Chris Page wrote:
(tap, tap, tap -- is this thing on?)
A bookings etiquette question:
For a special contra event (weekend, daylong event), is it better to
ask performer's availabilities in serial or in parallel?
In other words, should one focus on one bookee at a time, only moving
on after a non answer, or a reasonable amount of time?
Or is it better to ask multiple talents at once, and then select from
those that responded?
Great questions Chris, and interesting replies all. And great to see a flurry of activity
on the SW Organizers list.
(a) As a dance organizer, I can only speak to booking for a monthly dance series. We do
it both ways. First in parallel - inviting everyone who's on our list of priority
performers for the given booking cycle, asking for dates they're available, and
telling them we need a reply by X date and that we'll get back to them to let them
know which date will work. Then when many of the spots are full, we go one at a time,
until we're booked.
(b) As a performer, I can speak to special events. I agree it's really nice to know
that people are contacting other bands/callers. It affects how I negotiate and how much I
invest in the exchange. In a weird circumstance this year no fewer than five different
musicians asked me if I could call w them for the same exact wedding (I couldn't,
already busy), and the irony was that I had also had a conversation w the bride-to-be
which led me to believe she was ready to hire me if only I'd been available. Yikes!
(The dating analogy is a great one, even though in some ways it is indeed 'nothing
personal, and just a way of doing business.' I wonder if caterers or tent companies
take much offense re. being contacted as part of a slew of possible caterers/tent
When I have gotten a call about a gig at the very last minute, I have left messages for a
few different musicians at once, hoping someone will get back to me in the final hour. In
those cases, I do tell them that I'm calling other people.
Mostly I work in series though.