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Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,621
I've been a 'semi-pro' player for about eighteen years now. This year there's been an alarming development to my normal gigging- never, in seventeen years of playing, have we had serious problems getting our money after a gig. Roll in 2012- and we've got two small claims court cases (one with a city council who've behaved despicably) & one 'the booker has filed for bankruptcy'- forget getting any money on this one. Quite frankly I'm gobsmacked and horrified... ok, recession etc, but I've played through the last one without things getting this messy. I'm really getting the feeling that there's an ethos that ripping bands off is now regarded as acceptable in a way that it certainly wasn't until very recently... anyone else traveling under the same dark cloud as Fat45....?
 

navarro

Senior Member
Messages
863
I've been a 'semi-pro' player for about eighteen years now. This year there's been an alarming development to my normal gigging- never, in seventeen years of playing, have we had serious problems getting our money after a gig. Roll in 2012- and we've got two small claims court cases (one with a city council who've behaved despicably) & one 'the booker has filed for bankruptcy'- forget getting any money on this one. Quite frankly I'm gobsmacked and horrified... ok, recession etc, but I've played through the last one without things getting this messy. I'm really getting the feeling that there's an ethos that ripping bands off is now regarded as acceptable in a way that it certainly wasn't until very recently... anyone else traveling under the same dark cloud as Fat45....?
Hi Jules I have not been in the game long enough to be in that situation (commiserations) However I recently read an article in a newspaper about the MU. who give practical legal advice on non-payment (Obviously you have to be a member to take advantage.) So this is a subject which must be of concern to all professionals and on the increase. Regds N.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
Sorry to hear this Jules. I've only had one issue with a client who failed to cough up. It got to the point were I informed them that I would make sure they lost a lot more than they owed me. I simply parked my car in front of the gates to their house at six o'clock one morning and refused to move it. They called the police who turned up at about ten, who, when I explained the situation, told them that this was a civil matter and they would have to go through a court to have me removed as I was actually on a public highway. Amazingly enough, by eleven o'clock the money miraculously appeared from within the house!!!
Now, every gig I do, I ask for cash up front. No pay no play!
I really hope you manage to resolve this situation.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,621
Actually- slight inaccuracy- A good rip off from 2011. Our German promoter decided to fly down from Bremen to our Vienna jazz Festival gig, with girlfriend, and took it on himself to take his plane tickets and hotel out of our pay .... pretty much zero-ing it! A fact we only discovered after he'd flown back.....
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,282
I too am sorry to here this Jules,i myself haven't had any problems other than having to wait longer for some of my money,one gig which we usually get paid within a couple of weeks took 7 weeks but at least we got it.

Best of luck recovering your money.

Brian
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
Actually- slight inaccuracy- A good rip off from 2011. Our German promoter decided to fly down from Bremen to our Vienna jazz Festival gig, with girlfriend, and took it on himself to take his plane tickets and hotel out of our pay .... pretty much zero-ing it! A fact we only discovered after he'd flown back.....
I'd have nailed his hands to the floor for that.

(Just a joke. Well, sort of).

It's a long time since I played any paid gigs, and I never had any trouble. I have had some issues getting money back from people who owed me in other areas. Two stick in my mind. One was a private medical clinic (long story), the other an estate agents. Both owed me a few hundred quid. In both cases I got the money back by turning up in their premises in my bike gear, bike parked right outside the door. I made it forcefully clear, without swearing or threatening violence, that I wasn't going anywhere until I got my money. Lo and behold, faced with the prospect of an irritable biker sat on their desk making business impossible the dosh turned up.

Jon
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
Oh, and I also take my teeth out in moments like this. :shocked: Without my dentures my teeth have the look of a badly vandalised graveyard. All adds to the impression.

I'm actually a really gentle sort of person, but there's no harm in looking like I'm not when there's money owing.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
It's a long time since I played any paid gigs, and I never had any trouble. I have had some issues getting money back from people who owed me in other areas. Two stick in my mind. One was a private medical clinic (long story), the other an estate agents. Both owed me a few hundred quid. In both cases I got the money back by turning up in their premises in my bike gear, bike parked right outside the door. I made it forcefully clear, without swearing or threatening violence, that I wasn't going anywhere until I got my money. Lo and behold, faced with the prospect of an irritable biker sat on their desk making business impossible the dosh turned up.

Jon
It's a good tactic did it once to help a friend who was having similar problems, but then there were two of us. Funny thing the guy holding the money and not paying was a church minister. Had the cheek, after paying what he'd been sitting on formmonths, to complain that our visit was unnecessary. We left rather than get into an argument.

But make sure you never threaten. Just being firm and audible so other customers and potential customers hear your gripes about the debtor's business practices is enough.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
Actually- slight inaccuracy- A good rip off from 2011. Our German promoter decided to fly down from Bremen to our Vienna jazz Festival gig, with girlfriend, and took it on himself to take his plane tickets and hotel out of our pay .... pretty much zero-ing it! A fact we only discovered after he'd flown back.....
Luckily in UK only once I haven't been payed. By a compulsive layer I had been warned about (by a fellow sax player) so it is my fault.
In another country... This happened too often, and this is one of the reasons for my emigration. There are people very relaxed with other people money. It is a gift. They don't mind filing for bankruptcy, they have a credit card in the red and will never pay for it, they always drive a big car.

The only thing we can do, since often the money involved is not enough for a civil court (and they know it) is alerting colleagues and try push them out of business.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
You rekcon- with the exception of the above incident I've always been treated far better when playing in Europe....
I really don't want to go off topic....
Generally speaking:
I feel that in the UK musicians are seen like some sort social outcasts (this is a very classist society), while in Europe they tend to be treated like guests. When doing function gigs, I used to say we were a cross between a waiter and a guest. This means behaving properly, sitting with other guest if needed, manners and conversation skills, doing our job and getting paid for it.

Here you have to beg for a bottle of water on stage.

Exceptions on both sides.

Money wise, I received money in the UK directly on my bank account from promoters I never met, right on the day.
In Italy I usually had to struggle to get my money, from councils, agencies, venues... In one town called Prato I ALWAYS had arguments about the money after the gigs (quite a few).

Problems here only at the Pizza Express (....), but I didn't do the booking and respect the decisions of the bandleader.

I prefer to buy my own drinks but being payed regularly and have my job acknowledged.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,799
I use to be on "the other side". I prefer to work with detailed performance agreements between client (purchaser of music services) and artist. And desposit is not a problem for me. If I'm going to take an artist from another country I think it's fair to do some payment in advance. And I also prefer to book and pay the tickets myself.

Food and beverages: When it too much talk about this I use to prepare myself for the "second call"! I just offer soft drinks!
Hotel: Can be tricky. First time I booked an artist that wanted a king or a queen bed I was scared! Single rooms in Sweden useally have 90 or 120 cm width beds! But it was ok.

I think it's important to make it as good as possible for the muscians. And don't forget when they are on the stage. They should't carry drinks to the stage!

Most artists prefer cash. Have the money ready and pay before the gig if the want thier money.

Thomas
 

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,890
As to refreshments think of Jake and Elwood and Bob´s country bunker. Surprised by the perceived status of uk musicians in uk. I cant say personally but my son is a proffessional musician and plays in a number of set ups, including a tribute band. He said a couple of years ago that when his band played weddings they were considered a lower life form than the caterers. He added that the caterers knew this, too. No offence to caterers, perhaps guitarists are a lower life form, but where´s the glam in that? At a pals wedding in the Czech Republic a few years ago the Beatles tribute band (Brouci Beatles, in English Beatles Beatles, though there about fifty ways to say this word in Czech) played a terrific set and were rightly made welcome and fed and spoiled something rotten. Wouldnt be at all surprised if naughties took place by the river afterwards too. Come to think of it, where´s the glam in that too? Oh heavens, I am getting old.
 
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