Bad Gig Blog

May 22, 2019, 2:14 AM · Have you ever had a crummy gig?

I've played a ton of gigs in my life as a violinist, violist and quartet manager. I thought I'd seen pretty much everything, and yet, I find myself in the middle of the worst gig of my life.

To be fair, the concert itself in theory would be fun and fine. It's in a wonderful concert hall in one of the biggest cities in the world. It should be sold out. It's a kids' concert with cartoons to be projected behind the musicians.

The problem is the utter lack of organization. When I agreed to do the job, there was the concert date and a rehearsal date. Red flag number one was that there was no follow up to give the players information on the other rehearsal dates and times. Red flag number two was the one rehearsal date got changed. Red flag number three was the musician (kind of not) in charge was late to the rehearsal. Red flag number four was, after all the musicians agreed to an additional rehearsal time with only one possible date that all could attend, unfortunately the night before the concert, the musician (kind of not) in charge is asking to change this date. Red flag number five is that the repertoire is only about half decided.

It's so bad it would be laughable, except that this is really happening, or really not happening, and I honestly don't know what the next step is.

I've thought seriously of cancelling. That's the easy thing for me to do. Then I thought, what kind of idiot accepts the responsibility of organizing a concert without dates, times and rehearsal spaces in mind before asking musicians to play? I should help him.

So I tried. It appeared that everyone could move things to do a rehearsal on Sunday. Except that the musician (kind of not) in charge only wants to do it later, when everyone else can't.

Now I'm back to thinking of bailing. This is about the most unprofessional situation I've ever found myself in. Advice? Stories of your own? The concert is still about ten days out so if I bag it I think they could get someone else. Just, I've never quit a gig before, but this is going below my personal minimum standards. Perhaps karma will take care of it and let it self-destruct all by itself.


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