I might add 99% percent of the time a non-payment issue is due to the band screwing up. True local club owners, bookers, etc tend to be hard nosed but they are always fair, and when they are right they usually dig I their heels. Below are a few of the legitimate reasons you or your band could get a non-payment after a show.
- Act/Band failed to keep the terms of a contract. i.e., Non working or faulty equipment. (Full terms of contracts should be read carefully before accepting the booking or complaining about the venue/agent/promoter).
- Non appearance for whatever reason
- Misleading information - If the venue are expecting a band and you turn out to be a duo don't expect to get the same money!
If the venue double books you and you're piped at the post by another performer the venue is still obliged to pay you some recompense. If you have a contract or letter you may insist that the other act leave and you complete the gig. Alternatively, depending on the contract or terms of the letter you can request payment in full, payment for time, travel and advertising expenses and/or an alternative booking. Which course you follow often depends on how well you get on with the venue, whether it was an isolated incident, genuine mistake or how far you have traveled.
The above also applies for cancellations. Most contracts state the venue/artist may cancel without cost before 14 days of the booking, 50% payment required if the cancellation is within 14 days and 100% of the booking fee if you are cancelled within 7 days of the booking. This is just a rough guide and we advise you to check your contracts for full details.
Incidents rendering non-payment
Unless stated clearly in a contract or letter the following are not good enough reasons for Reduced or Non-Payment from a venue or booker-
- A string broke (believe it or not a booker tried this excuse!)
- The act/band failed to play a certain style of music (unless expressed in the contract this is required).
- The venue was empty or you are accused of not providing a following - whilst it is in your interest to publicize your gigs to fans, friends and public it is the venue/promoters responsibility to ensure the event is well advertised!
- They dislike the act/band and you are requested to stop playing before the end of the night. Although you are required to be honest about the type of act/band and music you play it is the bookers responsibility to ensure you are suitable for their venue prior to booking.
- Once an agreement has been made and you have performed for part of the evening they are required to pay you in full.
Remember you and your band is attempting to grow a positive reputation within a specific region of locale. 90% of the time when non-payment occurs itís usually for a good reason. Club owners are hard nosed, but they are not in the business of screwing over bands. Evaluate what went wrong, and if you or band screwed up swallow your pride, apologize, and make a commitment to make it up one day to the club owner and booker. Club owners talk and you canít afford to get blacklisted.