We have all been put in a situation when we aren’t sure if we should take the gig just because it is offered to us. They say that every chance in an opportunity.. however, when is it ok to turn down a gig? We will fill you in a couple of situations when it is perfectly ok to say, “No, thanks!”
So, you get asked to play a show, but one of your band members can’t make it. This is perfect reason to say, “We can’t do it.” Can you play the show without certain band members? Absolutely. There are ways around everything. You can do more of an “acoustic feel”, but why? When you step out on stage you want your fans and new fans to get the full picture of what your music actually sounds like. If you’re missing a band member that night due to other obligations, it is ok to turn down the gig. Just be polite about it incase they want to offer you something else.
If someone comes up to you on Wednesday and asks you to play that Friday, even if you’re all free, it’s ok to say no. Odds are they just need a band to fill the last slot on the bill. More than likely, your fans already made plans for the night and your draw will make you look like you’ve never played a show before. You will have no real time to promote the show. Unless it’s a last minute gig to open for someone famous, it’s ok to say, “No thanks, but keep us in mind for the future.”
If you’re a local band a big problem with booking shows is how to space them out correctly to keep a large crowd coming out to see you. If someone offers you a gig the week of or the week before another show you’ve been planning and promoting, it is ok to say no to this. You don’t want to spread your crowd out too thin, that it hurts your attendance on either show.
If you are not being paid, and it’s not a benefit show, it’s ok to say no. Odds are, you play enough shows for free. To be asked to play a show, your time is worth something. It’s alright to pass the non paying gig up for one that will generate money for you and your band.
Now go out there and make some good decisions!