In my first installment I gave you some ideas to think about when you book outdoor shows. This next column will explore further some of things necessary when performing in the great outdoors.
One of the things most outdoor entertainment planners fail to look at is what happens if the weather is bad, if it’s rainy or if there is a thunderstorm. I have had many of these planners say “It’s not going to rain..don’t worry!”. That’s when I REALLY start to worry as that tells me they don’t have a rain / storm policy. That’s why your contracts (you do use contracts, right?) must have a “Play or Pay” provision in them.
In short a “Play or Pay” clause guarantees that they must pay you regardless if it is too stormy or not. Without this clause they could say “Oh, it’s raining..sorry about that. Hopefully it will be better next time!”, which leaves you investing your time and effort with no pay. Your planners will be more inclined to find a spot that is covered or indoors so the show can go on. if that clause is in the contract. In essence, you are guaranteeing yourself a safety net so you can be paid. The planner’s lack of planning should not impact your show.
Now before that all sounds too harsh, let me go on record saying that I usually do everything in my power to play the date, even to the extent of helping the planner find a place for me on their grounds. I WANT to do my show. But sometimes “Mother Nature” just doesn’t agree. Better to have the “Play or Pay” than to either ruin your puppets and reputation, or both!