Booking Advice – How would you handle this?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by lpaul626, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. lpaul626

    lpaul626 Silver Supporting Member

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    There’s a popular bar in town which has a great built in crowd at which every band is trying to get into rotation. My former band (Top 40 covers) was a mainstay at this bar and we played there once a month for 5-6 years until the Fall of 2010 when our female vocalist decided to leave and folks lost interest. As the main contact, I called the club, explained what happened and told them we were taking time to reformat. They told me to call them when things were back on track.

    I finally got things back on track in the spring of 2011 having reformatted with great players/vocalists. I began reaching out and as expected, they were booked for the year.

    I also do two gigs a year with another band at the same venue. In May 2011 after one of those gigs, the GM pulled me aside and asked me to contact him in the Fall for 2012 (he prefers text messaging).

    In August, I did so and he gave us a September date due to a cancellation. The morning of the show, he cancelled on us claiming another manager double booked. He said he’d “make it up to us in 2012.”

    Every month or so since, I’ve sent him a text “just checking in.” In November, I got a text from on a Thursday morning asking us to play that night. It was too short notice and we couldn’t do the show.

    Since then, I’ve reached out to him 2-3 times via TM with no response. I did another show there in November and he was on vacation. So I left him a note with a press pac. No response. Not sure he’s trying to tell me “not interested”, they’re just booked, etc.

    Curious how everyone would handle this situation. Would you continue the chase? I was thinking of dropping by (rather than text) to ask him for something. Would you let more time pass? Continue to check in via TM as he had asked?

    Thanks in advance-
     
  2. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't rely on ephemeral cyber stuff like text messages, etc.

    Go there. Talk to the man. Politely ask him a direct question: "Are you still interested in booking my band or have you lost interest."
     
  3. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    He's a club owner.

    They mostly live by the "outta sight, out of mind" philosophy.
    But try to contact them, directly or otherwise, and you piss them off.
    Multiply this by 1,000 if they are popular and have bands buzzing around them like flies.

    See the dilemma...?

    Move on...one less irritating stress in your life, right?

    S.
    j
     
  4. Baminated

    Baminated Member

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    Most proprietors are easiest to reach during non-peak hours IN PERSON - if they have lunch - don't do it during lunch rush - def show up.

    I wouldn't ask the question in the wy Jon C suggests

    I would just say that you are there to solidify what you have already discussed and get it into the calendar
     
  5. lpaul626

    lpaul626 Silver Supporting Member

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    That's what I'd like to avoid. I don't want to continue to "pester" the guy to the point of burning the bridge in case there is a chance he's ever in a bind one day and decides to give us a shot. But, on the other hand "outta site outta mind" as you point out. . .
     
  6. flyingvees

    flyingvees Member

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    For hard club owners my guys and I would go there on an off night, tip well and hit them up then. I always had about an 85% success rate with this tactic.
     
  7. Baminated

    Baminated Member

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    :agree

    Spoken like a true pro who gigs and knows the deal
     
  8. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    In person has a much higher success rate than texts or phone calls. I'd show up there once or twice and ask him politely to get out his calendar. If that doesn't work, it's time to move on.
     
  9. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    My experience there is that they're back in the office, and cant be bothered. Or not there at all....what do you do then?
    The way alot of owners in our area act is to dig through the promo packs and call only when they are hard up with a cancellation or something. The busier they are, the more out of luck you are. Believe me, there is NO such thing as loyalty from those types unless you live in their colons. They dont even operate on the 'what have you done for me lately' very much. It's 'what can you do for me TONITE?'. That's why we dont play many clubs anymore. More restaurants, private gigs, festivals, etc.

    My .02...again,

    S.
    j
     
  10. Lightningrt

    Lightningrt Member

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    I think you have got to get out of the frame of mind that you are bothering him by following up on something he's initiated in the first place. Unfortunately many bar owners will say things but are too busy to bother with it unless pushed. Chances are your slot may go to someone who turns up on spec and asks for a gig and gets him at the right time. So you have to do the same. Our booker has to visit venues at least once or twice because other means don't work. If you get 3 or 4 gigs out of it, or a regular gig, it's gotta be worth it.

    Saying that, I'm not that way inclined myself, and if it was left to me I'd probably not be gigging at all.
     
  11. lpaul626

    lpaul626 Silver Supporting Member

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    yeah . . . most of the staff knows me when I go in there and they're great/go out of their way to say hi, ask how things are going etc.
     
  12. lpaul626

    lpaul626 Silver Supporting Member

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    Great point!! Funny . . . I realize "different strokes." But wouldn't it be easier to reject someone via text?? A simple "not interested" would certainly get me off his back.
     
  13. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    Well, I've had that too...but it cut NO ice with the owner.
    We won a local band competition a few years back, with a panel of judges.
    One of the judges was the head bar tender for this local pub. She ranted and raved,
    and said (publicly) that we had just won a slot in the stable of bands at the club where she worked.
    Well...fast forward to a few months and a few frustrated phone calls later...and that gig never appeared.
    She was fired 3 months after that.
    Hope I'm not painting too pretty of a picture for ya? :D

    I've had such a hard time with club owners, that I refuse to deal with them.
    Luckily I'm a hired hand in the band, and leave it up to our skipper.
    Ironically, since I've been in my current band, we ARE in the lineup at this pub. :D
    (Guess I finally became a TRUE PRO!)

    S.
    j
     
  14. Baminated

    Baminated Member

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    :agree

    Most of my gigs I go in person - ya can't be a wuss about it !
     
  15. Lightningrt

    Lightningrt Member

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    Yes, it would and I would do it that way as it;s easier for me, and he did ask you to text. Perhaps, like e-mails, he prefers texts so he can read them at leisure and then answer in his own time. But he isn't. Do you know that his 'phone number is still correct? If you are sure it is, you could actually ring him on that number and ask him. That may be even tougher to do, but something has to give sooner or later - you either make a more direct contact, continue texting, or stop altogether.
     
  16. lpaul626

    lpaul626 Silver Supporting Member

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    Naahhh . . . it's been my experience with other rooms. They're all obviously different and what works at one may not necessarily work at the next.

    Although we weren't a "preferred band" at these other rooms. I was hoping this would have given us a "leg up". Obviously not the case.

    I'm struggling with giving up on the venue or continuing to pursue, particulalry since the guy who books initiated it, and hasn't told me "not interested" . . . yet.
     
  17. lpaul626

    lpaul626 Silver Supporting Member

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    That's what I'm thinking . . . which is why I'm leaning towards stopping in.
     
  18. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    Despite all my negativity and doom/gloom...GOOD LUCK!
    (seriously)

    Just know when to say when. I hate it when good folks get shafted by these pondscum.

    S.
    j
     
  19. lpaul626

    lpaul626 Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks!
     
  20. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    lol ... I prob. wouldn't ask the question the way I suggested either (I put it that way because of the extent of the prior relationship he described w/ the owner)... :rotflmao

    I've learned, too, that the answer to asking the owner "How'd we do?" after a gig has nothing to do with the music we played ... he hits the button on the register, sees the night's "take" and that's the answer to "how we did." :bonk
     

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