a question for people that book shows

Started by Jay, June 30, 2015, 03:19:46 PM

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Hey y'all,
So I've been booking shows for a while and have had a certain DIY house show sort of place going for two years now. We have had a lot of great bands come through on tour and we have always tried to help them out and get them food and a place to stay. I have always booked bands based pretty much on the same criteria, that they aren't hateful a**holes, and that they are actually a good band. I don't have to necessarily like them, but I think since I have been alive long enough and playing music long enough to know mostly when someone is or isn't good.

Anyway, I've got this kid who has asked for shows in the past. He is a solo act, his guitar playing is sloppy, I would say he is actually tone deaf and the only thing that could make up for that is writing great songs. Which he doesn't. I've never promised him a show, though I have never told him straight up he sucks and I won't book him. But he seems to think that since he lives nearby, writes his own songs, because he has had a hard life, and because he has always wanted to play at this place that I should book him.

So I guess the question is, do you, when booking shows, just keep to the idea that you want to book people you can stand by and respect as musicians and artists, and exclude the kids who just aren't good enough yet? (not forever, just until they improve) Or do you book someone because they REALLY want to play, because they think they are good enough and have earned it, and maybe slightly out of pity.

Also, since a few days ago when I turned him down for a date next month, he started talking lots of crap about me and the venue. Called me out from stage at an open mic saying he earned this and that it is unfair that I book other people and not him. Plus something twice as long as this whole thing on Facebook about how I suck.

Just looking for some input, maybe some of you have dealt with something similar.


I mean, you have an out now never to book him just because he's being an asshole to you. ANd you can say it's for that and not because you don't like his work.

As far as how to handle a similar situation with someone else in the future, i'll pass on that because i don't know shit about booking shows.
Anti-Creative Records sells some things.


Jer is right, and you also don't owe the kid anything.

I've always booked based around personal taste as well as trying to just book decent folks. There's plenty of locals in this town who have played for a long time that I have never booked at my house because their sound doesn't fit the bill and/or they are kind of jerky and working with them would be painful. I do occasionally offer an olive branch when I like a touring band that matches the sound of a local who might not be my favorite. Often it works out great! But plenty of times that opportunity never comes up, and I never feel bad for leaving some folks out just because sonically I'm not booking sounds they fit with. And I absolutely never ever feel bad for not booking assholes who demand to be booked.

If your town is pretty small, it might take a bit for someone's complaints to blow over. But honestly, you don't really need to dignify that sort of behavior with a response, and you can just never ever book him. Or you could also be upfront and tell him to get his musical shit together. Or book him with some kind of outsider folk artist.
Quote from: Winged Killick
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i agree with both rory and jer's sentiments. you owe nothing, book whomever you want and by your own guidelines. this person just seemed to prove you right in not booking them. id suggest taking the high road, not playing into the attention getting drama they seem to want, and keep doing your thing. all will be well.