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No dough, no show. Remember to pay for your entertainment

The “No Dough, no show” rule is one to remember when budgeting and arranging your entertainment. I was reminded of this rule when I read a social media call out for a last minute DJ at an outdoor weekend event.

The poster said that the DJ from the previous evening had not shown up and they were desperate for a DJ to play a specific genre of music for the event; like, this afternoon. I had sympathy for the organisers: after all it is a nightmare scenario when a supplier fails to appear – whether this is entertainment or the services.

Then I read the last sentence. “There is no money for this, but you will get free entry into the event”. And the organisers wondered why the DJ didn’t show up the night before?? Given that tickets for the event were £55 each, and they were ‘generously’ giving free entry, was this quid pro quo for the service?? I don’t think so, and clearly the first DJ agreed.

The fact is that guests were paying for the event and had a particular standard of entertainment and experience in mind. The organisers might have paid the original DJ, and run out of budget for a second DJ. However, any good organiser would have had some emergency budget available, in case of a last minute disaster, and to be fair, I don’t know if this was the case.

So why is it NOT okay to offer a small valued ticket in exchange for a service? Why should we expect to pay? Well the DJ isn’t JUST giving up his or her time for the event. The DJ will have to provide their own deck of music that they will have had to buy; they will have their own equipment that they will have bought, maintain and have insured; they will have to get the equipment to the venue; set up; do a sound check before the event. Do the event and afterwards de-rig before going home.

On the day concerned it was even raining, so there were more considerations with moving equipment in the rain. Hardly worth it for £55…. And whether you like it or not, someone who agrees to this with no contract and no payment, unfortunately is not going to respect the date, because no respect has been given to the artiste by not paying them. THIS IS FACT!

Here at Viva Live Music we do appreciate that there are budgets for different services. We are also aware there are organisations who ‘try it on’ or have unrealistic budgets for a service. We will always give a couple of different options for a service – for example, our DJ service includes three different options to fit different budgets. And we are honest if we are not able to work with the budget given – as well as encouraging the client to consider increasing their budget.

It is reasonable to pay for a service; particularly when guests and other suppliers are being paid. If you have an expectation that you won’t pay for a service, be prepared to be disappointed. Remember the rule “No Dough: No Show”.

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