The business of gig cancellations
Artists do not cancel gigs without serious thought and a heavy heart but when they do fans aren’t the only ones inconvenienced by the decision. There is a trickle down effect which impacts the promoter, the artists management team, band members, dance team, travelling entourage such as wardrobe make up artist chef trainers and crew members of which can be up to 150 to 200 people.
We also need to consider the venue by venue industry created by such a gigantic tour for example food and merchandise vendors security, ushers, box office and venue staff paramedics amongst many other professionals to ensure a concert runs smoothly. Of course at the Top of those who lose out by the artists themselves some tours can gross well in excess of 200000000 and it cancellation can have severe financial impact.
The music industry is only starting to bounce back from the end of physical media. Most artists can’t make enough to survive on just streaming, so merchandise and live shows become increasingly important part of the revenue stream. Whilst touring does not fully compensate a significant drop in music sales, concert tickets sales have increased significantly in the last decade. Touring has therefore become a major revenue stream for performing artists large and small.
Therefore, it’s only natural performers often take out either cancellation or non appearance insurance. The need to protect their income is more important than ever. The maximum an artist can ensure against is 100% of their guarantee the minimum fee they will be paid by the promoter on a show or series of show basis.
Whilst everyone has a different risk tolerance there are numerous examples to show that anything can go wrong and even a small time out can have a significant financial impact with large chunks of the tour unable to go ahead.
Weather other individuals within the artists immediate camp receive post cancellation compensation through coverage is determined body acts insurance policy. Policies can be flexible and are designed to cover whatever you want to cover. It can get complicated as the promoter will often seek to cover themselves also with their own insurance policy. Often it is different with every person they have their own idea of what they want to cover. Whilst insurers don’t like artists picking and choosing events in a tour there is a degree of flexibility given the sums involved.
The price of the policy can depend on the age of the artists, their health, loss history and schedule of tour, taking into consideration the venues, particularly whether they are outdoor or indoor.
Common reasons your event could be cancelled:
Your venue cancels
If you don’t have a backup site your event could be doomed should your venue cancel. When you’re shopping for venues discuss what would happen in the case of the an emergency or other situations that could lead to a valued cancellation that way you will know your options ahead of time and have a solid plan B.
While you can’t predict the weather you do have to deal with the consequences if there is heavy rain or unexpected harsh winds you may be forced to cancel your event should it be staged outdoors. Outdoor venue insurance typically comes at a higher premium because of the vulnerability. If it’s possible, either secure an indoor back up option: either large tents or a building should strongly be considered.
Behind the scenes of a concert lies a lot of paperwork; alcohol license in vendor contracts and city noise permits are just a few of the approvals and organiser needs. If you are performing at the venue that isn’t particularly well established or with a good track record of hosting such concerts your event may be at risk due to paperwork issues.
Illness of key performing artist
With a busy tour schedule planned this can often take heavy tolls on the body the physical excursions of performing artists can often lead to illness likewise DJs the late night can catch up on them. whilst nutrition experts and dietitians often form part of a large crew sometimes illness cannot be avoided
With touring schedules often packed they can leave very little room set backs. With congested travel plans minor flight delays particularly with DJs it may be doing up to 2 sets a night even the smallest travel set back can mean you are unable to attend that gig.
And the not so common…
Something as small as the humble pigeon was able to obstruct and stop Kings Of Leon concert in 2010. Another out there example of what could go wrong is with Brian Harvey in his come back tour of East 17, Brian gorged himself on baked potatoes and felt ill whilst attempting to open his car door and vomit, Harvey accidentally hit the accelerator throwing him underneath the car and run over himself leaving himself paralyzed and in a coma for several weeks! Harvey was not able to make a full recovery but due to the cancelled tour dates his music career did not.
Author: Matthew Dewen