I was having lunch with members of a successful regional touring band. The conversation turned to road stories and the best and worst venues. The difference is hardly ever the stage, sound system, or crowds, but the venue’s management.
The bands manager received a call saying this band was extremely unprofessional and just about everything else to trash them. Fortunately, the band and their management have a great relationship with excellent communication. Also, the manager is savvy and had this guys number. He’s constantly talking with other venues as well, and it doesn’t take long for news to get around.
I’m proud to say that the bands manager stuck up for his band based on his experience with them. Then he said the best thing he could and it totally took the wind out of the guy’s sails:
He said, We will miss you.
Everything the bar manager said was to get a concession from the band with future bookings as his bargaining chip. The band’s manager took the power back. He was nice about it, but he wasn’t going to let this guy get away with trashing his band.
Until that guy is gone they won’t book there again. When you think about it, that will likely be very soon. Bars change managers more often than roadies change their underwear. OK, that’s not fair to roadies, but you know what I’m getting at. The best part of the story was that they booked into that bar’s competition soon after and sold the place out.
It’s a symbiotic relationship and you have to keep that in mind when someone tries to puff up and make you think they have all the power. Yes, you need them, but they need you too. Don’t take this as license to be a jerk. But don’t be a doormat either.