Contract Horror Story #1
FAIR MANAGER: (sends fax) The contract you sent asks for “backline” for the band. What's a backline?
AGENT: (agent explains what “backline” is, i.e. gear or equipment)
FAIR MANAGER: “Not sure if I can do it. I will see what I can do, and you can also talk to my sound company.”
AGENT: “Great! We will see what I can do on our end as well.”
FAIR MANAGER: ”Okay.”
AGENT: (calls back six weeks prior to show) “Found backline at local music store in your town.”
FAIR MANAGER: “I left you a message a few weeks ago. I used my cell phone, but I’m sure it went through. Although you sent a contract and we agreed on the deal, you didn’t call back. And even though I sent a fax the last time I had a question, I didn’t bother to do that this time. But since you didn’t call back, I booked another band.”
AGENT: “The band did what they agreed: They found backline, they bought airfares, and they have arranged to come up. They will even pay for the backline. You made a deal, and they are honoring it.”
FAIR MANAGER: “Sorry, too bad.”
Result: The band lost a contract late in the game and they could not fill the dates. In this case, the fair was at fault if they did not communicate clearly that they were looking for an alternate band and were going to break the contract. The agent also might not have communicated clearly what his intentions were. The end result is bitter feelings, a lost contract, and no one is happy.
Lesson: COMMUNICATE CLEARLY.
No matter what you THINK the other party is doing, always COMMUNICATE CLEARLY.
Please do not let this happen. Being TOUGH can hurt people. In this case, the band lost an unrecoverable date in a route.