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  #1  
Old 02-02-2018, 11:03 AM
Woolwich Woolwich is offline
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Default Charity Gig. How do you say no?

Because we've been asked and aren't keen to do charity gigs, can you share ideas or stock phrases you use to politely turn people down. Lying isn't an option :-)

Last edited by Woolwich; 02-02-2018 at 12:15 PM. Reason: Changed thread title
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Old 02-02-2018, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Charity Gig Woes / Rant

I'll be honest, I think you set yourself up to a degree. I understand wanting to take control of the PA / performance stage if you had doubts about the quality of provision by others, but you must have factored in that means not setting up during the event itself. The playing start time doesn't seem to be excessively late. That said, the event not communicating the performance start time despite requests for that information isn't good, & should have raised a red flag.

For all events, but especially charity events, never agree the gig until all relevant criteria are established. If the event fails to communicate, pull the plug before you even confirm the gig.

As a general observation, many charity events, & indeed all events that aren't paying above modest expenses, have a tendency to undervalue the acts, simply because it's not costing them. Some even take that to the point of regarding the acts as close to disposable.

As for reversing from the gig - that's a reputation damage limitation calculation that only your band can quantify. Bluntly, you confirmed a gig without first receiving a performance schedule, so should stick with it. If that schedule isn't acceptable / achievable, & you've been placed in an unexpected position due to lack of communication from the organisers - say so, & use that as your reason for exiting the gig.

Edit: Whilst composing my reply, you've removed most of your original post. This reply is to the specific points you raised in your post. If it's no longer valid, I can remove it.
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  #3  
Old 02-02-2018, 12:13 PM
Woolwich Woolwich is offline
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Default Re: Charity Gig Woes / Rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
I'll be honest, I think you set yourself up to a degree. I understand wanting to take control of the PA / performance stage if you had doubts about the quality of provision by others, but you must have factored in that means not setting up during the event itself. The playing start time doesn't seem to be excessively late. That said, the event not communicating the performance start time despite requests for that information isn't good, & should have raised a red flag.

For all events, but especially charity events, never agree the gig until all relevant criteria are established. If the event fails to communicate, pull the plug before you even confirm the gig.

As a general observation, many charity events, & indeed all events that aren't paying above modest expenses, have a tendency to undervalue the acts, simply because it's not costing them. Some even take that to the point of regarding the acts as close to disposable.

As for reversing from the gig - that's a reputation damage limitation calculation that only your band can quantify. Bluntly, you confirmed a gig without first receiving a performance schedule, so should stick with it. If that schedule isn't acceptable / achievable, & you've been placed in an unexpected position due to lack of communication from the organisers - say so, & use that as your reason for exiting the gig.

Edit: Whilst composing my reply, you've removed most of your original post. This reply is to the specific points you raised in your post. If it's no longer valid, I can remove it.
I realised how uncharitable my original post was for the want of a better phrase so I went back to the original question I was going to ask yesterday about polite and honest ways to decline the offer to perform. Organisers do these events with good intentions so some advice from others on how to decline with decorum would be appreciated.
Your points are all valid to my original post and echo what I was thinking, it was more a rant against myself for once again failing to get the facts ahead of time, rest assured that backing out was never even s consideration.
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Old 02-02-2018, 03:25 PM
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BradGunnerSGT BradGunnerSGT is offline
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Default Re: Charity Gig Woes / Rant

I didn't see the original thread, but I have played a gig for a charitable organization. It was their 75th anniversary and we were paid well for the gig, so that wasn't an issue, but afterward the event coordinator asked it we would play another gig for them later in the year.

It was one of those "we can't pay you for this one, would you donate your time?" kind of things. I felt bad turning her down.

From Andy's reply to you I can infer some of what happened. Since event this was a pretty large gig for us, when we were planning for the gig I knew that I had to stage-manage a bit and I came up with a full blown performance agreement with riders for a stage plan, load-in / load-out schedule, etc.. I then met with the event coordinator and the house A/V guy (this was in a hotel conference room) a week prior to the event and worked out the details.

The event went off without a hitch, but I can see that if I hadn't had some experience in that area it may have had a different outcome. I've worked part-time as a stage hand / sound engineer for a guy that does a lot of events that take place in hotels and other venues like that, so I knew the language and knew who to talk to in order to get our needs met.
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Old 02-02-2018, 04:05 PM
WallyY WallyY is offline
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Default Re: Charity Gig. How do you say no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woolwich View Post
Because we've been asked and aren't keen to do charity gigs, can you share ideas or stock phrases you use to politely turn people down. Lying isn't an option :-)

Simply - "We love your idea, or project. We can't do it at this time, but we want you to know how much we think it's a great idea."
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Old 02-02-2018, 04:10 PM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Charity Gig Woes / Rant

Event coordinator: “would you be able donate your bands performance to our event?”

Me: “No, thank you”.
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  #7  
Old 02-02-2018, 04:17 PM
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No Way Jose No Way Jose is offline
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Default Re: Charity Gig Woes / Rant

"We can't play that night"
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  #8  
Old 02-02-2018, 05:31 PM
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Tommy_D Tommy_D is offline
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Default Re: Charity Gig Woes / Rant

Just tell them you are sorry you can't afford to take events that do not pay. If they try to say you will get "good exposure" tell them your Facebook and YouTube pages get you very good exposure too.

There's nothing wrong with saying no. Are the event coordinators doing their job for free? No, they aren't, so why should you do yours?
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  #9  
Old 02-02-2018, 05:43 PM
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PorkPieGuy PorkPieGuy is offline
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Default Re: Charity Gig Woes / Rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy_D View Post
Just tell them you are sorry you can't afford to take events that do not pay. If they try to say you will get "good exposure" tell them your Facebook and YouTube pages get you very good exposure too.

Good advice here.

I also like the "No, but thanks for the offer!" thing too.
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  #10  
Old 02-02-2018, 05:51 PM
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CommanderRoss CommanderRoss is offline
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Default Re: Charity Gig Woes / Rant

Our band has done a few "benefit shows" where it's a group of bands getting together to raise money for a cause.
We knew going in that it was an unpaid gig.
That being said, it was also a lot of exposure for us from people attending that night, who might come out to another show later and pay to see us.

So I like to look at it in such a way that we might get paid "Tuesday for a hamburger today".
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Old 02-02-2018, 05:56 PM
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mikyok mikyok is offline
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Default Re: Charity Gig Woes / Rant

We're honest and say if you want to book us this is what it will cost. We're not a charity.

Charity gigs are usually more hassle than they're worth and the organizers expect more from you than a paid gig. That's my personal experience with them.

I play a lot of charity fundraisers but they are all well paid and usually attended by people with more money than sense!
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