Primary Blog/Gigging Musician Podcast/Episode 198 - You Are Released From Your Contract

Episode 198 - You Are Released From Your Contract

Thursday, October 19, 2023

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Episode Recap

In this episode, Jared Judge shares a fascinating and somewhat unusual experience he had in the world of gigging. He discusses the rare instance when he had to release a client from their contract, shedding light on the lessons learned and the red flags to watch out for when dealing with event planners. It's a valuable story that reminds us that not every opportunity is worth pursuing and highlights the importance of trusting your instincts.

Best Quote

"Don't be so willing to cater towards event planners, especially if they throw out red flags faster than a referee at a football game."


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Hey, what's up gigging pros! It's Jared judge. Welcome back to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast.

It's been a while since I've recorded one of these. But I imagine this will probably get us caught up to the point where every episode I release is closer to the date I record, it got a lot of backlogged episodes here that we're just releasing, anyway, got an interesting topic for you guys today.

In the fact, this is one of the first times in the history of me running for one of my begging acts that I've ever released a client from their contract, meaning they booked my group, they signed the contract.

But now, I am telling them no more, no more gig for you. So this is interesting. And it was kind of a mutually agreed upon thing, which is good, because there's no new hard feelings, I guess.

But anyway, without going too specific, so I don't reveal any identifying information of who booked me, there was this business that was doing a grand opening. It's a small business run, I think it's like, run by one person who is like the owner.

And also, they do all the the business activity at the store. So there's no new employees, it's just a one person operation. And they were having a grand opening event.

And I got reached out to by this, quote, unquote, professional event planner. And they said, Hey, we're looking to have some entertainment at this grand opening. And I was like, okay, cool. Let's make it happen.

I provided them a price quote, which you know, my price quotes for the solo electric violin act, they're not the lowest price quotes, you can get a acoustic violinist for much cheaper. Or you can get a violinist who doesn't know how to market themselves for much cheaper.

And so I quoted my normal price quote. But I realized, like, this is a professional event planner. And if this turns out to be a professional event planner that I want to build a long term relationship with, I'm willing to be a little bit flexible on those pricings.

Just because the value of one event listener is dozens of high paying gigs in the future. But that being said, headquartered than my normal rate, and then they said, we'll get back to you. They looked very interested.

And then I get a call a very early in the morning, like before business hours, saying, hey, it's the event planner, can you give me a call back? And so I called back a little bit later, still, before business hours.

And then the event planner says, well, they don't want to pay that much. So I told them, we're gonna go in a different direction. So I go, okay, that's fine. I totally understand budgets are what they are.

And then that's when I told the event planner, Eric, well, you know, I would like to develop a relationship with you and your client. What are they interested in paying, maybe there's a solution that we could come to.

And they quoted me rates that was like, two or 300 bucks lower than what I would normally do. But because they build in a profit margin to the gigs, that still would have been fine if we did it for for less.

And so I said, Okay, we can do it for for that rate. And I said, you know, I really want to build this relationship. And this is me making an effort towards that. And so, and then they were like, okay, that's fine. Let's do it.

So I sent them the contract. And then they're, you know, I was using BookLive for the contract. And so I rewrote the contract. But I forgot to change the amount from the old amount to the new amount, or at least the deposit from the old amount to the new amount.

And so she The following morning, several hours before business hours, like we're talking about five 6am Here, again, email saying, hey, the deposit amount is wrong, can you fix it? And I woke up that day.

And then I had back to back to back meetings till about 10am which was an hour after business open. And at 10:22am. I get an email from this event planner, saying, being that we haven't heard back from you.

Since this morning, we've decided to go in a different direction. In which is hilarious because This is, you know, I always say, you, when you receive an email, you have 24 hours to respond. Like, that's reasonable.

I don't expect people to constantly be on their phone, especially before business hours. And you know, a lot of musicians are night owls as it is. So now many of them even operate on business hours.

Plus, what if they've got a full time job that prevents them from responding to emails during the day? Right? Like, if you work at a place that doesn't allow phones, well, you're kind of screwed there. I'm not in that position.

But if I were like, that's completely an unreasonable timeframe. There was also a couple other red flags I didn't mention in the story.

Like because this gig was so far, and so near, that we, when it gets that near the time timeline between the deposit and the final balance is so close that we usually just lump it together into one full payment due before the event starts.

That way, we don't show up to a gig and risk them not paying the final balance. And so the the event planner gave me a hard time about that saying, you know, is our first time working together, we don't have the trust built, we need to pay you the rest of the day of which I again, was willing to concede to build the relationship with this event planner.

But turns out there were more red flags, then. Well, I know there's an analogy about red flags. I can't remember right now maybe one of you will remember it.

But yeah, there were a lot of red flags that were thrown up to the point where like, Finally, when I received that email, at 10 in the morning, complaining that I didn't respond to an email that they sent at six or seven in the morning, that they were going in a different direction.

I could have easily pulled the card of hey, you have a signed contract. I'm holding you to it. And like, you know, if if I did that, I don't know what they would have done. What they have not paid, would they have ignored me.

And then I could have made the threat to go to small claims court. But I don't want to do that. That's not doesn't sound fun. That's not how I get joy and fulfillment out of my life.

Not by taking people to small claims court by playing music, and by sharing these business tips and these stories. And yeah, so when when they sent that email, it took a little bit of time to come down for my heightened emotions.

Because yeah, that's me off. And I complained about it to one of my buddies Anthony later that day. But he came down from my emotions, and then sent them a very polite email. Thank you so much for letting me know.

I formally released you and your client from your contract. Best wishes, Jared judge. So what's the lesson there? There's a bunch of lessons one is don't be so willing to cater towards event planners.

Especially if they throw out red flags faster than a referee at a football game. There's the analogy. So they're thrown out red flags. Like this reminds me of an episode I talked about a long time ago.

It was called emotional manipulation in the events industry. And I got those vibes from this event planner. So I should have picked up on that my spidey senses were tingling, but I didn't listen to them.

I think I was just excited for another electric violin gig in Milwaukee that I was gonna go through with a booking, and gotta listen to your spidey senses.

There are some opportunities not worth pursuing, not worth your time not worth putting your act and your business at risk. Because, you know, God forbid, I went through with that, hey, guess what could have happened?

Well, one is being that they insisted on paying the balance the day of what if they didn't pay? And the performer shows up? They play they do a great job. And then we haven't received the full money like, do I pay the performer?

Money that I don't have? I mean, I would have done that. Because, you know, for me, my musicians are my top priority. But then what does that do for me in my company, like, are we supposed to just suffer that loss?

Would I have had to take them to small claims court anyway? Would they have been, you know, the likeliest situation is they probably would have paid. But, you know, being that they were so nitpicky during the contracting part.

Like I gotta tell you, I've been working with a lot of corporate event planners, here in Denver. And the way that the corporate event planners operate is fantastic. They just say, Hey, we're your hosts.

During this event, at this venue, on this date had this time, what's your rate app client is willing to, is ready to sign the contract. And I dropped them the rate. They're like, Okay, that's great. Send us the contract.

And then they sign it. Like they don't give me this hassle. But this event planner was so nitpicky throughout the entire, quote unquote, negotiations, that they would have been that nitpicky during the performance.

They were even one of the other red flags was like, we want to have a playlist fully built before we even signed the contract. And I had to talk them off of that ledge. Like, that's not reasonable.

You're asking me to do work before we even know you're going to hire us. And things like that. So if they were going to be that picky throughout the negotiations, they were going to be that picky or more during the performance.

And they would have been unsatisfied and dissatisfied clients leave bad reviews. Like, I don't know if you've noticed this, but it is hard to get a satisfied client to leave a review. Although it's been a little bit easier lately.

I think I've been doing a better job. But in general, people who are satisfied with their service like when you go to Panera, and you get a sandwich from Panera, and it fills you up and it was tasty. It did did a good job.

How often have you left a review for Panera you probably have never left a review for Panera if you're anything like me. So I've never left a review for Panera. And almost every single time I have a great experience.

And it's kind of the same with when people book you for gigs. Like if they're satisfied, they probably won't leave you a review unless you nudge them. Which is why I'm so grateful for BookLive's automatic review collector.

But on the opposite end of the spectrum, dissatisfied people leave bad reviews, almost 100% of the time. And so this person most likely would have left a bad review. And what I say to that is bullet dodged.

And I'm happy about that. And so I was even chatting with the musician who would have played that gig. They were available, they were like, we had sent the request in BookLive and everything they accepted.

And they called this musician left them a voicemail, letting them know about the situation. And then they responded, I'm grateful for you looking out for a potentially bad gig situation.

So my only regret in this is not listening to my spidey senses a little bit earlier. And if I had listened to them, I would have caught the red flags. And I would have probably said to the client, unfortunately, your data is simply no longer available.

Thank you for inquiring, I hope you find somebody to do it. So that's the result that happened anyway. But it was a little bit more frustrating than it needed to be.

Alright, so hopefully that lesson helps you out and be on the lookout for those situations. Like we always have to be on our guards. For some things, when you're just getting started out, though, don't let the fear of that prevent you from aggressively marketing yourself.

Like that stuff is gonna happen regardless. And so when it comes up deal with it. But, you know, I was talking to one of my students about sending emails to an email list.

And the list wasn't perfect, it didn't have every email address, and it wasn't prioritized. But there were over 900 emails on it. And so I said, instead of worrying about cleaning up the list, is just go ahead and send to that list.

Make yourself a mess that you have to clean up later. Because I would rather have more opportunities and have to turn some of them down or even have some opportunities turned out to be bad apples that I have to sort out of the bushel then have no opportunities at all right? It's a labor of love.

And I love doing this. And even though they're frustrating moments like they're having absolutely zero frustration, I think is impossible in business and life.

And that's part of what makes it beautiful. If it was all perfect, and sunshine and rainbows all the time, I'd get pretty boring and it wouldn't make me appreciate the rainbows and smell the roses.

So, yeah, take the wins and the losses with dignity and keep moving forward. Alright, thanks for tuning in to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast.

Remember, "Your music will not market itself!" Bye everybody.

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Episode 229 - The Power of Networking and Recommendations in the Music Industry

Episode 228 - Navigating the Gig Economy: Venue Tours, Expos, and the Power of Numbers

Episode 227 - Strategic Moves: Venue Tours, Expos, and Unexpected Gigs

Episode 226 - Maximizing Gigs: New Tools for Tracking Success and Boosting Bookings

Episode 225 - Unlocking Gigs: Venue Tours and Strategic Partnerships

Episode 224 - A Day in the Life: Venue Tours, Unexpected Gigs, and Networking Wins

Episode 223 - Landing Gigs Post-Wedding Expo: A Musician's Success Story

Episode 222 - Navigating the Wedding Expo Scene: A Musician's Journey to Success

Episode 221 - Maximizing Success at Wedding Expos: A Musician's Guide

Episode 220 - Unlocking High-End Gigs: Venue Tours and Virtual Assistant Strategies

Episode 219 - Maximizing Your Music Career: The Power of a Personal Assistant

Episode 218 - Unlocking High-End Gigs: A Musician's Guide to Preferred Vendor Success

Episode 217 - Gigging Musician Podcast: Joe Deninzon Interview


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