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When you’re doing everything yourself, with no roadies, techs or PAs to bark orders at, rock ’n’ roll is mostly admin. Remember Spinal Tap? “There’s no sex and drugs for Ian…” Well, every function band needs an ‘Ian’, locating mandolin strings in the middle of Austin.
Once you’ve set up and marketed your web site, your inbox will hopefully begin bulging with enquiries. You need to sell your service with every email, so set up email response templates, an FAQ to attach, and a clear breakdown of pricing detailing what the client is paying for.
You need to draw up a contract between yourself and each client stating what you’ll be providing in terms of line-up, equipment (sound, lights and PA?) and music – give a clear indication of your repertoire. Mention your Public Liability provisions. Satisfy yourself that the contract is legally watertight, and ensure that you have a contingency clause in place for enforced cancellations.
Take a non-refundable deposit of around 20-25 percent of the booking. If you’re including a DJ service, decide if it’s going to cost extra, and include this info. Similarly, if your repertoire allows, be up front about the fact that you’ll charge more to play longer to avoid having to negotiate on the night.
And on the night, in time-honoured fashion, don’t even so much as remove a guitar from its case without getting paid – in full – first.