How to ensure your band gets paid for gigs

You traveled five hours to get to the gig. The host has done a fine job putting the gig together - you can tell just by the number of people who has come through the door. With the R100 cover, it looks like everyone will be able to eat tonight. But then it happens: the host doesn't want to pay.

How to ensure your band gets paid for gigs

Every band has been there. The Kiffness recently wrote to OppiKoppi about this and if you haven't yet, you will be eventually if you do not insist that your clients book your band through Fitchfork or at least pay you well in advance. Because no matter how hard everyone works, there are still chancers out there who will try to take advantage of you.

This is, by no means, to say that all party planners or venues are made up of shady characters. But there are instances when a party planner or event organiser will tell you that, for whatever reason, they're not going to be paying you your cut that evening. I believe that Fitchfork solves this problem with it's booking and payment system!

1. Update your booking/agent contact

When a client requests a new booking or quotation from you, more often than sometimes they would love to be kept updated on the status of their request. I've personally tried to contact a number of musicians at the details they have listed on their websites or Facebook pages. Some are very responsive, however in most cases I found that the phone number is out of service or my email never gets attended to. By updating all your booking/agent contact details to your Fitchfork profile link, be it on Facebook, Instagram, or your band website - you instantly create a single point of interaction for your band that is always online and will keep your client in the loop regarding the status of their request even when you haven't looked at your notifications yet.

2. Insist on Fitchfork

So you've updated your booking/agent contact details, but you still get phone calls and direct messages on Facebook from people wanting to book your band. You have the talk with them around their event requirements and you discuss how much you will charge for it. They are all happy over the phone and agree to pay you what you want as long as you come perform for them. You get excited because you have just scored a gig and you start your logistics process.

Yes there are many permutations of that scenario that exists, but what you will not have is any form of guarantee that the client will pay you your fee before or after the gig. Referring your client to your Fitchfork profile will not just provide you with a world class booking and payment system, but it will protect you from people who want to exploit your band. Once a booking request has been agreed on between the client and your band, Fitchfork requires payment from the client in full in order for the booking to be confirmed. All payments are processed securely online and reflect immediately after the payment has been processed successfully.

To protect the client Fitchfork holds on to the money until confirmation of performance has been received. Once confirmed the booking fee will take up to forty-eight hours to reflect in the bands banking account. For your safety and protection, only communicate and pay directly through Fitchfork.

3. Respond to new bookings quickly

Bookings on Fitchfork must be completed within a seventy-two hour window. If you do not respond to a new request within that window Fitchfork will automatically cancel the request and send the client alternative suggestions. When this happens your rating on Fitchfork gets diminished.

So that's three days to lock in your next gig. The more responsive you are the higher your rating on Fitchfork will become. Personally I think that it keeps things moving fast and enables bands to lock their calendars for the month or the year removing any uncertainty around double bookings and tentative clients.

From a client's perspective it makes them feel important to you. I've seen bookings on Fitchfork getting paid within hours of them being requested. A quick response somewhat prevents your prospective client from shopping around for alternative bands.

4. Submit your review

All the reviews on Fitchfork are written by hosts and bands from our community, so any review you see is based on a performance that a band did at a host's event. Bands and hosts have fourteen days after the gig to submit their reviews.

You might wonder why bands have to write reviews about party hosts if they are not the ones being booked. Fitchfork is a community built on trust and fairness. And that counts for both hosts and bands. As much as hosts would like to know whether a band is professional and good to work with, bands too would like to know about the person or the venue that will be hosting them. Your review enables other bands to understand the venue and the client should the same client request a booking from you.

Fitchfork is at the forefront of creating a trusted community marketplace for musicians and event hosts. With all the tools built-in and available at your fingertips - for FREE any day of the year, try it you might like it more than you you'd like to think.

Jordan Longlace
"I write what I like." - Steve Biko

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