NWB - Community Blog


When are you a a available?

Filed Under : Rants , Hello

Posted By : Company of Strangers | Comments : 17

Who comes up with the gig dates first?

Any band will tell you, when looking for a gig, you'll get the landlord of some pub saying 'let me know what dates you can play. On the face of it this may sound ok from a landlords point of view as he can then 'slot' you in as he sees fit. But from the bands point of view it's a pain in the arse. We are supposed to find out off maybe half a dozen people, every day we are available, be it fri sat or sun just on the off chance a gig turns up. This is all arse about face. A venue is one venue, not half a dozen, and as far as I'm concerned if your talking gigs with a venue it's up to them to say when they need a band, and we will find out if we can play. It's not for them to sit back while we arrange the lives of all the band members for weeks, just so they can pick one date. What are we suppose to do. , sit around all day, just to get a call in the middle of the afternoon because it just happens to be one of the days we "could" play. Are we supposed to be available at the drop of a hat and not arrange anything else, so that if a gig doesn't turn up, our evening is ruined ? I just enquiried at a new venue and all I got was, "when are you available,"? which means when are the five guys in your band going to plan sod all and commit to a few dozen evenings when a gig may not even turn up. Bollocks to that. So he can sod off, We are the ones who should demand a date. "When do you need a band"? Simple as that. A band isn't there to sit on a shelf to be picked up when it suits a venue. It's a damned sight easier for a landlord to fill a date they need filling than it is for a band to work out when all the members are free for the next twelve months. Just lazy venues who expect us to be the ones to do all the arranging and leg work. What do you guys think?


# Posted by Evenfall covers group - 03/05/2017, 15:53 (GMT)

It's the game they play.

I hate it when they say "what do you charge" and you tell them, then they say, "sorry not within our budget" without saying what their budget is in the message, so you don't know if you are way off or just a tenner off, and you either go back and put a lower price or don't bother.

After that there are the venues that are dead keen, look at dates to match you with, negotiate a price,love your videos and all is going well then ......nothing! So you send a few messages to say "do those dates suit you?" Nothing!!! Why do they bother to do that?

Last bit of the rant is "can you contact Jo Bloggs, he does the entertainment booking". So you ring him, leave a message, ring again, leave another message. Ring the pub, they say "oh Jo is on holiday til next week". Start again .... ring, leave a message ...nothing. So you ring the pub .... "oh Jo doesn't work here anymore, he won the lottery and moved to Spain". Ok not that, but you get my drift. I wonder who any venues ever get bands and acts on every week.

# Posted by Bobo - 03/05/2017, 16:17 (GMT)

I work it slightly the other way round with the various outfits I work with. I get the band members and my duo partner to tell me (as far as they can of course without a crystal ball) which dates they know at this stage when any of them are not available. I then have a diary with various dates already blocked out - either commitments or gigs already booked for me or any of them. I can then usually say which free dates the relevant venue can pick from .
Of course, half the trick is getting the venue to actually book a gig there and then!

# Posted by Beyond Midnight - 03/05/2017, 16:54 (GMT)

I know what you mean. We have an online diary which all members can access and update with non availability, makes it easier to see what dates are free over the year when booking gigs.

# Posted by Tex's bassbitch - 03/05/2017, 17:33 (GMT)

I do understnd Company of Strangers frustration and the reasons behind them but if it's the way landlords do business it's just something that needs to be dealt with.

As suggested an online diary that everyone keeps up to date is a good idea. Rightly or wrongly the band who rings up and gets the landlord, which is the first obstacle, and can say yes or no to a date there and then is going to score more jobs.


# Posted by JUICY - 03/05/2017, 17:38 (GMT)

There's no point in looking for gigs anymore - chances are Wizdom will be there or maybe Night Train.

Juice ( of JUICY the tribute band with a difference).

# Posted by APRIL MOON - 03/05/2017, 18:38 (GMT)

I agree with the online calendar concept. I like to have all the available dates at hand before even contacting landlords because if they are interested, it's best to book the date at once to avoid playing phone tag, etc.

# Posted by WAGONTOWN - 03/05/2017, 19:02 (GMT)

We simply inform each other of any future unavailable dates 'as you can see on our profile'. All other dates ARE available. When a gig comes in, it can be instantly accepted or turned down. That system has worked great for 5 years.


# Posted by Black Thursday - 03/05/2017, 21:46 (GMT)

Plus one Bobo, works for us

# Posted by Tony @ Interfuture - 04/05/2017, 00:35 (GMT)

Surely if approaching a landlord for a gig you would have an idea when you are all available ? or am I missing something ?

# Posted by Evenfall covers group - 04/05/2017, 22:40 (GMT)

we have an online diary showing when we are NOT available. I have a date sheet which is constantly updated. Problems arise when a venue asks for your free dates, you send them. Hear nothing, chase it up, hear nothing, then they come back with a date that's already been filled.

So, all the venues that asked for our dates at ANY time keep getting updated date sheets. I suspect some of them are fed up of seeing our dates time after time but it has worked a little bit better and some have come back with a date we DO have free!

# Posted by Hush - 07/05/2017, 11:37 (GMT)

Online diary works fine for us, But our diary is often full before the start of a coming year. We book dates we are not available, on the diary as they come up, and if something crops up we hadn't planned for, which clashes with a gig, we either get a dep, another band or cancel. But in the majority of cases there is plenty of time. For all parties concerned. What I would say to any band is, if you can't be approachable or amenable or flexible to venue, and wanting to gig don't be in a band and expect to gig and get paid. Go and do something else. with your time.

Look at it from the venues point of view, they might not have a band on every week, and may have to juggle their budget and dates to accommodate you. And as they are the paying customer. Do what they ask. If you don't like the fee then don't do the gig.

# Posted by Mr Cottonhouse - 11/05/2017, 16:57 (GMT)

Give him a selection of three dates.... if he can't do any of them then say "ok, your turn"

When booking bands/acts I always offer multiple dates.....the downside of this is that I then have dates tied up until the act confirms. Some confirm quickly whilst others take forever.

# Posted by Soul'd Out - 17/05/2017, 08:44 (GMT)

Try organising a Band of 8 people. Online calendar is the way forward which you share with everyone in the band. You know just looking in one place and can give dates out immediately.

# Posted by Restless Angels - 17/05/2017, 18:14 (GMT)

We allso use a calender and keep it updated. We have an hard copy for each member and have it with us at gigs in case they want to rebook there and then

# Posted by JUICY - 18/05/2017, 10:28 (GMT)

We always have 30th February open just in case Number 39 ever want to book us.
The rest is easy, carry a fuckin' diary.

JUICY (the tribute band with a difference)

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