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Author Topic: Fairly urgent request  (Read 620 times)
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BillO
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« on: Oct 29, 2017, 03:56PM »

It's been an eon or two since I've earned money being a musician, so am not up on the latest 'dealings'.

Quick scenario:

I was contacted by a cruise operator to help him set up some dance band jazz entertainment in my area.  He'd bring a couple of buss loads of people, mid-week, to cruise the local big lakes, and have a fancy lunch - then they would dock and come out for an hour of big band dance music and drinks.  Good customers - retirees with money and a taste for Glenn Miller et al.  He still wants to make a profit so asked for a small band (11 with vocalist - can do - have the charts and the people).  The gig would be about 7 weeks, 3 days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) - from about 3:00pm - 4:00 pm.

Anyway, I have most of it figured, but he wants a 2-level cancellation policy.  Last minute (less than 4 days) and with notice (more than 4 days) just in case of whatever might hold the hole shebang up.   So let's say 'X' is the price for each performance - what are reasonable percentages of 'X' for A) last minute cancellations and B) cancellations with notice.

I've got a short turnaround to put forth a proposal - I'd really appreciate any advice from working musicians.

Thanks for your input in advance...
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 29, 2017, 04:11PM »

Not living in Canada, but I don't like this cancellation policy. I would prefer get the gig for the whole duration and negotiate cancelation fees for 5-7 days in advance, any cancellations happening with shorter notice to be paid at least on 50-60% - that would be something that I would be happy to take. Anything less is risky.

You are unlikely to find gigs for  4 day notice cancelation, so you are basically screwed, if you don't get anything for these cancelled gigs.
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bonesmarsh
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 29, 2017, 04:28PM »

No debate about this at all, Bill.

Head straight to the local American Federation of Musicians office in Toronto, have everyone join the union, and do everything 100% above board with AFofM advice and on their pay scales, and their way.

Unionized contracts. You'll be blackballed for the remainder of eternity by the union there in Toronto if they find out you're scamming work from unionized musicians.
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The joke is that they call it "playing your instrument" but once a nickle of pay is involved, there is no play. It is all very serious hard work, done under rigid rules, and is likely no fun.
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 29, 2017, 04:36PM »

Find out union rates whether you use them or not.

1) Charge union rates.

2) Figure in "out-of-pocket" time (driving, pre-boarding, disembarkation, etc.) This should figure into the rate you charge.

3) No cancellation notice. This kind of undertaking is a pain in the ass. You're putting the time in whether you play this gig or not. In any gig serious enough to involve contracts I usually put in a 30-day cancellation notice at 50% - 100% after 30 days. If someone says no to another paying gig and then this one gets cancelled, you're on the hook to make it right.
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 29, 2017, 04:57PM »

Bill, if anyone ever approaches you about doing a gig, and uses any of the following phrases:
Should be fun!
Sounds like fun!
Looks like fun!

Run as fast as your legs can carry you, in the opposite direction.
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BGuttman
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 29, 2017, 05:18PM »

If you have access to the AFM office, you might just want to check on whether there is an "unfair" notice on the guy.  If he's using you as a "union busting" group it can be bad for you AND for anybody in your band who plays.

We used to consider a week as "last minute" meaning you pay for the gig if we play or not and 50% cancellation with less than a month.

I would cost the thing at $50 an hour actual job time per man and $25 an hour for commute (to and from).  Especially if it's more or less out of town.  Note that if you get on the boat, ride for 3 hours, play one hour, and ride for 3 more, that's 7 hours.  Whether you are playing or not, you aren't at liberty to be somewhere else.

Playing in a bunch of gigs at Senior Centers lately, I like them.  They dance.  They appreciate.  But I wish there were some Polka dancers.  It galls me no end to see a polka up on the stand and the dance floor is filled with a line dance.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 29, 2017, 05:32PM »

Your description sounds like it's on land, not on the ship.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 3-4pm does not likely interfere with any other gigs.

Scale is a good place to start, but I might look at a satisfactory guaranteed total, and assume a few may be cancelled.
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 29, 2017, 06:25PM »

Back when I was a booking agent, we had a non-refundable portion (which was the agency mark-up). The actual musicians fee were 100% refundable over 40 days, 50% refundable between 40 and 7 workdays (so ~10 days) in advance, 0% refundable under 7 workdays.

Standard fee structure would be : Actual fee plus transportation fees if musicians have to travel more than a certain distance (0,45$/kilometer per driver, 0,25$/kilometer per passenger), plus meals provided for gigs 3 hours and up. Plus a booking agency mark-up. In your case, of course no agency mark-up, however as you will act as contractor and music librarian, which both involve a 50% bonus, you should pay yourself double the fee.

Toronto union rate, if the document I have is correct, would be 53.00$/hour, minimum 3 hours for performance, so 159$ a piece per performance, 318$ in your case. Rehearsal rate is 44$/hour, minimum 2 hours.

I believe vocalist would not be covered by the TMA/CFM rates, but rather by the ACTRA rates. At least that's the way it is in Quebec, musicians are with the Guilde/CFM and singers with the UDA with actors and radio and TV performers, hosts, etc.

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BillO
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 30, 2017, 07:37AM »

Thanks everyone for your input. You have given me a lot to work with.
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Never look at the conductor. You just encourage them.

Have you noticed, some folk never stick around to help tidy up after practice?
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