Following some confusion, I thought it might be useful to pass on some new thoughts on events and expenses so that new folks understand how things have been done in the past. Should people feel that these ought to be changed, sure, why not? However, we should discuss any changes and alterations as a collective.
* Forest has, as long as I've been involved, been able to cover some expenses. Here's the rules / precedents:
- If we invite you, we cover your costs. This allows us to get great performers from all over the place. Also, it is pretty shit to beg a band to play for free and then not pay the taxi.
- If we are asked to cover expenses we can easily commit 50 quid if WE WANT TO SEE THEM PLAY. This is the call of the Events Team and Collective Members wishing to weigh in.
- We can also add to that 50 quid (or earn part of it) by splitting corkage. This is very easy. You put the corkage in a separate pot. At the end of the night 50% goes to the band. 50% goes in the till. IF we promised 50 quid and we only earned 30 from corkage than 20 will come from the till. Get receipts (petrol, train, or any kind of scrawled note saying 'I got 20 quid from Forest' (this is the least good.) If you are uncertain about paying it -- you can tell them to email firstname.lastname@example.org
with an invoice and Martin will pay it in due course.
- This is not a KM / NM decision though their input is invaluable. Normally, it is an events decision. If events people can't make the gig they must remind performers it is their responsibility to ensure that corkage is counted separately on the evening and to expect to invoice for any difference if there was a guarantee minimum amount.
<NB: In the past, only a handful of performers would want corkage or fees covered. Those were performers coming from some distance. Like I said: we have two options: 1) guarantee a minimum fee and pay that out of corkage. 2) simply split corkage. Both work because it means the bands actually care about people paying their corkage. Win.>
* WE SHOULD NEVER ALLOW ANYONE TO PASS A HAT OR ASK FOR DONATIONS. IF THEY NEED THE MONEY TO PLAY WE WILL GIVE IT TO THEM IF ARRANGED IN ADVANCE.
* We are an arts and education space and our self-proclaimed role (in Edinburgh) is to support artists. Now, most places in the world support artists by giving them space and a chance to earn some cash. Some charge for a hire, some don't. All allow you to charge on the door or pass a hat. We don't. Which could lead a lot of people to wonder, rightly, how are we supporting artists rather than exploiting them in order to sell coffee. Hell, we barely even bother to properly promote most gigs. There are a lot of reasons for that: We're all volunteers, we don't sell booze and so staying open at night is not really cost-effective, we let ANYONE play sound unheard, we provide resources for up and coming artists. However, if we want anyone good or serious to play we do need to help make their lives easier. That means helping with taxis so stand up bass can come and it means working with artists to ensure they are not losing money by playing with us. Covering travel expenses and explaining and ensuring the whole corkage thing is very important. As is making sure the band gets food and coffee and any booze if we happen to have any. We support them by giving them a free place to play, to an audience who didn't have to pay, to an audience who may be surprised at the appearance of an amazing band so much so that they'll dance, buy a cd or a badge. The atmosphere and tone we create is essential. We operate out of generosity and compassion and understanding and respect. In as much as possible, as much as reasonable, we ought to strive to say yes. We have a lot of rules so it is understandable that some performers will be confused or upset.
It is worth noting that many venues are quite adversarial. No discounts on drinks, no food, no help, no welcome, no poster up. Therefore, it is not very hard to be excellent within our own restrictions. Say yes as much as possible or figure out how to. Make sure the performer is welcomed. If you think they are awesome, tell people they are awesome. Split the corkage when you can or if they ask. Be nice even if they are confused or peevish.
ONE MORE THING WE COULD OFFER!
* In the future it would be great to get Alistair to record live gigs. Such a recording would be a real gift to some performers and would be seen as supportive of artists
That's my thoughts from the dusty bin of history. x