“There was nothing left for the bands”

Nothing left for the bands

I play in a function band called The Cover Collective. We were asked to headline an event to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee back in June this year. There was a whole day of various events with 5 bands playing in the evening. We were told originally that we would get a fee of £600 (about a third of our normal fee, but it was a very unique occasion so we agreed to the reduction).

About 2 weeks before the event we were then told all the bands were expected to play for free. We asked if the PA hire company, the staging company, the lighting company, the security people, the firework company, the caterers, etc, were working for free and were told; “Of course not. But they aren’t doing it for the exposure like you are”. When we explained that we were ‘working’ just like all the others the organisers struggled to understand this and we were told they had run out of budget and there was nothing left for the bands. Luckily, one of the organising committee was a local businessman who totally understood the position and so we got paid in the end, but out of the businessman’s own pocket!

Andy Dovey