Many newcomers are unaware of their responsibilities towards the venue, people in the crowd, and even opening acts. Having an incident occur during the show could have disastrous consequences as you are trying to build a reputation regionally as a professional.
Club owners, bookers, and other agents don’t want any part of bad conduct. The worst case scenario is you or your band being blacklisted from playing a gig anywhere within a certain city or locale. Think that’s never happened before? Guess again. Below are a few things you can do to make sure this never happens to you.
Be honest about the size of the draw you expect to get. Get this wrong and your credibility and reputation will come into question for future slots.
Ensure your equipment is in good working order.
Inform the venue/promoter if you are unable to do the gig as soon as possible to allow them to find an alternative act, if possible offer them contacts of similar or suitable bands/acts you can recommend.
You are not always required to provide your own publicity material but it is in your own interests to do so.
Many venues are now equipped with noise limiters, respect the neighborhood laws and keep the levels down where required.
Help your fellow musicians and report venues/agents/promoters/bookers who repeatedly double booked. Cancel acts with short notice or fail to pay.
Report any venues with dangerous electrical supplies to your local Health and Safety Department. Always use plug boards with cut offs in case of power surges and if you do intend to perform at a venue with dodgy electrics please remember its not just your equipment that could get fried – it could also be you!
If you are using another musicians equipment and cause damage its up to YOU to pay for it or replace the equipment.
When playing a support gig or performing with other musicians don’t be disruptive during their spot – keep your competitiveness ONSTAGE!
If you mistakenly pack someone else’s leads or find equipment left at a venue inform them immediately. Remember — it could have been yours.
Resist the temptation to act like Axl Rose or Courtney Love during a gig towards crowd members, or anyone else involved in the show. Don’t let your adrenalin get the best of you.
Most bands that get into trouble are those who generally have a hard time controlling their emotions. They are also confused and should leave the alter ego on the stage or at the door. Realize at the end of the day this is he entertainment business, and club owners, bookers, and other agents want their gigs to go smoothly and according to plan. Again you are a professional — act like one.
By: Cyrus Rhodes