and they all look to you to negotiate the terms of their agreement with the venue staff in person. How would you respond?
Read & Blog
The "Watch Blog"
Red & Black Music was set up in 2012 to stop musicians cancelling.
Please note: full names, addresses and contact details of private individuals are omitted for data protection purposes (unless already made public elsewhere online).
A category naming and shaming unreliable musicians to watch out for.
A category reporting unscrupulous venues and traders.
A category exploring the issues faced working via agents and promoters.