BUYER BEWARE: Too Good to Be True? Be Careful Signing Contracts for Large Amounts of Money
It has come to the attention of COMBO that a club in Denver is signing contracts with bands for large amounts of money that the club does not pay at the end of the evening. While there are legal remedies to get your money, they involve a lot of time and inconvenience (not so much money which generally the court will award to you if you prevail – and you will if you have a written contract).
Be sure and do a “background check” before assuming that you will get paid. If the club is not packed, especially on the weekends (which means they could be having financial troubles), if your band is one of 3-4 for the night, if rumors have it that the club is not paying, you might want to stay away. Ask bands that were booked previously to see if they got paid and how long it took them to get their money if they did.
It is sad that we have to warn that clubs are not honoring their contracts but a lot of booking agents and owners feel that a band won’t follow through to get the money that is owed them so the “buyer” does not pay up.
If you have trouble collecting your money, call COMBO. We have an ombudsman that will work as a mediator to get the problem resolved. We are not a “legal entity” but, sometimes, a third party can help you out or be able to speak for you if you feel you cannot find the right words.
Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with a contact name, phone number or e-mail, and the just of the problem. You do not have to name the club in the e-mail but will be asked to say who by the Ombudsman so you do not have to fear retribution. Our Ombudsman has worked wonders in several cases including that of a concert pianist who was hired to play for a large event. She had a contract but was not paid after the show. Our ombudsman called the buyer and simply asked when the pianist was going to receive her check. It was promised immediately – “must have fallen through the cracks” – even though the piano player had contacted the buyer and event promoter several times afterwards. A check did show up less than a week later!