After many years in the biz, I've learned to not get annoyed with stuff.  Some people just won't ever get it together.  Nothing you can do about it.  Of course, I still get annoyed.  I'm a performer, sometimes I'm a booking agent, sometimes I'm booking talent for venues and festivals, I lead bands, I'm a sideman in bands, I have solo projects, I do sound, I run sound, I stage hand.  There are some things that just should always be done. If these things are not done - you're basically telling everyone else - "this how to do stupid shit."

Bands:  Websites are a must.  And no, soundcloud and bandcamp are NOT websites.  Social media links are a must.  Some kind of pic or graphic of your band available in hi and low res are a must.  Youtube videos of a LIVE performance are a must - doesn't have to be high quality, cell phone videos actually will suffice.  If you don't have AT LEAST that going on - please, please, please don't try and get gigs and wonder why you're not getting them.  You have nothing to show anyone about who you are, what you sound like, and how many people care about you.   Without these things - you will never get a gig.  And the crappier they are, the less likely anyone will care about you or book you.    

For those of you that don't fall into the above paragraph:  You MUST promote your show.  When I see bands that I book at a venue who don't promote the show  - I will never, never, never, never, ever hire them at anything I have booking control over ever.  I recently had a band who asked for promotion advice, which I gave.  A few months later, I gave them a show at a venue.  And when I looked at their website (reverbnation - which DOES count as a website and it has some very nice promotion features on it)  it didn't have the gig I gave them on it.  It did have the gig they were playing for the following night.  Now, I knew how much they were making the following night. I was paying them more.  I even had a kicker added as an incentive for them to bring more people out so they could make even more money.  I provided them a sound tech and PA - the other gig was DIY sound.  And the venue I put them in was MUCH nicer and bought a full page ad in the local weekly to advertise all the music that week. The other venue - NADA.  I did social media posts, put it on the venue FB, etc... what did they do?  Not a damn thing.  Was I pissed?  Yes. Am I ever going to book them or help them again?  Nope.  Why?  Because some people will never get it together.  That's not just dumb, it's rude.  That kind of behavior shows me a level of ineptitude that defies description.   I'm game for helping people out, I'm game for giving people a chance.  But this was literally giving me, the venue, and all the employees there the finger. 

Other band rules: be professional: be early for set-up and load it, carry a few spare items, help your band-mates with their gear, GET THE FUCK OFF STAGE QUICKLY, never ever ever go over your set time - unless you're told to.  When the stage mangers says last song - that means wrap it up and GET THE FUCK OFF STAGE QUICKLY, it does NOT mean go into an epic 15 minutes closing medley complete (I shit you not, this happened two days ago) with a drum solo.  Now, not only will I never book you, now I personally don't like you and will tell other people to NOT book you because you're an asshat.  Bring merch to sell.  Be clear with your soundman: more vocal in the monitor, it's too tinny, I need a DI box, etc... 

Sound techs:  Coil extra cable by the mic stand;believe it or not, some bands aren't going to use you're exact mic placement.  Power and signal cables are not friends.  Don't put them together if you can help it.  Don't run power and signal cables where bands are going to be stepping.  Gaff tape - yes, it costs money, that's why you get paid. Make a safe space for your bands and save your gear from dumb-asses.   Be faster.  Help the bands off and on if you're not running new lines.  After sound check, while the band is playing, pay close attention to them to see if they are trying to get you to adjust monitor mixes.  Ask them.   Mute the channels instantly after the last song.  And don't bring boards that don't have working channels or mics missing grills or stands that don't work.

Stage Hands:  learn the sound tech rules, lay out cables in a clean and orderly fashion.  Bundle them together and tape them down.  Your stage should be photo ready it's so well laid out.  Make sure extra cable is coiled by all mics, DIs and monitors - stuff moves.  Be ready for extra mics.

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Most of this stuff can be done by a ten year old.  Be polite, be professional, be smart.  It's really not hard.

 

*Addendum - don't ask me for a gig, and then bitch about the terms, you asked me - I don't have a lot of room to wiggle on any of this.  This is a great way to get your number deleted from the phone book.   If I thought you were right for the gig, I would have called you.  Maybe the bad terms are why I didn't call, cuz I think you deserve better than what I can give you... use your brain.  There's a whole string of shit along the way you aren't thinking about.  And really, a simple "oh... no thanks," actually is the best way to handle that.  

 

**Addendum - if you decide to postpone your CD release event and don't tell the venue, and then think that you can play it as a regular gig; that's going to get your gig cancelled. And remember, you could have called, texted, or emailed and said , "Hey - I need to reschedule!"  Since you cancelled the deal we agreed upon, I'm not obligated to honor ANY part of it.  And since you didn't even tell me... well now you're just being unprofessional and I can't allow you into any space or event that I control because it would be irresponsible for me to do that to the people I work for.