#1
Worst Gig Ever…

How do you get over them? My band played a festival last week which went very well, and we were offered a slot at a much bigger event. Originally we were supposed to be playing on a very decent stage at a very decent time, but at some point during the week – they changed their minds. At this point, we should have told them to **** right off. But no one really considered that it could be as bad as it was…

We spent upwards of £15 each to get up there, when we arrived the stewards where the most unhelpful bunch of pricks I think I’ve ever met in my life. They wouldn’t let our driver get in with us, demanding he shelled out for a ticket just to move some gear. Then they flat out refused to drive our gear through the three fields of knee-height mud, as they were for other bands; meaning we had to struggle our way over there, with amps, guitars and an entire drum kit. So by this point, we were covered in **** and felt like it too.

Then came the actual gig. We were playing at 7pm and the band playing at 6pm brought in a moderate crowd with all things considered. There were about 30 people, but you have to remember this stage was literally at the opposite end to the mainstage and most of the attractions + it was the first day, and hardly anyone was probably up for wading through the amount of **** between our stage and the entrance. So we get on, that number stays the same, and then suddenly about ten minutes into our hour set. People start leaving. And we end up playing for five people (not counting those who we turned up with).

It’s not like we were playing terribly or anything, people just started leaving. I guess maybe it’s because we’re a funk/jazz band and everyone else there seemed to be metal or rock. Or maybe something big was happening elsewhere. Either way, by the end of it, we all felt thoroughly depressed. So much effort for such a pile of ****. We were planning on enjoying a free three day festival, but the majority of us were so down we just decided to head back straight away.

Is there any way to avoid such colossal wastes of time like this? Should we have sensed this festival wasn’t right for our style? Or do these gigs just happen…
#2
These gigs just happen,

I remember playing in a shed at Overcranked Festival 2005...to about 15 people...and I'm pretty sure all of them were just in there to get out of the sun.

In your case, it would have paid to look at the line-up before accepting, because jazz/funk + rock/metal = HUGE clash

I can understand that maybe you were thinking about the exposure you would get rather than the clash itself, but once they stepped you down you should've bailed.

All you can do I learn from this, don't get discouraged. I learned not long ago, that as a young band, you need to play to and with your strengths until you have a large enough fan base to be able to throw away a show (what you've just done) in an attempt to broaden said fan base.
This water's dark and coldGod's not where you hopedThis moment come and goneIt's time we all moved on
#3
As soon as it was obvious they were treating your band ****ty, that was the sign to walk away.
#4
it sounds like a string of unfortunate circumstances that all piled up. But theres no way in hell every gig is gonna be great, or even good for that matter. A lot of gigging is bitchwork, and a lot of it sucks, but its better than anything else in the world, you dig? Wait til you start playing clubs, where you have a "stage" half the size of your practice area, and your stage moves are constricted to moderate head-bobbing.

Don't sweat it though. You're going to play some great gigs and some equally ****ty ones, you guys just have to focus on how well you played and how well you're received when the odds ARENT stacked against you.

Totally sucks they started leaving though. Some metalheads cant groove wit da funk, and thats just something you're gonna have to accept.
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#5
man, one time for my music class, our teacher decided we had to play a show for a public school. it was the worst concert i have ever played in my life. first off, we had a total of maybe two hours practice (over a period of three months) for about five songs, and they decided at the last minute to add another song on that only our dumb b*tch of a singer knew.

i had written this cool instrumental (check out my profile to hear it), but since they had no real appreciation for what goes into a song like that, they just kind of listened to their rap music on their MP3s. and our sound was terrible. we had to plug an acoustic with a 3$ pickup into a Line6 Spider. all in all, it sucked.

on a good note, we made the following band look like gods, only because they played the same songs they have been playing for the past year. it feels good to know that my music is underapprecited whil esome crappy pop songs get all the attention.
#6
Quote by Tomaz24
Worst Gig Ever…

How do you get over them?


By the time you've played another 5 gigs, it just becomes another story to tell.
Everyone has them, which is why musicians sit around at parties and swap 'Worst Gig' stories.
Think yourself lucky, if bad sh!t didn't happen to you, you'd have no 'Worst Gig' stories to swap with other musicians.
Quote by Tomaz24

Is there any way to avoid such colossal wastes of time like this? Should we have sensed this festival wasn’t right for our style? Or do these gigs just happen…

Well first of all, you should always make sure that you are at least getting paid expenses when travelling quite a distance to play a gig, so if it's a complete waste of time, at least you're not out of pocket.
When they decided to change your spot for a much worse one, you should have refused. It's considered very bad form among promoters to drop someone down the bill once they have already been allocated a spot.

So let's see if we can ease the pain a little and claim some money back for you shall we?
I'm assuming you were not getting paid for the gig but were allowed to make your own money by selling merchandise? If so, you may actualy have a case for 'loss of earnings.'
If they have promised you a prime spot from which to sell your product, and the spot you end up with is then a completely different thing than what was promised, that is a breach of contract that affects your earning potential.
This is actualy recognised trading law, it usualy applies to open markets, where people hire space and set up a stall in that space to sell their goods, but it can be used in any form of trading, including the selling of a band's product to an audience, but it all depends on the circumstances.
Because you were promised a prime spot from which to advertise your product, (which can either be your recordings or yourselves as a band for hire) and ended up with something entirely different, a case could possibly be made.
Then there's the damage to clothing and equipment caused by you having to lug your gear across all the mud, especialy if transport was available but refused to you.
Then there's the re-embursment of your driver to consider. Charging a band's own staff is a big no no, unless they take the piss by turning up with a great big busload of people and claim that they are all staff.
Go and see a friendly solicitor, point all this out to him, come up with a figure for reimbursement between you and have him draft a 'solicitor's letter' outlining your case and offering to settle out of court for the above figure, and then send it to the promoter.

These people have profited from your's and many other band's hard work and if you actualy brought a case to court against them, they could quite easily lose and incur court costs and they know it. So if you don't get too greedy and come up with a figure of around £200, something that's hardly worth arguing over for someone who's just made thousands running a big festival, they'll more than likely just pay you off rather than see it go any further.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Aug 4, 2008,
#7
Quote by SlackerBabbath
By the time you've played another 5 gigs, it just becomes another story to tell.
Everyone has them, which is why musicians sit around at parties and swap 'Worst Gig' stories.
Think yourself lucky, if bad sh!t didn't happen to you, you'd have no 'Worst Gig' stories to swap with other musicians.


That's always cool though. Kind of like listening to addicting stories when you're in rehab. You listen to some really f'ed up stories and think "well, my gig wasn't that bad." and you get over it.
I love Cheezy Poofs, you love Cheezy Poofs,
If we didn't eat Cheezy Poofs, We'd be lame!

WHY SO SERIOUS SON!?
#8
Organisers are dicks really

Just get over it and focus on any sort of positives that came from the gig, and work out how the hell you can avoid it ever happening to you
#9
You should've stormed the main stage thoes **** for brain organizers probably could'nt tell which band was which anyway
#10
You should have said no when you found out you were demoted to a different slot.
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#11
Sorry to hear 'bout your crummy day. Yeah metal and funk jazz don't jive too well with some people I guess.

My band played a fund raiser one time the morning after a gig (so we didn't expect friends/fans to want to come) and the only people there were our parents. Not as bad as yours but it'll get better don't worry!
#12
oh man ive had my share of ****ty gigs. dont worry man this **** happens. i played metal music in a cafe once. but it kicked ass though.

the majority of my bad gigs were because in my old band my lead guitarest would keep setting up gigs at the same place every ****ing week. so as time went on i couldent get into it cause almost no one was there and if there was people it was the same people. not to mention our LG did not for the life of him didnt like to write songs so we always played the same set. so once that band broke up it got up hill.

my most recent bad gig was terrible. a girl i loved was in the crowd watching my every move. I could barely hold my bass neck my hands were shaking so much. and i almost threw up before the show. and my nervousness effected my stage presence and i did not move around at all. add an off day to that and i was doing ****ty. the sound people sucked so we couldent hear each other and when we told them to stop they ignored us. since we couldent hear each other we kept going off timing and our drummer dropped him stick during our really upbeat song. and we finished our set with the whos my generation. i goofed on the solos. they were sloppy and i completly messed up one.

thank god our most recent gig kicked ass and i NAILED the solos i did in my generation, hellraiser and foxy lady. at least we recovered from our terrible show.
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#13
Quote by SoftParade1967

my most recent bad gig was terrible. a girl i loved was in the crowd watching my every move. I could barely hold my bass neck my hands were shaking so much. and i almost threw up before the show. and my nervousness effected my stage presence and i did not move around at all. add an off day to that and i was doing ****ty. the sound people sucked so we couldent hear each other and when we told them to stop they ignored us. since we couldent hear each other we kept going off timing and our drummer dropped him stick during our really upbeat song. and we finished our set with the whos my generation. i goofed on the solos. they were sloppy and i completly messed up one.


Gigs always go to **** when you invite a girl along don't they?

Anyway, appreciate the input everyone. Helped a lot, I just have to get on with it.
#14
Quote by SoftParade1967
oh man ive had my share of ****ty gigs. dont worry man this **** happens. i played metal music in a cafe once. but it kicked ass though.

the majority of my bad gigs were because in my old band my lead guitarest would keep setting up gigs at the same place every ****ing week. so as time went on i couldent get into it cause almost no one was there and if there was people it was the same people. not to mention our LG did not for the life of him didnt like to write songs so we always played the same set. so once that band broke up it got up hill.

my most recent bad gig was terrible. a girl i loved was in the crowd watching my every move. I could barely hold my bass neck my hands were shaking so much. and i almost threw up before the show. and my nervousness effected my stage presence and i did not move around at all. add an off day to that and i was doing ****ty. the sound people sucked so we couldent hear each other and when we told them to stop they ignored us. since we couldent hear each other we kept going off timing and our drummer dropped him stick during our really upbeat song. and we finished our set with the whos my generation. i goofed on the solos. they were sloppy and i completly messed up one.

thank god our most recent gig kicked ass and i NAILED the solos i did in my generation, hellraiser and foxy lady. at least we recovered from our terrible show.


that Was a ****ty gig wasn't it jess?
Than we destroyed faces in that Cafe!
(Me and Softparade are in the same band)

Listen man, Life is going to be a dick to you and try to **** you over. But the key is never to ever let it get to you.
The reason most people do not succeed in music is simply becuase they can't stick it out.
They say, hell you know this is useless and not worth my time, I should just quit so I don't have to deal with assholes and get a regular job. Truth is, It's alot harder than we think
But if you keep working at that, you can make it. It takes hours of perseverance and tough work to win. You just gotta keep truckin.