Being on time is incredibly important in the live music world. There’s a good reason behind the saying, “If you’re 15 minutes early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late, you’re fired.
Unfortunately, being punctual is not always easy. There are a lot of things that can go wrong and cause you to be late. Some things like flat tires happen unexpectedly, which can often be excused… But others, such as work or other events planned and scheduled in advance, are never acceptable excuses.
Listen now to learn why it’s important to always be on time, how to plan ahead properly to avoid being late, and what you can do to put on the best show possible!
What you’ll learn:
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And even though if you don't already know this, I've kind of failed in teaching bands, how to be responsible via this podcast. and you might think of, oh, you know what? I have this friend or acquaintance who should hear this, I'm going to share this episode with them.
Maybe not directly, maybe indirectly. And you just hope that they catch on. who knows. I mean, it depends on your relationship with them, but the topic is booking shows that you can't make it to on. This was inspired by a Facebook post that I saw one of our community members, Josh coat post.
And about two weeks [00:01:00] ago, while I was in Germany, He was working at a venue and the band who had booked the show, couldn't be bothered to get there on time. And it turned out that the band knew they couldn't make it because of their work commitments, but they booked the show anyway, which if you'll excuse me, but that's just stupid.
If you know, you can't make it to a show on time, don't book it. if you know you can't be there, why on earth would you say? Yes, we'll be. Not only is that super disrespectful to the venue and their staff. It's also disrespectful to your fans. And in fact, if you rush soundcheck or miss it entirely, you're going to be providing a subpar show to your audience, which means it's a lose, lose situation for everyone.
Because if the show is not good, you're not going to convert people in the audience, into fans. And they might think the band sucks. They might think the venue. either way it's bad for everyone involved. And I really don't mean to sound like I'm lecturing five-year-olds, but sometimes that's [00:02:00] what it is.
So please, even if you are the person who is always at least 15 minutes early, just repeat after me. I will not book shows if I can't get to load in on. Now let's try that again and say it with me. I will not book shows. If I cannot get to load in on time, there are several advantages to showing up on time.
The first thing is you have a comfortable amount of time to get set up, settle into the venue and put together a nice merchant display. So you can try to sell more. The venue staff will also appreciate that you're on time and punctual and you have plenty of time to go get food and drinks if you need them.
And that way you are well fueled up for your set. Plus you're not cutting into other artists soundchecks or set times.
there are a lot more reasons than this, but this is just my top. On the flip side, there are tons of cons for showing up late the first one is if you're late, without a good reason, [00:03:00] you can quite easily burn bridges.
I'll get to a personal story about this later, but let me just say that work. No, that is not a good reason. You knew your work schedule when you booked the show, or if you didn't, if you have a work schedule, that's not really set in stone and it changes you need to take that time off or not book the show.
because what if instead of being scheduled for work, so you're late to the show you're scheduled for work and you can't make it to the show. You need to take that time off if you don't have a set schedule. And if you do have a set schedule, you need to say, okay, we can make it or no, we cannot make it.
It's a simple thing to do. It's called being an adult. Now I get it. Flat tires, accidents, weather that can all happen and you know what, that's an okay. Excuse if it's really something that was unexpected, but you should always plan in a bit of buffer time, just in case. I typically say one [00:04:00] hour of buffer for every three to four hours on the road with at least 30 minutes.
If your drive is less than an hour, but if it's more than an hour, Already planning that one hour. Cause then you can get to the city or wherever you're going. Hang out for a little bit, get some food and load in, in peace and quiet without any stress. always have that buffer. Like I said, minimum 30 minutes.
If it's more than an hour, you plan an hour for every three to four hours. You're driving the next con of being late is that you risk losing your own set time. Any good stage manager applies a policy that if you're late. Well, you still go off stage on time. So if you're scheduled for seven 30 to eight and you go on stage at 7 55, won't you have a five minute set.
That's one song, maybe two, if you play short songs and you don't want that to be you, the list of things that are not ideal when you're late, goes on and on. But I'm just going to cover one more reason, which is that people do not like working [00:05:00] with artists who don't have their act together because it's a pain it's like pulling teeth.
You don't want to deal with people who are flaky and unreliable. Let's just not. personal experience. And I got to say, I've worked with tons of artists who have shown up late. Most of them will at least send a text saying, Hey, I'm going to be late. Or when I call them and say, where are you? They pick up the phone and say, oh yeah, you know, we're 10 minutes out.
And then they show up in 10 minutes. There are a few, I had one artist who said, he's 30 minutes out and didn't get there until 90 minutes later because apparently he was 30 minutes out, but hadn't actually left and stuff like that. But one specific example that I'm going to share. This was about two years ago, I worked a show with an artist who uh, well, she went into my calendar and booked a production advance as I'd asked.
And then the time for our production advanced came around and she didn't show up to the call. Now I get it. [00:06:00] Stuff happens, things come. But my system sends you an email one day before the meeting saying, Hey, don't forget you have a meeting at this time tomorrow. And then again, one hour before the meeting, it sends an email and a text message saying, Hey, in one hour you have this meeting, you should show up.
So this lady had two chances to let me know, Hey, I can't be there. Sorry. You know, can we reschedule please? But she didn't take those chances. She just decided that her time is more valuable than mine and didn't show up. Didn't give me any heads up. So there I am, you know, I made sure that I kept that time slot open for a meeting.
Nope, no call, nothing turns out she was working. It's like, okay, you knew you were going to be working. So why on earth would you book a call for that time? And then when you get the reminder the day before. Then you definitely knew that, Hey, I'm going to be at work tomorrow. That's reminder like, Hey, if I can't make it, I should probably say, I'm not going to be there.
Anyway. Then getting to the day of the show, [00:07:00] she had told me in advance that her guitarist would be late and wouldn't make it to their load in. So I moved some things around and made it. They're loading was scheduled for? I believe it was 6 45. Well guess what? The guitarist showed up at six 30. He wasn't late at all.
He was early. Amazing, great guitars too. Super nice guy. All worked out well, except the singer showed up 45 minutes late to her own load in. She hadn't said she was going to be late. She said, she'd be there on time. I called her. I texted her. No. She didn't even apologize when she showed up 30 minutes before the show was supposed to start and she still expected a full soundcheck.
You can bet she didn't get that because guess what? We had to get the show ready. So she had about 10 or 15 minutes to soundcheck after she loaded in her gear. And then I said, okay, you know, the show is starting in 10 minutes. We got to prep. Everything. I have to eat dinner still because you were late. I have to eat dinner in 10 minutes and yeah, now I get it.
Things have.[00:08:00] You know what? I don't know why she was late because she never said anything. She didn't apologize. She didn't say anything, whatever. So at the very least, if you're late, say, Hey, I'm so sorry. This is why I'm late. And it better be a good reason. And then apologize, because you might be screwing up someone's day.
That's just how it is. point being, if you're going to be late, let people know. If you are going to be late for a reason that you know about, well in advance don't book the show. It's super easy to just say, Hey, we can't do this realistically. So we're not going to book. This is really important because if you burn bridges with people, word will get around.
I'm not naming this artist's name because that would be petty, but you can bet that if somebody ever asks me about this artist, I'm going to say no, she's flaky and unreliable. You should not book her or ever work with her. It's a solid hell. No, for me I, I feel like this is a super lecture-y episode compared to [00:09:00] other Bandhive episodes.
And I, you know, I know I get lecture-y, but this one, especially because it doesn't only happen to me. I've seen so many other people complain about act, not showing up on time. You really you've got to plan in extra time to be there on time. And if you can't make it don't book.
Long story short, just be reliable. Let people know if something's up and you're going to be wait, don't ignore their calls saying, Hey, where are you? You know, pick up the phone or text them back, say, Hey, this is our ETA. And that way, you know, they can try to plan for that. Maybe it works. Maybe it doesn't, but ultimately it comes down to, if you can't be there.
Book the show pass on that offer and let somebody else who can actually show up on time, play that show that does it for this episode of the Bandhive podcast. Thank you so much for listening. I really appreciate it.
And if you stuck through that whole thing, even though you are a band who is always on time, I appreciate that. If you are a band, who's not [00:10:00] on time. I hope that one, you did stick through this and didn't just turn it off saying, oh, this is ridiculous. And two you'll learn from this because really there aren't artists that I'm not going to work with.
Again, the lady I mentioned in this in this episode is one of them, I'm at a point where I only work shows. Now if I'm going to enjoy it. So at this point, if I'm hiring for a show and I see that she gets booked for it, I'm not going to work the show, or I'm going to say, Hey, I'm not working with her.
She is not on the show. Now I know that sounds really ridiculous, but really I'm just working shows that I would enjoy. I don't need the extra stress. I don't really need the extra money. So if I'm going to work a show, I'm going to enjoy. And if I'm not going to enjoy it, why should I work the show?
And I know not everyone has that flexibility to turn down shows like that. Especially if you're working in a venue because you're on staff, you know, that's not so easy to do is say, Hey boss, I'm not working this show because I don't like that person. That's not how it works, you don't want to [00:11:00] get to that person where somebody wants to not work with you.
That's just bad People will talk about that. people always remember the best shows and the worst shows, the average ones, whatever. I have so many horror stories of bands, just doing stupid stuff. And I remember them going back, you know, as long as I've been in, in music for like 13 years now, I remember those stories.
I also remember the highlights, but you know what. It's just, you, you don't want to be one of the negative stories that gets told you always want to be one of the highlights. So take it from my friend. Tremlett he shows up on time. He's flexible. He's great. And, uh, just a little anecdote here today is April 1st.
I'm recording this on April 1st. Um, It's coming out, I think April 12th or 17th or something like that. I don't even know anymore. But point being April 1st, he posted a fake tour poster with five shows on it that he was going to do a tour covering [00:12:00] Brittany Spears circus. And guess what?
Two of the venues liked the jokes so much that they reached out to him and asked him to book those shows. Maybe not necessarily on those same dates, but they wanted him to come to their venue and play circus in full that's. Amazing. So just be chill, be friendly, be happy, and you will get opportunities on the other hand, if you're flaky and unreliable and not pleasant to work with, you are going to find the pool of opportunities drying up quite quickly.
So really, like I said, I know this has been electory episode, but I hope that. Be a benefit to you or to someone, you know? So if you know, if like you person, if you know them, well, go ahead and send this to them. If you don't know them that well, maybe just drop some hints that they listen. You can find the [email protected] slash 1, 2, 4.
That's the number 124. Thanks again for listening. I'm really appreciate it. And we'll be back right here in your favorite podcast app. Next Tuesday at 6:00 AM Eastern [00:13:00] until then I hope you have a great week stay safe.
And of course, as always keep rockin.
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