The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...


No announcement yet.

Passing along gigs question

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Passing along gigs question

    I'm curious to know if anyone has experience:

    When someone asks me to play for an event and I'm unavailable, I'm often given the follow-up question: "Well, do you know anyone who can?"

    This has been tricky territory for me.

    The cleanest answer is, "No, and have a nice day."

    A messier answer has been to start providing a bunch of phone numbers & emails. For some - the distraught or the confused - this hasn't been smooth.

    I have in the past admitted that I do, and have done the favor of sending out job opportunities to the players I know. When this works, there's gratitude from everyone involved.

    But at times, it's backfired - and this favor can turn me into something of an event coordinator.

    Do you refer along jobs you can't make? Is there a neat way to do this, stepping out of the middle?​

  • #2
    I have on occasion been solicited to do a gig that I am unavailable for. Fortunately, I was once an active piper with the Louisville Pipe Band and know there are still members of the band that are able and willing to do solo gigs, most of the time. I generally refer people to contact the band through the band website or on Facebook.

    That would be the route I would follow in your shoes. If you are not affiliated with a band, find one locally (or regionally) that offers soloists for gigs and find out the contact info for the band member (band manager, Pipe Major, or whoever) that handles gig requests.


    • #3
      I have a few numbers and email contacts of piping friends I trust to do gigs. We refer back and forth frequently. I keep a list near my phone, or send a text/email to the customer with the pipers' contacts if I can't do a job. Once I've sent that, it's out of my hands.
      If you don't have a list of contacts like that, advise your customer to start contacting funeral homes. Most of them will have a piper's name in the rolodex.
      Before you start fixing problems with your reeds, check to see if the bag or stocks are leaking.


      • #4
        I'd normally check with someone that they were available and then pass their contact details to the customer; I agree I'm not a fan of sending clients a sheaf of contacts who may or may not be helpful.
        -- Formerly known as CalumII


        • #5
          I have one or two friends who I refer potential gigs to that I know will do a solid job. If no one is available, I trust the client to go back to how they probably found me - Google.

          That said, if the interaction with the potential client sends up any red flags ("surprise for so and so", "just one song", "only a handful of guests", etc), I'll skip any referrals.

          "Don't think; it can only hurt the ball club." Crash Davis


          • #6
            Since I'm pretty busy and not super keen on doing lots of gigs I give another piper's number to the client.

            Usually just one, because that piper likewise knows a lot of pipers, if the gig needs to be passed along.

            In the normal music world it's expected for the musician who received the initial call to take a cut of the gig money, but it's been my experience that in the piping world it's usual to pass a gig along freely.

            For sure I don't want to get involved in a gig I can't do. I'm not an agent.

            I will say that around 30 years ago when I was doing tons of weddings I had two very handy pipers' phone numbers that I would give to specific clients:

            -Clients who implied that I charged too much would be given the number of a piper who charged twice what I charged.

            -Clients who were high-maintenance micro-manager types would be given the number of a short-fused piper who had zero patience for such people.
            Last edited by pancelticpiper; 11-29-2022, 03:58 AM.
            proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte


            • #7
              Long ago I stopped doing gigs. But from time to time I receive calls asking for referrals. I do have a short list I use. However, I think it's important to take a minute to educate folks about level of play and experience. As we all know, there are countless pipers out there who are more about the kilt and the show, and less about playing in tune and in time. I explain that my referrals are to higher level pipers, and folks should take care about referrals beyond the specific names I give. From time to time over the years I was aware that some higher-level pipers might refer a gig to someone who did not really play that well but "needed the experience", etc. Oy. Brides, family members at funerals, etc. don't need or want someone who needs experience. They want it done right.

              I recently attended the wedding of a friend. I referred her to a piper I knew, and the piper was fantastic at the wedding.



              • #8
                I keep a referral list and update it periodically, but a lot of my gig requests come through a couple of online booking services, in which I case I will refer the client back to the booking service with the understanding that if they can’t book someone, then I will email or text them my referral list.
                Slainte Leibh/ Slan Leat, Bob Cameron


                • #9
                  Well... and of course!! :-)

                  People call... because there is need...
                  and I am always... both happy... and
                  grateful... to be able to "send along"...
                  those engagements... to other good
                  pipers... both in general... but... and
                  especially... for funeral and memorial

                  My friends all know,
                  With what a brave carouse...


                  • #10
                    Playing in a band with others who are willing to do solo gigs helps a lot. When I get a call for a gig, I ask permission to give a prospective piper the inquirer's contact information, then send out a group text to those I think might be available. Whoever bites first gets the gig. I give them the inquirer's contact information and ask if I may pass their's on to the one making the request. I then let the person know that they can expect to hear from a particular piper and give them the contact information. After that I'm out of the loop. This may sound like a lot but, after being in several different bands of various sorts, I'm used to juggling gigs and don't mind it. I feel honored and blessed to be able to help meet their musical needs.


                    • #11
                      I have on occasion referred gigs to others. First it has to be someone I know will do the gig as well as I can. Second I contact them first to see if they are available and can do it then and only then will I give out someones contact information. I usually give the piper the client information and let them do the contact and sales pitch.
                      The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
                      -Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)