99% of the time, working artists & entertainers rarely hear any complaints when they are out at a gig. They would be mortified if they heard some of the comments made the next day to their agents that have been passed on from venue managers. Here’s 10 things for artists to consider – These are some simple ‘rules of engagement’ if you want a re-booking!

  1. Set off early. – It sounds a bit of a simple trick, but even if your gig is just down the road, the traffic / the weather / an accident / a breakdown / an incorrect postcode, can very easily make you very late. Lateness is the single biggest complaint that we receive as agents.
  2. Turn it down. – If the manager asks you to lower the volume, just do it! It’s so easy. It’s not going to ruin your performance (au contraire if you’re deafening folk) and if the person who asked you can audibly notice the difference – you’ve scored real brownie-points. Volume is complaint no. 2 on the list.
  3. Bad attitude. – It’s so easy for an artist to assume an air of ‘superstardom’ or ‘diva-ism’. After all, they are just emulating (some of) the real superstars that are complete a-holes! Sad thing is, if the real Lady Gaga tells someone to swivel, she’s probably not going to lose her next gig because of it. Be nice. Bad attitude is no. 3 on the list of “I’ll never book them again…”
  4. Change for the stage. – OK… so not every gig is suited to an outfit change! I don’t see many blues bands putting on any glitter jackets, but it’s definitely better to stand out from the audience by wearing something attractive and befitting of the gig you’re playing. ‘They were scruffy…’ is a common complaint.
  5. Don’t swear. – Unless you’ve been booked as a blue comic, it’s surprising how many older people are still offended by swearing. It’s better to flick the ‘swearing / off’ switch before you go on stage (and most likely better still if you can flick that switch when you arrive!) Many good performers have lost good work at good venues because of foul language.
  6. Political Correctness. – I’m fairly certain that we all absolutely hate it. I know I do. However, very many venues these days (especially the hotel/casino chains and cruise-ships) are constantly asking their audiences for feedback. The golden rule here is to think what you say before you say it. Almost anything can be offensive to someone. Be professional and accept that’s the way it is these days.
  7. Work to Rule. – OK, so it states on your contract 2 x 45 minute sets. This does not mean that you are absolutely forbidden to do two or three encores. Most venues rely on the entertainment to keep punters in… Doing a disappearing act as soon as possible probably will not help in getting you re-booked.
  8. Equipment overkill. – So if you’re working in a pub, do you really need to cart in a huge PA rig? I’ve seen a blues band set-up an 8,000W rig with subs, mids and tops plus four stage-monitors and a huge mixing desk (for a four piece band)…. There really was only room for thirty punters. It’s not big or clever: It’s TOO big and definitely not clever (and – see #2 above!)
  9. Don’t cadge. – ‘Do we not get a free pint / a free meal / a free room?’ etc. If you think that you absolutely need any of these things, then I suggest that you arrange it well in advance of the gig with your manager / agent or directly with the venue manager if working direct.
  10. Social Media. – Most contracts these days actually forbid you to post anything negative on social media about the venue/agent/manager. But if someone has just paid you a few hundred quid, telling everyone on Facebook how brilliant you were at this ‘s—thole’ will definitely not be getting you a) another gig at that venue and b) you may find that many agents / other venues will stop using you!