In this episode, Jared Judge shares a hair-raising gig mishap that will make you double-check your contracts and gig details. Hear how Jared, while busking on a street corner, received a shocking call from a musician at a wedding venue, only to discover that the wedding was scheduled for the wrong day due to a contract error. Learn how Jared handled this crisis with professionalism and empathy, successfully rescheduling the gig, and compensating the musicians involved. Discover valuable lessons about contract verification, communication, and maintaining professionalism under pressure. Join the journey of a gigging musician, complete with unexpected twists and turns!
What's up gigging pros! It's Jared Judge. Welcome to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. All right, so this was a crazy busy weekend of gigs. I personally played my second ever wedding on Friday in Colorado. I just did a second ever wedding in Colorado on Friday. And that was at the Denver Botanic Gardens. And then we had four, or I thought we had four weddings in Wisconsin on Saturday. And I'll tell you why. It's I thought we had as opposed to we actually had. Alright, so three out of those four weddings were awesome. Two of them were extreme strings, weddings, and two of them were dream city weddings. So yeah, and the experience trips was awesome. One of the dream city gigs went off without a hitch. And let's get to the second one, let's just cut to the chase here. So here's the deal. I on Saturday, I went to a spot in Denver, to go busking. I don't know about you guys, but I still go busking from time to time. It's pretty fun. I just love to get out there and learn new material, connect with some people. And it's actually a pretty decent way of connecting with potential private event clients. So I get to my spot, set up my music stand set up my violin, and it's case. And then I play one song. And then I play a second song. And before we get to the gig story, which I will get to I promise. While I was playing the second song, a guy on a motorcycle stopped in the middle of the street, put his kickstand down while he was in the middle of the street, and walked over to my spot and pulls out $100 Bill and gives me $100 bill on my case, which was awesome. I chatted with him a little bit. He said, Yeah, my grandmother who recently passed played violin, and had just thought this is a great way to memorialize that. Then he requested me play some Irish fiddle music, which I happily obliged, and put that$100 bill in my pocket, so didn't blow away in the wind. So that was pretty cool. When we feel awesome, like, wow, people do appreciate live music. But then as I go to play the third song in my set, I get a phone call from one of the musicians for that Dream City Strings gig that I mentioned earlier. So this call the person on the other says, Hey, Jared, we're at the church for the wedding supposed to happen. And there's a Kitson Yetter. And there's not supposed to be one, right? This is supposed to be a wedding, right? Like, yes, this is supposed to be a wedding. She's like, well, there's no wedding here. I'm like, Oh, crap. What happened? So I do some digging. And I check everything in BookLive, we use BookLive, actually, I created a BookLive the app to kind of prevent situations like this from happening. So I was like, What the heck. So I checked it BookLive. The gig was supposed to be that Saturday, I checked everything. And then I googled the couple. And you could find a lot of times, the couple's wedding website, they found their wedding website. And the date was the following week. So at this point, I'm panicking, like what the heck happened? Turns out, they signed the contract for the wrong day. And despite us, checking all the details multiple times, nobody caught that the contract was signed for the week before. And the winning was actually the following week. So I called the couple I've emailed them a couple times, and subject line was like emergency and finally found his phone number called the groom. mentioned what happened? He's like, Oh, no, I think my wife signed in, set the date of the contract for the wrong date. And I was like, oh, okay, that explains it. And so we we chatted for a while I was like, Well, my musicians And so we talked about he's like, my main concern is just at the church, we got to figure this out. having a beautiful string quartet for my wedding, you know, next week, and has like, I can make sure that happens. But I do have to make sure my musicians get paid because they did everything they were supposed to. And, you know, they they deserve to get paid for that. And then I will have to schedule a couple of different musicians for the following week. Because not all the ones that I've scheduled are available. He's like, okay, let's come to some sort of agreement. And I'm not here trying to like profit off of some guys, you know, some somebody's mistake. And so I wanted to giving them at a slightly discounted rate off of basically reams rebooking, like double booking for a second gig. And so I gave him a discounted rate, he actually proposed the number which actually was the, the number, I was thinking in my mind. And we agreed to it. And I wrote a second contract for the correct date. And he, they signed it, and we're all good. So I let the musicians who were waiting at this church so patiently, no, hey, here's what's happened, it's on the contract for the wrong date, you guys are free to go home, Thanks for driving, you're gonna get paid same amount as he would for a normal gig without having to play any notes. Which, you know, I don't know if they're happy about because if they're anything like me, you know, I'd I'd rather play music to earn the money, but also making a quick buck off of driving your churches not a bad deal. So they were happy, went off on their way. And then I actually used BookLive to set up the second gig, read the contract. And then I used it to staff the positions in the Quartet, that would not the original members could not make, which is awesome, I used the substitute request feature, which if you're not using BookLive, this feature alone would be worth it. Basically, what happens is, you say, hey, I need x number of musicians. I need a guitarist, a drummer basis keyboard player vocalist, or in my case, I did two violins, a viola and a cello. And then there's a button, you can click inside of one of those spots called Request substitute. And what that does is it blasts out email and texts, to all of the people on your roster who play that instrument, which if you don't have a roster of substitutes, you gotta get one ASAP, just in case something like this happens. And we're one of your members gets sick, or car accident on the way. And so I click that button, and then it blasted out dozens of requests to musicians, with the date time venue, and it's the correct D this time, and pay. And it says the first musician to click the Yes, button gets, gets the gig. And then I did that for the second violin spot. And that was filled within like a minute, which is awesome. And that did that for the viola spot, which filled maybe in about 10 or 20 minutes after, which is still a lot faster than doing it the old fashioned way, calling people on the phone or texting, which I did call a couple new violas just to see, you know, if we can't get this filled, I'm going to need to reach outside my network. But luckily, someone in our network actually responded within 20 minutes. And that gig was completely staffed. Within an hour or two of us finding out it was the wrong day. So Crisis averted. It was a very expensive mistake for that couple. And I do feel for them, especially you know, I've been married, I know how stressful the week leading up to the wedding is. And you do get a lot of contracts from people. And it is really hard to read every word. I do make sure our contracts are pretty short. Like they're not the gigantic 50 Page terms and conditions that you see on some some vendors like ours is maybe one and a half, two pages, all written in plain English with the date and the venue right at the very top. Plus, every I do have follow up consultations with them as the wedding gets closer. And during those consultations we do go over the details. And they also are given a music portal inside of BookLive to help choose their setlist confirmed logistics. And during our meetings, we had the music portal open with the date and the venue written right at the top. So there were plenty of opportunities to check. And I also accepted partial responsibility just because I could have hammered home like is your date today. Our is your date this date. And like that is a standard part of my process. But I really could have overdone it. I didn't think I needed to but as a result, I did accept partial responsibility and offered them that slight discount for it. But all is well all is done. The gig is officially rescheduled and we are happy as clams. So by the way, I that was when I got that phone call was to ruin the third song of my busking. So I did not busk anymore. So essentially got paid 100 bucks for two songs 50 bucks a song, which is not bad. And I packed up and went home right after that to take care of the staffing for this new gig that We didn't realize we had was in a week. So Crisis averted. It was a scary one. I don't know about you guys. But like, when you get those kinds of calls or texts, the heart starts racing, the cold sweats start. And I don't know, I just kind of like clam up a little bit. And the groom actually said, I can hear you're stressed on the, in your voice on the phone, say, Yeah, this is stressful. This doesn't happen too often. And he's like, I get it. And we're stressed out, too. So anyway, moral of the story is, you know, you, you really do have to triple check everything. This is the, I don't know if you guys have ever heard of Atlas, the story. I think it's a Greek god or something. But he basically holds the weight of the world on his shoulders. And there's a book called Atlas Shrugged, which I started reading I have not finished is really long, and kind of gets intense. But basically, the idea is like we as band leaders hold the weight of all these gigs on our shoulders. We're responsible for everything going smoothly, up until the point that musicians set on stage. And then once they're on stage, they're still using the framework that we've laid out with the setlist planning to execute their jobs. And the nice thing about this gig was one of the musicians from the the gig that got postponed, did send me a nice text saying that she appreciated everything I do. But I will say that those texts are rare. And not that I do this for those texts, but like, that is motivational and inspiring. When when somebody shows the true appreciation. Like it's so nice gesture, so I really appreciated that too. So if you are not a bandleader show you bandleader, some appreciation, they will feel it, they rarely get it, yet they do their jobs admirably. Anyway. And if you are a bandleader know that even if you don't get those appreciation text, you still are appreciated by your bandmates. And you're appreciated by the people that you play for. And you're appreciated by me. I know how much work you put in to make this happen. And especially if you're not building a profit margin into these gigs, you're doing a lot of this work uncompensated, which, you know, I don't believe you should do that. But I get it, you're putting in more time and effort and other members of your band or or group and you're not getting paid for it. So you should get paid for it. Go ahead and build a profit margin into your gigs and pay yourself a little extra for that extra work you do. And tell people that you're doing that work. So they're like, why are you getting paid more than me? Well, it's because I'm doing hours more work than you. How's that sound? Okay, all right. That's my rant for the day. It was a tough weekend. But we got through it, the other gigs went fantastic. My second winning in Colorado went fantastic. And I love it. You know, it's these challenges that make the job interesting. Not that playing music isn't interesting. But like I also, I don't know, I'm a guy who loves challenges and puzzles in this felt like one of those. So that's the attitude that I'm going in with it. And maybe I'm just telling myself that to make me feel better about it. Who knows, but you guys are here along for the ride. I appreciate you for listening to this. Hopefully, an ounce of prevention will prevent a pound of cure, whatever the setting is. And hopefully this was helpful for you guys. So thanks for tuning in to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast, by the way, get your free copy of The Gig Vault so that you could get these gigs. And it comes with a free trial of BookLive and Fulltime Music Academy so that you have software to manage these gigs at scale, including that fun request substitute button that I just talked about. So get your free copy of that at OpenTheGigVault.com And remember, "Your music will not market itself!" Bye everybody.