It was one of those things you always hear about, but seldom run into if you’re lucky. And if you’re luckier still, it turns out well.
Last Sunday I had a gig at a local farmers market. We’d set up the date at least a month ago and it was my first gig of the 2015 market season so I was pretty excited about it, although just a little nervous because I haven’t had much time for practice lately and I wanted to do well. As it turned out, I didn’t need to worry.
When I arrived to set up, another band was already doing sound check. When I inquired with the market manager, they were extremely apologetic and said that the other band sort of pushed their way into the spot. That was the bad news. The good news was that everyone in the conversation was willing to adapt and so we’ll just book a different date in the future.
What really makes this story special is that they paid me anyway. I have played this market before and when you’re there all day, they take up a collection of merchandise from the vendors to go along with the stipend. The value of the merchandise if often more than the cash.
Why write about this? Because it’s a great object lesson in professionalism. I could have gotten mad and demanded that they let me play, or they could have gotten mad at the other band and made them leave. But none of that happened. Everyone in a position to make a decision went for the path that was best for the patrons at the market. No egos, no panicking, just adapt and move on. It’s sad to say, but you don’t often find that in all-volunteer projects.
Sometimes you need to stand your ground, but sometimes it’s better to bend in the breeze. And always confirm concert dates with the booker beforehand 🙂