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Avoid the wrong entertainer arriving for your event.

I noticed that another entertainment agency was sharing tips on what to do if the wrong entertainer, or the entertainer you have booked doesn’t arrive at your event. Well, this must be absolutely horrifying for you, the organiser and also for your guests who are expecting a particular type of entertainment.

This is particularly horrifying if the event is sold on a specific entertainer: for example a DJ, comedian, speaker or artist, being present at an event, only for the agency to send someone else in their place at the last minute. Understandably your guests are going to be disappointed.

There are a number of reasons why this can happen. Of course, occasionally someone might be ill and at the last minute a replacement has to be found. Anyone who has attended live theatre or opera will have heard seen the stage manager say from the stage, before a performance “Due to illness xxxx (the star) is indisposed and the role of xxxx will be played by the understudy” to groans from the audience. Of course the show must go on and there is always an understudy to step up, take the limelight and save the show.

But I am afraid to say there are occasions when an artiste “Gets a better offer” and then cancels. This is incredibly unfair to the promoter, client and guests. I have been aware of contracts where a clause basically says (in legal jargon) that if there is a better offer, the artiste isn’t obliged to turn up and ‘helpfully’ someone else will be sent. But who?? Does anyone know them? Are they any good? Personally, I believe this is extremely unfair, unprofessional and unethical.

So what should you do to avoid this happening to you?? My advice would be to double check the contract. If there is a get out clause for the artiste, question and renegotiate it. It is unacceptable. If you are totally set on having this artiste, I would also recommend you take out insurance: if they refuse to change the clause, or at the last minute “are indisposed” you will have come financial cover to cover your costs.

This post also recognises that on occasions a specific act is booked only for another act to arrive with no prior notice to the client. This is unacceptable and any good agency (there are good and bad) should have contacted the client immediately if there had to be a last minute replacement. This is down to the agency not doing their job properly: keeping the client informed. Whether this is that an artiste is delayed due to a problem on the train, or that they have to leave immediately after a speech (this happened recently at an event I attended. The lacklustre speaker made a hasty retreat to another event where she was speaking, even though she was booked to stay for the dinner. Apparently, there was a ‘mix up’ with the booking, but she’d been booked to speak at the company’s other office in Sheffield the following day and the same thing happened. It wasn’t a mix up but the agency trying to squeeze in more booking and this was a legal company, so they had already checked the contract….)

If you aren’t happy with the replacement, or that for example a magician was replaced with an acrobat at the last minute with no notice from the agency, you have every right as the client to question this and ask for a refund. But always check your contract before the event!

There are occasions, when at the last minute an artiste has to be replaced. Last year, one of our wonderful singer/pianist’s injured her shoulder and wasn’t able to perform. At one week’s notice we contacted the client and offered a replacement who did a fantastic job. Viva Live Music’s contracts clearly say that in the unusual instance of an artiste being indisposed, we contact them immediately to find a replacement of an equal calibre for their approval and if it is within a day of the event, we arrange for someone else to replace them without worrying them unnecessarily (for example a Bride will get very upset if we worry her!) We keep in close contact with the client to ensure their vision of the event isn’t spoilt.

We are always delighted to discuss your event and to avoid you being disappointed. Contact us or call 08000938464 to discuss your event.

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