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Just a reminder to all certified musicians of productions: Please keep me updated on availability at all times, ahead of any enquiries/quotations.
There's been too many incidents where I quoted provisional availability for the client's date, only to be told later that the musicians are not available, and these absences or replacements have been negatively noticed by clients. It benefits us all to avoid these 'unhappy client' situations.
Once a production is live, all certified musicians need to keep me updated on your availability continuously. You can do this on a weekly or monthly basis, however you prefer, or link me up to your online calendar so I can check when quoting availability to clients.
Note: I only send offers out to you if the client responds favourably to a quotation; many inconclusive enquiries you won’t hear anything about. Please do let me know if you want to sign up to advance notifications (an email notifying you that an enquiry has been received and quoted for). This will result in you receiving more emails, but it will provide you with more notice and may help you remember non-availability dates that you need to update me on. (You can turn these on or off at any point.)
This one's about fixing (musician booking). A question has arisen over our sometimes eccentric 'choices' of musicians. Usually this is because someone's on a retainer for a specific part and gets booked in for a slightly different part that doesn't perhaps play to their strengths.
Percussion 1: Kit, timbales -> Musician A
Percussion 2: Congas -> Musician B
Percussion 3: Bongo, bell -> Musician C
= Musician A gets 1st refusal, then B, then C.
Currently, there’s only a 1-step fixing procedure, which is essentially a retainer system to keep it as systematic and fair as possible. While it's alleviated anxieties on a management/professional level, it's raised queries on a production/musical level - similar to the D/E dilemma, of which we have a good musical understanding.
On C's recommendation, C & B swapped parts because C/A tend to take the lead and have a more structural approach, whereas B tends to follow and improvise freely - which is what part 3 (and Fiesta Latina) lend themselves more to. As Will has implied, it’s striking that delicate balance between loyalty vs. availability, and we've been too kind.
In this case, Will has expressed frustration because B shouldn’t have been booked in place of A. It’s equivalent to booking Rory as a lead vocalist when our regular lead male isn’t available, which has happened and is not recommendable because Rory's a backing vocalist (some, like Alexandra, do both etc.).
Will is saying that there should be a separate calling list per specific part, rather than 1 calling list for the percussion section as a whole. He also campaigns for an artistic involvement in the fixing, which is reasonable. The former we can take care of easily, but the latter needs to be implemented.
Therefore, we needed to build a 2nd element into the fixing procedure whereby we either ask a specific performer/producer for a recommendation or open it to the team, if the 1st choice for that particular part isn’t available.
We contract events initially at confirmation, but have a separate "Show Advance" document/procedure so that the finer details of the event can be ironed out once a contract is in place, as requested by musicians.
The show advance details all of the finer details and arrangements, which we can update as we go along to ensure that we are clear on everything. Most of these are simply standard details we check for every event, so not all may apply to all events. We now request you to please take a look and let me know if there is anything you wish to add/amend. If we are unsure on some of the details, we can check nearer to the time, if you prefer.
Thanks Hannah for taking the time to provide me with this feedback, as it is much appreciated. I have addressed some of her comments. Based on her comments / feedback and those of other producer(s), I have made a list of items to be added to the agenda as part of our annual management review for 2015.
We will also address all of the above items with all performer(s) / producer(s) as part of the annual artist survey that we do every December. This informs the annual management review that we do every January. However, please let me know if you have any additional comment(s) / feedback to add to the agenda.
We appreciate Hannah's input / assistance.
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