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Cancellations and Rescheduling

So the show got cancelled. Whether it was your fault, the venues fault, the manager’s fault or the weathers fault, it really doesn’t matter. It is strange to me that when something goes wrong, people seem to be much more about figuring out who did something wrong and assigning blame over the much more obvious and much more effective problem solving and doing what you can to make the best out of the situation.

Gigs are going to get cancelled or rescheduled. Times are going to occur when you are going to be double booked. You can take the right steps to organize and track things the best you can, but problems occur and sometimes they just can’t be helped. I have heard bands scream and moan about this booking agent or that manager messing up. Then I have seen the online postings where bands blast venues and then the venues go back blasting bands. This really doesn’t solve a single thing and it keeps you further as well as takes up time you could use to reschedule, take steps to make sure it does not happen again and reach out to your fans and people that were going to come to the show.

Reach out and touch someone

First off and most importantly, it is about the fans and not your bruised egos and blame assigning. Get the word out once you know there is a problem that cant be solved so you can be in communication with every fan that you can reach and hopefully before they come out to the show.

Some bands have text mailers, others have just emailing lists, others have network sites and many have all of the above. Use these the moment you know a show has been cancelled. Get the word out on your website, on your networking sites. Get the information out to your street teams if you have them. The show may be cancelled but don’t see it as being off the hook. Make that time useful in reaching out to the fan base that is coming out to see you. Ask the venue to post the cancellation on their website and visit any sites that are pertinent music and entertainment sites in that area to get the word out that you are not playing there.

Be Nice

Be respectful and be diplomatic when you do it too. Explain the show has been cancelled and will be rescheduled to that venue or to another location. Do not blast the venue, manager, booking agent or who ever is to blame. Be the bigger person. Just explain what has happened with out attacking or coming off rude. It doesn’t even matter if you are completely right and the other party is in the complete wrong, be the more respectful person.

Try to spin the cancellation in a strong marketing way. If people bought tickets, tell them to bring the tickets to the next show and maybe see if you can get a discount for them at the door or some piece of inexpensive merchandise. Maybe create a raffle drawing for people to bring their tickets to enter in to a raffle to win some of your more expensive items. This will show you care about your audience and may draw people to come out to see you again.

Avoid the blame game

Remember, cancellations do not just mean you can blame and end the night on a bad note. Make a cancellation work for you in the best and most effective way possible. Reach out to every person you can through every media source. Get on the internet, on the phone and in the streets to get that information out to people. Even the small thing like a big magic marker that you buy and hit some of the posters in the area of the venue stating that the show was cancelled and more information is available on your website is a simple and smart idea.

Take the steps to ensure the mistakes do not happen again but put your focus on your audience and you will see them return next time and the time after that. Think effectively, execute expediently and communicate clearly to keep everyone in the know and displaying that you really care about the people coming out to see you. It will set you a notch above most that just pack up and go right home.

© 2009 Loren Weisman

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