James reasonably advocates an approach whereby a musician is obliged to confirm acceptance of the details in writing to be booked in. Red & Black Music listened. Ever since this scenario on June 1st (see James H), Red & Black Music operates a 2-stage process whereby musicians are now obliged to confirm acceptance of the details in writing at the point of contract, in addition to at the point of enquiry.
James' words have had direct implications on Ozenc, and on Tom. Ozenc believes himself to be booked in, yet he hasn't confirmed acceptance of the details in writing at the point of contract. The situation is extenuated by the fact that Tom takes over 24 hours to confirm acceptance of the details in writing at the point of contract. After this 24-hour period has elapsed, Rory enters into conversation with Ozenc, who is the 2nd person to contact Rory. Unfortunately for Ozenc, Tom confirms acceptance of the details in writing during the intermittent period after Rory answered Ozenc's 3 questions.
How would you have handled this situation? What decisions would you have made? How would these decisions have been traced back to your policies and procedures on written confirmations and contracts? Is there a definitive dialogue model/script for booking musicians that's 'out there' in existence or should musicians be booked via socialistic/cloak-and-dagger conversations?
The Musicians' Union encourages its members to use standard L2 contracts for engaging musicians. Regardless of the circumstances, a contract hasn't been issued in this scenario. Should the musician have requested a contract, or was Rory's confirmation of the details pending final written acceptance sufficient? At what point of the conversation was there a divergence of interests?
Finally, should Ozenc have cancelled his prior appointments/commitments at all, just because he received a more 'lucrative' offer elsewhere? As it turns out, Ozenc wasn't available for this engagement after all: because he had already been booked for teaching on that date, and was therefore unavailable right from the word go. Ozenc's willingness to cancel his prior teaching for a performance that may or may not go ahead raises a question mark with regards to his level of commitment. Suppose Ozenc had been booked for this engagement, and was offered a higher paid engagement elsewhere subsequent to the point of contract? Would he have felt entitled to cancel his performing?
Why has this been posted?
James has been contracted for Kit in Rory on 01/06/2018. He's waited until 2 hours before the event (having received a written contract and several Show Advance emails) to suddenly announce that he's no longer available.
Do we have a replacement lined up for him at all?
Can he suggest someone?
On our side, I'd be keen to make sure that we deliver the advertised 4-piece band rather than an 3-piece band.
However, in this case, this is the kind of thing where there's nothing much to do. If we do not have a suitable replacement, it might be preferable to warn as rapidly as possible the agent for the event and discuss risk minimisation jointly with them; I would suggest a quick update to the event details, unless James' part in the band is crucial in which case they may have a suitable suggestion of replacement.
Please let me know whether we have replacements and its feasible to onboard them as well as what instrument and how crucial James' part is?
James' action has had knock-on effects for the label. Primarily in alerting the agent, it's made the label look unprofessional (although we were able to find a replacement drummer ourselves). Warble Entertainment also views our appeal for a replacement drummer as an issue in terms of data protection.
What would you have done in this situation? What wording would you have used? What measures would you put in place to stop such a situation from reoccurring?
Why has this been posted?
Musicians' Union Rates #2
Here is an updated report of recorded musician absences since records began in 2012, across events, projects, productions and job applications. Full names have been omitted for data protection purposes.
Cancellations trigger repercussions at all levels and cause undue headache for all parties (and all musicians) involved. As a general rule, we encourage everyone to disclose ALL terms and conditions to their clients and stakeholders prior to the point of enquiry, not subsequent to the point of contract. We fully understand that circumstances change and other commitments factor in, but we emphasise individual responsibility to ensure that these are arranged around their contractual agreements well in advance so that they are not compromising other people. It's not fair on managers, producers, musicians and service-providers to cancel after an arrangement has been set out - whether it's a live or studio engagement.
Since there are no other businesses/services who regulate accountability, we have taken it upon ourselves to "police" accountability. We do this by communicating publicly any breaches of account. While acting as a deterrent for potential offenders, it also provides a useful knowledge base for music managers and producers who constantly come up against the problem of people as both false prophets and obstacles to creative work.
With this in mind, here is an updated report of recorded musician cancellations since records began in 2012, across events, projects, productions and jobs. Full names have been omitted for data protection purposes.
Release = Cancellation is authorised.
Ink = Cancellation is not authorised and the musician is in a position of breach.
This is a follow-up post to Musicians Union Rates #1. It exemplifies an unoriginal attitude from a recent music graduate, who, upon putting himself forward for a job without first checking the details, then complains because it's not paying Musicians' Union Rates.
Here is a report of recorded musician cancellations and unauthorised absences to date. Please note that this report excludes deputisations and cancellations where the contract wasn't enforced (i.e., cancellations mutually agreed and authorised).
Report last updated: 04/10/2017
Alexandra has left Fiesta Latina & Diáspora. As you'll see from the below 22 email threads, Alexandra confirmed and acknowledged her contractual obligations multiple times in writing, and subsequently waited until all agreements/bookings were in place before casually announcing her withdrawal: almost in a deliberate fashion. Alexandra's actions will have direct implications for future musicians we employ. We are seeking legal advice from solicitors/expertise, and also researching insurance brokers to protect the company against future financial damages. Fortunately, on this occasion, the venue was able to return the deposit, so no financial damages were incurred this time. However, due to the risks at stake in booking musicians for paid multimedia recording engagements, all musicians will henceforth be required to sign electronic contracts and formally declare their liability via Signable to be booked in.
Since the correspondence is fairly lengthy and drawn out, the email threads have been broken down into separate headings to highlight each stage of the negotiations. Below is a list breakdown of the 22 negotiation email threads. Click on each linked heading in the list breakdown to quickly jump to that thread.
Why has this been posted?
Here is a report of musicians we won't be employing in future.
Report last updated: 04/10/2017
You are using Bristol-based performers to cover a taco promotion at a Cuban restaurant in Cardiff. Although it was made clear that transport will only be provided from Bristol, one of the performers subsequently tells you after the contract has been sent that he is travelling from Devon, and it is unfair that his transport expenses are not getting covered by management. Two days before, he threatens to pull out of the event unless these transport expenses can be met, yet this was not what was offered in the first place. How would you respond?
"I've ear-marked those dates in the diary and I'd love to do both (June 17th for the Latin gig and June 25th for the Rory Jazz), but I would like request 20 to 50GPB extra on both dates due to the nature of the instrumentation involved and because I live out in the back of beyond. But that aside, the timbales need to be well-rehearsed with the charts and drum kit in itself (especially for a wedding) is always paid more as it's not like carrying a flute..."
Another classic example of a musician putting themselves forward for work without first reading the guidelines or addressing the information in the email interview. His uses of the term "busy" also signify a conflict of interest situation further down the line.
This log illustrates a classic example of musician inconsistency in terms of engagement/enthusiasm:
Hi there, Professional salsa pianist here, and I am ready to join a band or even sub when needed. Let me know. Cheers, Sam
On 13 May 2016, at 13:43, Sam wrote:
It's because of incidents like this that the label now has the number of restrictions/contracts in place. It might be a sensible idea to think about these realities next time one decides to condemn Red & Black Music for being "cold, rigid and unfriendly".
Important…I'm leaving! (Artists)
About Delfina I was not surprise at all. I know that this is not the first time she behaved like this, and I do not understand why Rory continued to trust her. But this was his choice and he had his good reason for sure.
The Final Straw
Damages incurred as a result of breach: £325
Venue: The full day (10am-6pm) is £150 on a weekend.
+ Photographer: Total: £175.00
This collection of correspondence documents Delfina's last days in the run-up to her unauthorised absence and formal dismissal, and illustrates a classic case of how not to do business. Since it is fairly lengthy and drawn out, the threads have been broken down to highlight each stage of the negotiations. Click on each heading in the contents to quickly jump to a stage.
Delfina was absent from a rehearsal. When questioned, Delfina replied that she had never been asked to attend the rehearsal.
Disclaimer: the material in this post is only suitable for over 18's. Please only click "Read More" if you are over 18.
This is Jonathan. Jonathan put himself forward as a pianist for Diáspora. Jonathan cancelled 3 meetings at the last minute and failed to attend meeting #4. No follow-up message was received from him.
Gig confirmation: 17/08/2013
Read & Blog
Red & Black Music was set up in 2012 to stop musicians cancelling.
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.
Event Diary #1
Event Diary #2
Productions vs. Bands
Unresolved Queries 1
Unresolved Queries 2