Archive for February 25th, 2009

How To Avoid Sending Mixed Messages To Your Music Provider

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Last night, my band and I played a Mardi Gras party/fund raiser for a local civic group. The event went pretty well, but suffered from “mixed messages.”

One lady hired me, another phoned me – just prior to the event – to go over details, and a third gave me marching orders at the job (which conflicted with what the previous two ladies had said.) Also, the stage area had been subdivided with pillars and ferns, and the decorator had used up every power source within 12 feet of the band stand for stage lighting. (Don’t get me wrong – lighting is great. But you can’t dance to it. Bands today require electricity, as even a quick glance at our contract would have told my employers.)

My point is simply that this party – like a lot of similar events – had an abundance of chiefs, none of whom (apparently) had sole responsibility for the band. And so, each of our bosses probably assumed that one of the others had taken care of making sure that the stage decor didn’t conflict with their contractual responsibilities – whereas, in fact, nobody had done so. Nor did any of the chiefs seem to understand that they were giving contradictory instructions.

We all got through it, and I doubt if most of the guests were any the wiser. Plus, organizations like the one who hired us depend on volunteer help, not professional (ie. “paid”) party planners. So there are bound to be some areas of overlap and others of gaps.

But – for your next event – you can make your life (and mine) ever so much easier. Put one person in charge of interfacing with your music provider, of being sure that you are in compliance with whatever agreements you have signed, and of disseminating all the who, what, where, and when that applies to music. Your band or deejay will thank you, and your committee won’t get stressed out by having other co-chairs over-ruling their carefully worked-out plans.